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Philmont Trek Choices
Going to Philmont this summer? Congratulations!
Your final payment to Philmont is due in less than a month. In just a few weeks, your crew will need to submit trek choices. Of the 35 various treks available, you'll need to decide on your top 5 and hope you get the one you want. Treks are numbered 1 through 35 with 35 being the longest in miles and most strenuous. All treks are long enough to qualify for the 50-Miler award and most offer plenty of program fun - there is no bad
trek itinerary at Philmont.
If you've not had a Philmont crew meeting yet, you'd better get moving!
By now, you should be electing a crew leader and selecting chaplain, guide, and other crew positions. In February, your crew should be meeting to hear about the various Philmont programs, treks, and guidelines, and to gather program and difficulty preferences from each scout. Using Itinerary Selection Tools
from the Boy Scouts, the crew leader and advisor can decide on the top 5 treks that best meet the crew's desires.
Prioritizing your trek itinerary elements should be done by the crew members, not just the advisor. There are many things to consider when choosing your trek. Here are some:
- Dreams - Many scouts see Philmont as the pinnacle of their scouting life. Find out what each crew member expects from Philmont - what they've heard, special attractions they can't miss, concerns they have. Since they'll probably only do it once, it would be great to fulfill as many dreams as possible.
- Experience - A crew of scouts going on their first big backpacking trip might bite off more than they can handle by selecting a higher number trek. Choose a lower number and enjoy the shorter hikes each day.
- Age - Boys develop muscle as they age. Most sixteen and seventeen year old scouts are physically developed so they can do the strenuous treks, if they're in shape. Fourteen year olds may not have the muscle strength and stamina to take on those hard hikes.
- Program - All crew members should have input about what program elements their trek will include. Since there are around 40 different program elements, you can't do them all on a single trek. Prioritizing what each scout wants and then finding the trek that contains most of the highly desired elements can take a lot of work. See this Philmont Programs checklist to see which treks include which programs. You could give this Philmont Program Choices list to every scout to gather personal program priorities. There are some very useful trek selection tools at this page.
- Medical - Every crew has a weakest hiker. That is often an adult, so honestly assess the abilities of everyone in the crew. Review medical forms and use practice hikes to evaluate physical abilities. Choose an easier trek if it better matches your crew.
There are dozens of Philmont resources online that are very useful in learning about Philmont and planning your trek. Some are out of date, but these have good info:
Posted: 15:42 02-04-2013 944
Last day to get an entry in for January's random Boy Scout Trail drawing for three prizes.
Hey, it's a lot easier than a Hot Dog Eating contest! All you have to do is type in your email.
Go to Scout Contest
page to enter.
- $25 Scout Shop gift card
- $50 ClassB.com coupon
- Cobra Braid survival bracelet
Posted: 15:06 01-31-2013 943
Your Opinion on BSA Membership
Influence the decision by sharing your opinion with the national Boy Scouts of America leadership.
There are three ways you can get your opinion to the BSA folks working towards a decision on the national membership policy. As a member of the organization, in this democratic society, it's your responsibility to participate in the decision-making process. The BSA has set up these avenues for you to get your opinion to them - di it in the next couple days if you want it to count.
- Email -NationalSupportCenter@Scouting.org
- Phone - call (972) 580-2000
- Web Form - complete the form at BSA Contact Us
Posted: 14:52 01-30-2013 942
BSA Membership Discussion
See BSA Media Statement
Boy Scouts of America
Monday, Jan. 28, 2013
Attributable to: Deron Smith, Director of Public Relations
For more than 100 years, Scouting's focus has been on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.
Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.
The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs.
Posted: 17:23 01-28-2013 941
Weather Hazard Training
My biggest concern about bad weather when leading an outing is lightning. Everything else takes time to build, or is avoidable, but lightning is common, unpredicatable, and deadly. So, I keep a thought towards lightning when hiking, choosing a campsite, and scheduling activities.
You should begin to prepare for outdoor adventures by completing the online BSA Weather Hazards training. It takes about 45 minutes to go through the ten sections and print your certificate.
This training is a quick overview of potential weather dangers you may encounter on outings. Extending your knowledge about hazards in your area would be a good next step.
The training starts with a set of questions which is a good way to review what you already know. This is followed by ten sections, each with pictures and narrated text about the weather hazard and then some review questions or activities to check your understanding.
The sections covered are:
- Cold Weather
- Hot Weather
- Flash Floods
- Weather Signs
A complete tour plan requires someone currently certified in Weather Hazard training. Now, before your spring outings, is a great time to have everyone complete this training at MyScouting.org
It might be a fun training topic at a troop meeting for all the scouts, or a crew meeting for the guys heading out on a High Adventure this summer.
The Weather merit badge pamphlet is another good resource for learning more about reading weather signs and anticipating adverse weather conditions on your treks.
Posted: 11:21 01-28-2013 940
Top 10 Bandana Uses
have a bandana along in the wild. I can't think of a more versatile item to have in my pack. It takes little room, weighs nearly nothing, and can be used over and over for many different tasks.
On my 2nd day hiking through Arizona, I used it to keep my face warm from the blowing snow - that was a surprise! Here's 10 uses, plus a couple dozen more - you may not want to use your bandana for the tasks in the order listed. :-)
Leave a comment if you have more ideas to share!
- Keep dust out of your mouth
- Warm air before breathing it in
- Bind a wound
- Filter debris from water
- Wipe off sweat
- Wash yourself
- Soak and wrap around your neck to cool off
- Protect your head from the sun
- Strain food bits from waste water
- Emergency toilet paper
- Collect pop-tart or ramen noodle crumbs when you open the package
- Blow your nose
- Wipe your eyes
- Dry your feet after crossing a stream
- Signal a rescuing airplane, helicoptor, or boat
- Fix broken tent pole
- Hold up your pants
- Hide your identity
- Keep your ears warm
- Ultra-light pack
- Replacement kite tail
- Capture the Flag flag
- Parachute for nut-n-bolt soldier (untold hours of fun as a kid)
- Plug a leak
- Open a tight lid
- Hot pot holder
- Dish rag
- Practice knot tying
- Sling for broken arm
- Binding for splint
- Hand warmer
- Hat band
- Leg gaiters
- Molotov cocktail fuse
Posted: 19:24 01-24-2013 939
Scout Sunday - Feb. 3
Scout Sunday is sneaking up quick this year. It is the Sunday on or before Feb. 8 and that comes earlier in 2013. If you've not gotten to it yet, you're right down to the last chance to start planning how the Scouts can participate in your church's observance.
Individual congregations can hold their Scout Sunday on some other date in February if the pastor feels that would better fit their schedule.
There is a nice set of Resources
for a service on scouting.org which might be helpful.
Scout Sunday is a great opportunity for your congregation to touch base with the Scouting community. Scouts helping with the service by ushering, reading, or praying are all ways to show the impact of Scouting on the youth of the church.
Posted: 17:21 01-22-2013 938
New Year - New Giveaways
Don, John, and Denise won prizes in the monthly Boy Scout Trail giveaway yesterday. You can enter for this month on my Contest page
Scouting magazine is having a giveaway this month also. One winner will get a two-person REI Cirque ASL 2 tent, a Kelty Mistral Minus-20 sleeping bag, and a Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol sleeping pad.
Click this Scouting Contest
link to enter. Bookmark the link and enter every day to increase your entries.
Posted: 10:59 01-03-2013 937
If you're wondering if there's anything you can do to help folks in Newtown, even though you're hundreds or thousands of miles away, there are many opportunities to support them. Here's one...
Two of the slain children were Tiger Cubs in Pack 170. The Connecticut Yankee Council has set up a fund to support their families and your financial contributions, as well as cards and letters, are welcome.
Before you contribute to anyone, please check that your support will be legitimately used. See ctyankee.org
for the address and instructions for this fund.
Some other funds you might check out, but I have not investigated:Doing SOMETHING is better than wondering what to do.
Posted: 14:04 12-17-2012 935
Once In a Lifetime
Lots of folks say a trip to Philmont is a once in a lifetime
trek. Well, I've been there twice and I hope to go again, so that's a bit of a stretch. But, there are some things that really are
once in any lifetime.
For example, tomorrow at a little after noon, there will be six 12s on your digital watch - that won't happen again for 1,000 years. As a matter of fact, the next time a similar time and date will happen is about 100 years away, on 01:01:01 01/01/2101
So what? Well, tons of people are having weddings tomorrow and other special events. Other than that, not much will happen. But, it's pretty cool to notice that you were alive on this special date.
It's a great time for your gang of scouts to make a time capsule to be opened by the guys 100 years from now. Or, just a scoutmaster minute about how every day is a special gift to be used and not squandered, regardless of how interesting the date is.
Posted: 16:24 12-11-2012 933
2013 High Adventure Training
Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, the Summit - big places with big adventure for scouts! Whether you're going to a national high adventure base or rolling your own exciting adventure, training in Wilderness and Remote First Aid is either required or highly encouraged
. Any troop, crew, or pack that goes into the outdoors would benefit from the skills and knowledge found in the WRFA training - not just wilderness backpacking trips.
Troops going to the 2013 National Jamboree are not required to have certified WRFA leaders, but Philmont, Sea Base, and Northern Tier all require at least
one currently certified person per crew. If you haven't gotten the required training taken care of for next summer, don't wait much longer to arrange it. The Red Cross WRFA training covers a wide range of injuries and ailments, and it's pretty fun - just a long weekend.
I just presented WRFA this past weekend yet again. But, this time, it wasn't for Scouting folks. The University of Minnesota has an Engineers Without Borders
chapter and they are going to Uganda in January. They will work to set up a clean water system for the people living there. Since it's such a remote location, they wanted to be a bit prepared first. Some of them are also heading to Guatemala in the spring.
I enjoyed spending my weekend with 10 young engineers and helping them prepare to make life a bit better for strangers on the other side of the world.
Posted: 17:34 11-20-2012 932
Scouts Helping Scouts
"No one has ever become poor by giving." - Anne Frank
"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up." - John Holmes
Hurricane Sandy, and the storm that followed, brought severe damage to people, places, and things across the Northeast Region. In an effort to help, the Leadership Team of the Northeast Region OA has set a goal to raise at least $20,000 that will be awarded to OA Lodges in the Northeast to help complete projects at their council camps to clean up and rebuild after the storm.
The NE Region OA Leadership Team would like folks (that's you
) to purchase this patch for $10. 100% of the funds raised goes directly towards helping council camps since the OA paid for production of the patches.
Just fill out this form
and send it with a check for a patch, or a dozen patches.
I'm not saying they'd make good Christmas gifts, but presenting them to the newest OA members in your troop at a troop meeting while explaining what they mean might be a pretty good object lesson showing what being in the OA is all about. Hey, it might make a good Scoutmaster Minute.
I've sawed trees and fixed up local council camps quite a few times as an OA member. This is a way to virtually do a little arduous labor
to help Scouts far away.
Posted: 22:52 11-15-2012 931
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