By now, some of the boys and adults may be thinking about the end
ahead. They still have some very exciting days ahead of them, but
being on the countdown to heading back to Illinois, some may be
feeling a little homesick. Before they left, the scouts were asked
how they felt about being away from home for a total of 16 days, 12
on the hike.
The boys were asked; “Is this the longest you've been away from your
family and if so, how do you feel about that?”
Here are some of their answers:
Blake Hermes: “No it is not. I think that I will miss my family, but
as long as I am with my friends, that I will be fine.”
Jack Graue: “It will be the longest I’ve been away from there, I
will miss my family and my girlfriend terribly, but I don’t feel
like that that will take away from the experience.”
William Trent: “This isn't the longest I have been from my family,
but I love that they trust me.”
Zachary Craig: “Yes, this is the longest I will be away from my
family. This experience will be so exciting that I hope not to miss
them too much. It will be fun not to have a little sister bothering
me – just kidding – love you Juju.”
Zachary and Juju
Craig with mom Jennifer
On departure day,
Juju was asked how she felt, was she going to miss her big brother?
She shrugged her shoulders and said she didn’t know….maybe. The big
ole’ bear hug she gave him later seemed to indicate it might be a
little more than maybe.
Coming from a relatively small community, one would assume that the
Scouts are all good friends who have known each other for most of
their lives. But they are a diverse group within themselves, and
while they may be attending the same high school, they may have
attended different grades schools. Their interaction with each other
might only be the time they spend together as Scouts.
The Philmont Council and Unit Guide book recognizes and predicts
that as they make their hike, the group, on the whole, will go
through four stages of getting comfortable with one another.
[to top of second column]
Every crew undergoes
a transformation during their trek as they move through the four
stages of group dynamics: forming, storming, norming, and
performing. Some crews move through these stages quicker than
others: just because a crew is at a certain stage does not mean the
crew cannot revert back to a previous stage. The key to anything
relating to group dynamics is communication. Doing Thorns and Roses
every night before bed is a great way to hear everyone out and
discover crew issues to address before they blow up out of control.
Forming – The first stage,
recognizable by excitement and the hidden fears of crew members not knowing what
comes next. Crew members may still be getting to know one another and people
will be hesitant to come out of their shell. The members within a crew should
ask their colleagues basic “get to know you” questions in order to find
similarities and common ground. This is especially true for crews consisting of
youth from multiple home units.
Storming – The second stage, occurring when people begin to come out of their
shell and do not sugar coat any communication as they did in the forming stage.
Different personalities begin to clash and conflict usually arises. For some
crews this stage takes about a half hour to get through, for others it can take
days. The best way to learn from this stage and move on to the norming stage is
through good and honest communication. The basic “get to know you” questions
from the forming stage can be vital to the transformation in this storming stage
because the crew can find similarities amongst themselves and can build off of
that rather than be torn apart by their differences.
Norming – Once the crew gets all the kinks out of the system, they move on to
the norming stage and begin to set the groundwork for the rest of the trek.
Personal goals that may have been chosen earlier in the trek need to be
revisited now that everyone has a clearer picture of what their trek is like.
Once everyone’s personal goals are set, the crew needs to determine crew goals
that meet the expectations of every crew member and how they will work towards
them. It is best to come to a consensus when determining crew goals since people
generally support ideas they helped create.
Performing – All the crew members are comfortable around each other and know
their specific role within the crew. Everyone knows the crew goals and how to
achieve them. Trust is exhibited throughout the crew and efficiency is at its
peak. Constant communication and a servant leadership demeanor are demonstrated
by all members within the crew.
Today, the Scouts will spend time hiking to the Crooked Creek area. They will
pick up their food supply for the next three days at Apache Springs.
They will also enjoy learning about homesteading.
The camp is one of two on
Philmont (Black Mountain being the other) that does not have a road going into
it. Therefore, Crooked Creek is one of the two most rustic and authentic staff
camps. Staff members pack their food in on burros and carry water up from a
spring that is at least a few hundred yards down a hill.
The homesteading program generally consists of historic cabin tours, candle
making, wood splitting with an axe, cross-cut saws, woodworking, horse-shoe
throwing, relaxing in the meadow or on the porch, and homesteader bowling.