Where in the wild is Troop 102?
Day 13

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[July 01, 2016]  LINCOLN - Today is Monday, June 27th. On this day the members of Troop 102 who are on the Philmont Scout Ranch hike have been away from home 13 days. They are also on day 11 of their 12-day mountain hike.

On the itinerary for today is climbing the Tooth of Time, an adventure that a couple of the boys have been looking forward to more than any other event on the hike.

Elijah Burton: I am really looking forward to the Tooth of Time and the great scenery.

William Trent: I’m looking forward to the Tooth of time because a group of people that went before said it was the best part.

At the same time, Scout Jack Graue noted that along with the hike up Mount Phillips, the Tooth of Time will be one of the more physically challenging days of the trip.

Carter McCraith noted an additional challenge for this day: “It's our last trail day, and since it's a dry camp, we have to carry in all our water.”

In the wilderness, water is much more important than food. The guys need to stay hydrated. On a day when they are not going to have water from nature, they must carry their own, enough to last the day, do their meal preparation, and keep them going tomorrow.

According to leader Chris Graue, that means adding two days’ worth of water, approximately 7 to 8 liters, to the weight of each backpack. With up to 50 pounds in their backpacks already, add to that about another 15 pounds and you’ll see that some of the guys are going to be carrying about one-half their body weight on their backs, while ascending to an elevation of 8,280 feet.

As has been noted before, the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range is steeped in history of the settlement of the western territories. The ranch documents the history from the days of Native Americans to the taming of the wild by cowboys and ranchers. The Tooth of Time has throughout this history played an important role because it is such a notable landmark on the horizon.

From SummitPost.org

The Tooth of Time ("The Tooth") is a very prominent feature at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Northern New Mexico. During the days of wagon trains, The Tooth served as a major landmark for guides, who used it to determine the cut-off for heading to Santa Fe or to the Oregon Trail.

It is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As the highest point along the Tooth Ridge, it is also a very rewarding climb and offers some of the best views in the local area. The Tooth rises over 1,700 feet above the base of the ridge and reveals sweeping views of the eastern horizon,

Tooth of Time from Base Camp

Base Camp from Tooth of Time

When the Scouts reach the summit of The Tooth, they will catch a view of what will come tomorrow, the return to base camp, and the ever approaching end to their great adventure in New Mexico.

Before leaving Lincoln, some of the boys were asked how they felt about living 12 days in the wilderness.

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Here are some of their answers:

Blake Hermes: “I think that 12 days in the wilderness may be challenging, but will still be very fun and exciting.”

Elijah Burton: “Excited and greatly anticipating the great outdoors.”

Jack Graue: “I feel like it will clear my mind and give me a fresh look on things.”

William Trent: “I feel happy that I get to go camping with a group of people that know what they are doing, and I like being around.”

Zach Smith: “I'll be ok spending all that time in the wilderness, but the only downside is having to deal with those annoying bears.”

Zachary Craig: “I’m looking forward to it because I enjoy being in the outdoors, camping and building fires. The hike portion will be new to me, but with my training and excitement, I’m looking forward to this trip. I’m also anxious to experience a Catholic mass in New Mexico. We will have several opportunities to attend mass while we are gone.”

While the Boy Scouts of America is not necessarily considered a “faith-based” organization, it is an organization that recognizes the importance of God in our daily lives. Through their mantra “Duty to God” scouts recognize that there is a higher authority that asks us to be the best we can be each day of our lives.

While at Philmont, as Zachary Craig mentioned, there are opportunities for attendance at religious services. Participation is not limited to one denomination, as was noted on the first evening at camp when scouts had the opportunity to attend church services according to their denomination.

Also, each day while on the hike, there was an opportunity to participate in a non-denominational devotional time as led by the Chaplain Aide, a member of the crew.

The Philmont handbook defines the duties of the Chaplain Aide as follows:

Philmont strongly recommends one crew member be asked to serve as a Chaplain Aide. Someone who has earned or is working on their religious award should be considered.

The Chaplain Aide will be asked to lead daily devotionals from the Eagles Soaring High booklet, lead grace before meals, and encourage participation in religious services. A packet of worship resources including the Eagles Soaring High booklet will be provided for use along the trail during a training session on the day of your crew’s arrival at Philmont.

The Chaplain Aide will guide the crew’s participation in the Duty to God program and will certify completion of requirements of the Duty to God award for each crew member.

Today’s YouTube video features the hike to the Tooth of Time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=say4HT xnmSE 

[Nila Smith]

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