Where in the wild is Troop 102?
Day nine

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[July 01, 2016]  LINCOLN - Today is Thursday, June 23rd. For Boy Scout Troop 102 it is day seven on their Philmont itinerary and the ninth day since they left Lincoln. Today the crews will hike 8.5 miles and will visit the second tallest mountain in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Is anyone not ready?

Before leaving on their trip, the Scouts and their adult advisors were offered lots of information on how to prepare for their trip both physically and mentally. As a crew, the young men will work together as a contingent group, but they are still made up of individuals with varying abilities. The job of the Crew Leader, which is filled by one of the Scouts, is to take into consideration the abilities of each person and work to maintain the contingency of the group,. If one is struggling, it is the job of the Crew leader to recognize this and adjust the pace of the entire group accordingly.

It is the job of the crew to be supportive of each other, and respectful of each other. To help accomplish this, Philmont recommends that at the end of each day, the group do “thorns and roses.” This is a time when the Scouts share what was good and not so good about the day that just passed. The exercise helps each Scout to understand the effect the trip is having on the others in his crew.

Philmont also suggests that at the beginning of each day and the end of each break during the day, the crew leader poses the question “is anyone not ready?”

Typically, the question is “is everyone ready,” but the guidebook states that often the “yes” answers may drown out the single “no” of a scout that feels he needs more time to prepare.

Today may be the day, which there is a scout or two who says they are not ready just yet. It’s going to be a challenging day. Today’s hike will take the guys to the top of Mount Phillips at an elevation of 11,650 feet. To put this in perspective, that is 2.2 miles above sea level. Another comparison, the turbines at the Railsplitter wind farm are 290 feet tall. To equal the height of Mount Phillips one would need to stack 40 of those towers end to end, then climb them.

Today’s temperature in the mountain range is expected to be 83 degrees. As the boys hike, the air will get thinner, and taking in oxygen will become harder. The boys will notice that they breath harder, and tire more quickly. Bear in mind; they will also be carrying fully loaded backpacks that may weigh up to 50 pounds.

Several of the scouts recognize that this may be their toughest day. They were asked before they left, “of the events planned, which one is the most intimidating to you and why.”

Here are some of their answers:

William Trent: “When we go up Mount Phillips, that is the most intimidating thing because it will be the highest I have ever been.”

Zach Smith: “Of the events planned, the event that's most intimidating to me is climbing up Mount Phillips, because it's a steep climb up that mountain and it's got the longest hiking length in a day for the days that we're on the trail - 8 1/2 miles.”

Jack Graue: “Probably climbing Mount Phillips and Tooth of Time, it will probably be the most physically demanding tasks while we are out there.”

Blake Hermes: “Day 7 seems like it will be the most intimidating because it has the most hiking at the highest altitude.”

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Leader David Smith: “Probably the day I am looking forward to, and the most intimidating event is the same. I look forward to climbing Mount Phillips and camping up on top at around 11, 700 feet. But I know that will be a big climb that day, and we will go up 2, 500 feet that day and that will be tough for someone from the flat lands of Illinois. But the beauty and the view will be worth it all. I look forward to the beauty and wonder we will see and the pictures I can take.”

No doubt, when this day is done, all 16 members of Troop 102 will feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Though this will be a hard trek, there will also be some great times as the boys will get to visit the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and participate in some activities that relate back to the days of beaver trading in the wild west.

During the camping season, Philmont publishes a weekly newsletter called PhilNews.

In August of 2013, the Rocky Mountain Fur Company was a feature article in their paper.

Extracted from that article:

Isolated from much of Philmont and nestled under the silhouette of Mount Phillips, Clear Creek is set in 1831 and hosts the interpretation of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. “I think the most exciting thing about Clear Creek is you’re really far away from everything,” Camp Director Paul Marsh said. “We have to rely on ourselves to be creative and to make a really good experience for the crews.”

To help offer a good time, Clear Creek has a lot of activities to keep Scouts occupied. “Nobody gets bored because you can do so many different things,” said Program Counselor Scott Felder. “[We have] the .50 caliber black powder rifles, the tomahawk throwing, the lead smelting, the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, talking about the beavers,” said Marsh. “I really enjoy the big variety of program.”

“We open up the shooting range at 8 o’ clock,” Felder said. “Normally we’ll have one or two crews shoot and once they’re done, we’ll come down. After that they’ll come do tomahawks.” Just as much a part of the program are the porch welcomes. “It’s not a porch talk, it’s a porch welcome. We tell them everything about Clear Creek and Rocky Mountain Fur Company,” said Felder. It gives the staff a chance to introduce their interpretive characters and to chat with the Scouts.

Following the porch welcome, crews will often take a tour of the cabin. “We usually show them the finished furs in our cabins because we have a couple tanned hides. We have a couple buffalo hides, bear hide, deer hide, and we just teach them about the hides,” said Felder.

Today's YouTube Video
360 degree view from the top of Mt. Phillips

[Nila Smith]


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