By Jonathan Rogness
Chief of Media for Venturing Crew 193
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July 17-30, Venturing Crew 193 took a trip to the prestigious Philmont Scout Ranch, west of the small town of Cimarron, N.M.
Scout Ranch is noteworthy for being the largest independent Scout camp in the world, attracting more than 20,000 Scouts and Scouters annually. While there, our crew — seven youth members and two adult advisors — trekked 68 miles through the wilderness, carrying our food and gear on our backs as we enjoyed the sights that Philmont had to offer.
We also enjoyed various programs available at the many staff camps we passed along the way. Such activities included black powder rifles, horseback riding, homesteading and learning about the Apache tribes that lived in the area. In addition to our normal hiking and activities, our trek also included ascending several peaks. Each was an arduous climb that required strength in spirit, as well as body. One example would include the 2,500-foot climb up the side of Mount Phillips. We ascended the peak and then immediately went straight down the other side of the mountain … without switchbacks or any stopping force other than our own balance.
The trek as a whole required a good amount of physical preparation, with several training hikes in the neighborhood conditioning our bodies for life on the trail. In addition to the obvious physical need to train, we also needed to work with each other as a crew. Part of the reason we quickly overcame obstacles on the trail was not necessarily because of just skill or strength but the team spirit that kept us going on those longer days.
This trip to Philmont was truly a bonding experience that both allowed our crew to enjoy the simplicity and back-to-basics philosophy of nature, while being able to appreciate the comforts of modern life upon our return and be grateful for the opportunity to spend our time as a team in such a magical place.