Boy Scouts from Somers Troop 376, along with their adult advisors, Rich Cassin, Andy Cheung (Troop Scoutmaster), Jimmy Smith, and Gary Rivera, recently completed a 90-mile backpacking expedition through the rugged, high-altitude New Mexico backcountry.

The seven boys and four adults experienced an adventure of a lifetime over 12 days on the trail. Highlights included wildlife encounters (deer, cattle, rattlesnakes, and bears); unmarked trail navigation in the Valle Vidal (part of Carson National Forest), hail/lightning/thunder storms, muzzle-loader rifle and cowboy action (pistol, rifle, shotgun) shooting; burro packing, and summitting Baldy Mountain (12,441 feet).

The Scouts trip took place on the Philmont Scout Ranch, which is the Boy Scouts of America’s largest high-adventure base. The property covers 137,000 acres, about 214 square miles, of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Christo (Blood of Christ) range of the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico. Philmont Scout Ranch operates dozens of staffed and trail camps. Philmont has high mountains with rough terrain and elevations that range from 6.500 to 12,441 feet. The property has a unique history of ancient Native Americans,  Spanish conquistadors, mountain men, land barons, miners, loggers and cowboys.