The following are "lessons learned" from the August 2013 Philmont High Adventure trip in New Mexico. Troop 1313 tries to participate in one high adventure camp per year in addition to the regular, week-long summer camp.
I am happy to say that Troop 1313's Philmont crew successfully completed their challenging itinerary on Saturday. The crew...hiked over 90 miles with 1000's of feet of elevation change thrown in for good measure. All of us carried all of our gear and provisions over the entire 12 day trek, with two resupply days. Philmont is celebrating its 75 anniversary this year, and the ranch was in fine form for our trip. The scenery was beautiful, the activities entertaining and informative, the campfires fun, the night skies full of stars, and the rain not so bad (at least for us). Philmont's reputation is well deserved.
Some additional items of interest from the trip include:
1. Yes, it is possible for someone to not bathe for 11 days (Mr L. and I sometimes were glad to be hiking a little ways behind the boys)
2. The Eagles, Don Mclean, Pink Floyd make for good trail singing
3. It is possible to put peanuts in just about anything
4. Food in 'bar form" can get old after a while
5. Cold root beer, beef jerky and a dill pickle makes for a mighty fine respite from trail food
6. A fat squirrel is not a freak of nature but an opportunistic part of the Philmont ecosystem
7. Crouching in the "lightning protection stance" for more than 15 minutes might be more of a problem than actually risking getting hit by lightning
8. Hard to believe, but a dessert cobbler of apples, blueberries, yellow cake mix and chocolate cake mix was a bit sweet
9. Seven creative boys with lots of time on their hand and plenty of shared experiences will say (or grunt) some pretty interesting things (again, Mr Lee and I sometimes were glad to be hiking a little ways behind the boys)
The attached picture is all of us on top of the famed "Tooth of Time" (9003 ft).
I hope that the next group of scouts from Troop 1313 have as positive a experience as we all did. Be sure to ask one of the crew for additional stories the next time you see them.
This trip also was the completion of the BSA High Adventure trifecta for 6 participants. These 6 all participated in Seabase, Northern Tier, and Philmont. Quite the accomplishment.
Lastly, I want to thank Mr. L. for his participation in planning, organizing and participating in this trip. While we both had fun, the trip would not have happened without his participation.
Yours in Scouting,