High Adventure Reports
Look here for stories and pictures from past Troop 407 high adventure trips.
Philmont, June 2013
Two crews of Troop 407 Scouts and their adult advisors went on a life-changing summer trek through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico this summer. The two treks, 625E1 and 625E2, selected different itineraries (#23 and #19, respectively) to experience hiking and to participate in diverse activities. During their 12-day treks, the venture crews hiked 74 and 72 miles.
The groups of Scouts and their adult advisors carried on their backs everything they needed to survive during the trek while hiking from camp to camp. They participated in backcountry programs along the way, including archeology, rock climbing and rappeling, panning for gold, a tour of a gold mine, spar pole climbing, loggerball, roping and branding, teambuilding exercises and campfires featuring music and entertainment. Both treks included a conservation project where the Scouts learned about and participated in the upkeep of Philmont’s trails and ecosystem. Along the treks, the Scouts endured tough challenges and learned about special precautions associated with backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs and inclement weather.
“They may meet only one other group of Scouts on the trail in an entire day of hiking,” according to Backpacker Magazine. “Even at the most crowded destinations, each Scout group camps independently of other groups.”
These two crews represent the fourth trek for from Troop 407 that has traveled to Philmont Scout Ranch since 2002. Philmont is the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high-adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013 and serving one million participants since 1938. The Ranch covers 214 square miles of vast wilderness with trails that climb from 6,500 feet to as high as 12,441 feet. Originally called Philturn Scout Ranch, the majority of the land that constitutes Philmont was donated to the Boy Scouts of America by oil executive Waite Phillips, who was impressed by the values and skills instilled in youth by the tenets of the Boy Scouting program. The former name of the Ranch represented a portion of Mr. Phillips’ name and the Boy Scout slogan “Do a good turn daily.”
The Troop 407 Scouts who attended Philmont would like to recognize and thank trek adult leaders Bob Murphy and Darius Fadanelli and the adult advisors for their guidance, support and hard work to make these treks a success. (Written by Nate T)
Philmont Trek, August 2010
Mr. Murphy has chronicled the adventure in a slide presentation (PDF, 3.0 MB) showing the happy hikers, local flora and fauna and the breathtaking scenery.
Philmont Scout Ranch provides an unforgettable adventure along its hundreds of miles of rugged, rocky trails. Program features combine the best of the Old West-horseback riding, burro packing, gold panning, chuckwagon dinners, and interpretive history-with exciting challenges for today-rock climbing, burro racing, mountain biking, and rifle shooting-in an unbeatable recipe for fast-moving outdoor fun.
Born in 1938 as Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp, today’s Philmont Scout Ranch is a bustling center for high adventure and training. Youth and adults take advantage of the ranch’s camping, training, and work programs. Most activity takes place during the summer, but Philmont also offers its Fall Adventure and Kanik winter program.
More than 860,000 Scouts, Venturers, and leaders have experienced the adventure of Philmont since the first camping season in 1939. Throughout its existence, conscientious attention to low-impact camping techniques have helped maintain the ranch’s wilderness flavor.
The area surrounding the ranch is rich with history, from the Native Americans who made this arid land their home to the land barons of the 19th century. The town of Cimarron boasts a number of historical buildings, including the St. James Hotel-site of at least 26 killings during Cimarron’s wilder days.
Florida Sea Base, 2009
Sea Base was a great experience for all who attended. Eighteen Scouts and Scouters from Troop 407 enjoyed five days on Big Munson Island. We went snorkeling at Looe Key which was amazing (it is the third most dived site in the world). Deep sea fishing was another tremendous experience. We were able to enjoy a delightful dinner of our fresh catch after a great day fishing. While deep sea fishing we were able to cool off with a swim in 850 feet of water. We had several other opportunities to snorkel including night snorkeling on the patch reefs which are know as Munson Rocks. We went shark fishing, navigated our way through the mangrove maze and enjoyed excellent meals. We were even able to catch sight of the elusive Key Deer and Vacca Raccoons plus we raced hermit crabs.
Ask anyone who went about their experience. I haven’t heard a Scout tell me they wouldn’t go again. If you get the opportunity to go to Sea Base, I wouldn’t miss it. Like Philmont, this is a once in a lifetime experience that I hope to do again.