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Philmont Scout Ranch

What is Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch


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In November of 2011, a NWSC Philmont Contingent comprised of 10 scouts and 3 adult leaders officially took their first steps in training for their July 2012 Trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. Since that time, this group of 13 dedicated hikers has hiked almost 150 miles in preparation for their journey. Including scouts and leaders from 4 different troops, this crew has continued training by walking indoors (at the mall) during the winter months and hiking outdoors at places like Busse Woods, Lake Arlington, Deer Grove F.P., Starved Rock and White Pines S.P.

A recent shakedown was held at Camp Lakota where the group hiked over 15 miles and provided some much needed labor for the camp, clearing and marking trails as well as redefining the fire pits at the campsites. These conservation service hours will count towards their 50 Miler award…..which will be accomplished at Philmont.

Included in the training was a week-end shakedown at the Hollows Conservation area in Cary, IL. Braving rain, freezing temperatures and reconstituted meals, the NWSC Contingent received extensive training on how to enjoy and tackle all the challenges at Philmont Scout Ranch. As we like to say, a Philmont trek should not be “survived”, it should be enjoyed!

The “Weekend Philmont Shakedown” was started back in the early 1990’s by Chuck Taubman & Steve Towne and was designed to prepare and test NWSC Contingent participants for their upcoming trek at Philmont High Adventure Scout Ranch. A Philmont trek is a two week backpacking expedition through the rugged Sangre de Christo Mountains of New Mexico - near the town of Cimarron. Youth and Adult Advisors in crews of 8 to 12 typically hike 60-75 miles at elevations ranging from 6,500 feet above sea level (Basecamp) to 12,400 FASL when at the top of Mt. Baldy.

One can only imagine the “extensive” training necessary to carry a 40 pound pack over rugged, but beautiful mountainous terrain, for 2 weeks, with all your food, water, clothes, tent, sleeping bag and cookware on your back. Wildlife abounds at Philmont including bears, mule-deer, mini-bears, rattlesnakes, etc… - so training is very important. Mountain thunderstorms, low humidity, 1 to 2 mile high elevations where the air is thinner and 200 square miles of back country wilderness requires careful planning, dedicated physical training and the proper Backpacking equipment.

But you need not worry about preparing for a Philmont trek if you sign up with the NWSC Philmont Contingent for 2014. Like the 2012 Contingent, who successfully finished their 10 mile Hike & “Hollows Shakedown” training week-end, you too will get comprehensive hands-on instruction in hanging your Bear Bags, Backpack & Tent selection, Water Purification, Cooking & use of Backpacking stoves, Back-Country First aid, Navigation, Boot Selection and much more. Dedicated veteran Philmont volunteer trainers, within the NWSC, spend many hours forming up the NWSC Contingent each year, putting together 3-5 Crews with similar program and hiking interests and making sure the NWSC Participants are fully prepared to hike Philmont, safely, successfully and to have a great time. Hiking Philmont is truly the “Trip of a Lifetime” and a “Mountain Top” experience and many Scouts come home changed forever knowing they finished a challenging trek at Philmont. The Mom’s always ask us… “What did you do to my son/daughter? !!!

If your Troop, Crew or Team has never gone to Philmont, the annual NWSC Philmont Contingent would be ideal for you. Consider plugging your high adventure trip for 2014 into your Unit’s summer of 2014 schedule. Designed for solo Scouts, partial Crews, Co-ed Crews or even full Crews of up to 12 participants, the NWSC Philmont Contingent Training volunteers take you through the trip planning process, budget, medical forms, equipment selection, physical training and crew formation process. Adult Advisors who sign up for Philmont take an active part in the different phases of the trip planning process…making it “their” trip. Monthly meetings start in Sept. and end in June - just before you depart by train or plane for PSR in Cimarron, New Mexico.

If you are interested in more information, please consider attending the 2014 Philmont Orientation & Rally Night this coming August (Date TBD) at the NWSC office in Mt. Prospect. Veteran Philmont Training Volunteers will hold a Rally meeting, display equipment, & memorabilia and show a video telling you all about one of the BSA’s finest treasures - Philmont Scout Ranch. We will go over the process of signing up and getting your son/daughter ready to have the Trip of Their Lifetime.

Cost of the trip is estimated to be $ 1,595.00 for the 2014 NWSC Contingent trip and includes the Philmont Ranch fee, all transportation, meals, lodging, Lakota Shakedown Week-end & 10 mile Shakedowns, Philmont belt & buckle, Philmont Tooth of Time Contingent photo, side-trips and more. Departure date is estimated to be on July 4th - returning on July 18th, 2014. Due to LIMITED SPACE in the 2014 NWSC Contingent, excess Applications may be placed on a wait list.

For more details and/or to request an Application to sign up for the 2014 NWSC Contingent - look for the 2014 Philmont Contingent link coming soon to the NWSC.Org web site……on July 1st.

Or please watch for the announcement of the August Orientation & Rally Night for Philmont 2014 - to be announced on July 1st

Your NWSC Philmont Volunteer Training staff:

Bob McDermott (PhilmontNWSC@AOL.Com)
Chuck Taubman
Steve Towne
Jim Sengenberger
Randy Toland (NWSC Professional)