CIMARRON, NM - A crew of 9 teenage scouts and their three leaders, from Troop 68 based in Berkeley Heights, went on a life changing summer trek through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Philmont covers 214 square miles of vast wilderness with trails that climb from 6,500 feet to as high as12,441 feet. During their trek Boy Scout Troop/Venture Crew # 628 R3 hiked 60 miles over 11 days.

The group of Scouts and their advisors carried everything they needed to survive during the trek on their backs while hiking from camp to camp. They participated in backcountry programs along the way -- including rock climbing and repelling, tomahawk throwing, fly-fishing, 3-D Archery, homesteading and gold prospecting.  The crew also climbed the Tooth of Time, Philmont’s signature mountain.

The trek included a conservation project where the Scouts learned and participated in the upkeep of Philmont’s ecosystem by taking steps to prevent forest fires. Along the trek, Scouts endured tough challenges including backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, climbing up Mt. Phillips with a peek at 11,742 feet and hiking through rivers with shin high water without any bridges. The crew also had to face one of the rainiest years in Philmont’s history.

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 nearly one million participants since 1938. Troop 68 also had a crew complete a five day 40 mile canoe trek in the Adirondacks and had another crew spend a week at Ten Mile River High Adventure Scout Camp in Southern New York.