July 27, 2014 at 10:55 AM
SUMMIT, NJ - At the beginning of July, after two years of preparation, seven Boy Scouts and their four advisors headed out to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to have a life changing adventure.
The Scouts are members of Troop 67 of Summit and, after two years of hard training, the Scouts arrived at Philmont Scout Ranch. The ranch covers an astonishing 214 square miles of trails and camps donated to the Boy Scouts of America by Waite Phillips in 1942. The Troop 67 crew climbed up to Mount Philips at 11,746 feet, and shot Shotgun at Harlan camp at 6,000 feet. During their trek Boy Scout Troop #711-N4 completed and estimated 61 miles in Itinerary 11, the shooting trek.
During their trek, 13 year-old Troop navigator James Cho spoke a familiar refrain of, "We're almost there... 2 to 3 miles at most." However, it almost always turned out to be more. This was not a problem for the Scouts though, having training and endurance that helped them climb over 3,000 feet over the course of 10 days. Fourteen year-old Jake McEvoy, who operated as Crew Leader, and Terry Dwyer, the Lead Advisor, led and guided the group through a successful trek through the backcountry. As a crew, they were able to hike from camp to camp with programs ranging from Black Powder Rifling to Horseback riding, and from homesteading to branding.
This year Philmont celebrated its millionth Scout to venture out into the wilderness. With all this human impact, despite practicing leave no trace, Scouts participate in a conservation project to keep the tradition of Philmont going. Crew 711-N4 participated in sawing limbs and clearing debris at Beaubien Camp in Central Philmont. The experience showed the crew that with teamwork anything can be accomplished.
The Scouts completed a Scouting pilgrimage that started over 75 years before. Philmont is the largest youth camp in the world and premier Scouting High Adventure Camp.