The Philmont experience


Photo by Will Amos

The sun rises over the Tooth of Time as our trek ends. We climbed at a ropes course minutes later.

Will Amos, Online Editor

This summer I went on one of the best trips that I will ever go on in my entire life. 72 miles, 8 days, 12 people, and one goal, to complete the trek.

Let’s start off with the basics. Philmont Scout Ranch is a high adventure camp located in Cimarron, New Mexico. During this trip you put everything you need to survive in a backpack, hike, do cool activities, and see the best views you will ever see.

Crew 713-O-5 was made up of 9 boys from ages 14 to 15 and 3 adults. You get a ranger for the first 2 days

On Day 2 the hiking begins. We are driven by a bus to our starting location and our hike begins. Our first day wasn’t too hard being only two miles, but fun activities include getting things branded and playing cards while we wait for the adults to get ready.

Day 3, things start to get a bit more difficult. Our program for the day is spar pole climbing and loggerball, a form of baseball where we used duct tapes balls and wooden poles for bats. The hike was still easy, but a late night run in with a group of skunks almost ruined the trip early on.

Next was Day 4, the hike to Baldytowne. We stopped in a staff camp named French Henry to blacksmith, brand more things, and get a tour of a mine. Day 5 was the day we had all been waiting for. The hike up Baldy, the highest peak at Philmont of [how tall it is]. Just day packs today, but the hike will be just as hard. The elevation and the incline will determine if we get up or not.

When we make it up the only thing we think about is a break. But we don’t break, we take in the view and take some pictures. After we hike down we take a detour to go shoot some back powder rifles and throw tomahawks.

After getting lost for a bit on Day 5 we arrived at our next staff camp. We didn’t get to do program that day, but luckily we got to do program the next morning. Our trek being a challenge course trek we got to do team building activities and ropes course stuff.

On Day 6 we end up having to hike 13 miles into a dry camp, a camp without a source of water in the campsite. Since we were staying at a trail camp that day we had no program. Day 7 was much like the day before. We hiked to Aspen Springs to do our conservation project which meant sledging rocks instead of program today, which was actually a lot of fun.

3 other members of my crew and I boudlered up to an amazing view later that day.

Photo by Will Amos. Bryan Roeper (’19) and Jake Doyle (’19) sit and look out over the Philmont Ranch. After we bouldered up a rock formation Jacob Kline (’19) and I took pictures.






After Aspen Springs we hiked to Miner’s Park which had program, but we didn’t actually get to do it. We were supposed to go rock climbing, but after getting lost earlier in the day we arrived a little late and weren’t able to do the program. We could’ve done it in the morning, but the staff said that camp told us we couldn’t because of time.

So we hiked to out next campsite, Uraca. We were told that we could’ve rock climbed that morning and had enough time to do program there, but it was too late so we did more challenge course activities and continued with our day.

Our second to last day was a hike to a dry camp were we get to climb the Tooth of Time. The Tooth of Time is one of the most well-known peaks at Philmont and everybody wants to get to the top. We were climbing up and as we almost got to the peak we had to turn around because of a thunder storm that was too close to us. We sat near the peak for an hour waiting for the rain to stop, but it never did. So we hiked back down the peak and went on with our day.

The next day, the day we had all been waiting for, kind of. We hiked an easy two miles to a ropes course where we rock climbed and did other cool ropes course things.

None of us really wanted it to end though. It was bittersweet. We all made it, but we loved the experience so much we just didn’t want it to end. Sure we missed our families and sure we wanted to go back to things like showers and electronics, but there was a part of all of us that wanted to stay.