Before departing from Lincoln, the 16 members going on the hike
were divided into two groups or crews.
According to the Philmont Guide Book, each crew may have no more
than 12 members, and no less than seven. Because there are 16
members in Troop 102, the group was divided into two crews of eight.
Philmont’s guidebook also states that the camp will send out only
two crews per day for each itinerary. The two crews of Troop 102 are
on the same itinerary, and will go out together. According to the
book, each crew is to act independently, but at the same time, they
will be able to hike together.
Philmont rules for a crew require that the majority of the crew be
youth, with no more than four adult leaders participating.
Each crew, before leaving Lincoln was assigned a Crew Leader, who
must be one of the scouts. The Crew Leader will play an important
role in the trip, and will have the support of the adult leaders,
which in the crew are referred to as Adult Advisors.
According to the guide book, the responsibilities of the Crew Leader
shall be as follows:
The Crew Leader gives
leadership to the crew he/she is responsible for:
ideas with the entire crew to arrive at a consensus before
the crew, assigning duties and making decisions.
routes during the trek based upon the capability of the crew.
- Setting up
and breaking camp.
- Checking that
all “smellables” are properly stored and that all wildlife
procedures are followed.
- Making sure
the Philmont Wilderness Pledge is being upheld and that every
campsite, fire pit, and dish water sump is left clean.
- Guiding the
crew in a conservation project.
the Chaplain Aid and Wilderness Pledge Guia as they carry out
Advisor must support the Crew Leader and is responsible for:
transportation, overnight stops, and meals en route to and
the safety and well-being of everyone in the crew,
Addressing crew conflicts that may require appropriate
as a counselor and coach and giving appropriate guidance to
the Crew Leader.
The guide book also states:
should be used in selecting a Crew Leader as this person
will have an awesome responsibility. The Crew Leader must
have earned the respect of the crew members and adult
For Troop 102, the two crews are Crew Burton and Crew
The members of Crew Burton, left to right, are Jack Graue,
Zach Smith, Dr. Steve Kottemann, David Smith, Chris Graue,
Elijah Burton, William Trent, and David Papach. This crew
has three adult advisors and five Scouts.
The members of Crew McCraith are Tim McCraith, Carter
McCraith, Caleb Jackson, Evan Derrick, Edmund Robison,
Carter Robison, Blake Hermes, and Zachary Craig. This crew
has two adult advisors and six scouts.
For Crew McCraith;
Carter McCraith is the Crew Leader. Carter is an Eagle
Scout, and he has been on the Philmont Trek before. In
addition, last year he worked several weeks at a scouting
summer camp. On Carter’s Crew will be his dad, Tim McCraith,
serving as an adult advisor. Tim McCraith is also making his
second trek to Philmont. Between the two, this will give the
rest of the crew members a resource for what to expect, and
what they are heading into each day.
[to top of second column]
For Crew Burton, Elijah Burton will be the Crew
Leader. This is a role that Elijah is taking very seriously. In the
questions and answers the boys participated in before leaving
Lincoln, they were asked what event on their hike they find the most
intimidating. For Burton, his concern was not about what he would
encounter on the trip, but rather how he would perform as a leader.
He said he wanted to be good at his job, and worthy of the position.
“I am nervous about performing excellently as a crew leader. I want
to do a really go job,” Burton said.
On Crew Burton, Chris Graue, David Smith, and Dr. Kotteman will be
the adult advisors. Graue is taking the Philmont hike for the third
time, and as in team McCraith, will have experience and knowledge of
the hike that will be an asset to Elijah and the entire crew as they
make this 12-day journey.
Today, the boys will leave the base camp and hike a total of two
miles. In comparison to the balance of the trip, this will be a
light hiking day.
The boys will begin their day at the base camp. They will make
preparations to leave camp, including making sure they have their
equipment ready and collecting their food supply for the next few
days. Along their hike they will have additional opportunities to
collect food on day six and day nine.
On Friday, they would have made sure that they had everything
required in their backpacks and would have been able to purchase
missing items at Philmont. Among the required items in their
backpacks, each Scout must have a specific supply of clothing
including thermal clothing for the cooler weather at higher
altitudes. They must also have a cold weather sleeping bag, as the
night time temperatures drop drastically in the mountains. Important
tools that they must carry will include a compass, flashlight or
head lamp, pocket knife, water bottle, and eating utensils. To see a
complete list of what the boys will have in their packs
view this Pdf.
At the camp, they will be assigned additional equipment by Philmont,
including tents, a cooking pot, water purifier tablets, trash bags
and toilet paper, and Bear Bags. The Bear Bags are used to hang
“smellables” while in the campsite. The boys will see a great deal
of wildlife, including the possibility of bears while on their hike.
To protect the camp from the hungry scavengers, the bags will be
filled with items that emit a tasty odor that would attract the
bears. The bags, ideally, will make it at the least difficult, for
the bears to raid the camp and make off with food. They are hung
from a high tree branch, away from the trunk of the tree. While they
are helpful, they are not completely bear proof. One video on the
use of the bags stated that crafty bears will still find a way if
they are determined enough.
The Scouts will also carry a camp stove and fuel. On the Philmont
website this video demonstrates how the Scouts will prepare their
On their hike today, the crews will begin to see the beauty of the
Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Their first big event will be the hike
over Lover’s Leap, a low peak with an elevation of only 7,450 feet.
While this is 7,000 feet higher than most of these boys have ever
been, it is only the beginning, as the hike will eventually take the
boys to elevations exceeding 11,000.
To get an idea of what the boys will experience today, take a look
at this YouTube video from Lover’s Leap