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Troop 8 Crew Tackles Philmount

Jack Weber

Thursday, July 31, 2014 • 4:40pm

A crew of nine teenage boys, ranging in age from 14 to16, and 3 adult leaders went on a life changing experience through the New Mexico wilderness. The boys spent two days in Colorado touring and having fun, while staying at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs before they were bussed to beautiful Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Philmont covers 214 square miles of wilderness for scouts from all over the world to hike and climb. Philmont’s 34 staffed camps and 55 trail camps provide an unforgettable adventure in the backcountry along hundreds of miles of rugged, rocky trails. The boys climbed an elevation ranging from 6,500 feet to as high as 12,441 feet. During this trek, the crew from Troop 8 in Chatham, New Jersey hiked more than 89 miles in 10 days and climbed Comanche Peak, Mt. Phillips and Baldy Mountain.

The crew faced many challenges while hiking camp to camp carrying everything on their backs that they would need to survive the trek. The crew participated in backcountry programs including fly fishing, spar pole climbing, homesteading, shooting rifles and railroad construction. Along the way, they picked up food and some fresh fruit at designated commissaries. The trek included a conservation project where the crew learned about tools and safety, and they got to help restore old and eroded trails. The crew faced tough challenges, including hiking in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs, and often-inclement weather.

The crew made what amounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with their trip to Philmont. Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world serving over 1 million participants since 1938.

Boy Scout Troop 8 meets at the Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church, located on Main Street in Chatham, on Monday nights at 7 p.m.

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