Philmont – 8 Months and closing

We had our first Philmont prep meeting last night.  We had a good trunout for the meeting.  We still have some open slots to fill for the trek, but it’s looking good.   We got the dreded medical forms last night… this is where you have to list your weight.  I need to wailt a bit so I can get down to my "Trial Weight" of 233.  I’d really like to get it under that ideally so that I’ve got some breathing room.  I’ve signed (along with Anna) to get the Wilderness First Aid Training.  We are required to have a certian number of the participents trained.  I figured as much as we are out camping, it could not hurt to have it.

We were talking about the "Pre-Trip" from August 8th to the 10th.  They are going to Pikes Peak, The Garden of the Gods, the Olympic Training Center, and a couple of other places before we head out to Philmont.  This will help us get adjusted to the altitude before we start hiking. 

Our first shakedown will be in March or April with a follow up in June.

I’m really looking foward to the trip!


Good “Basic Essentials” Books

I bought a couple of books from the Basic Essentials Series (Map & Compass and Wilderness First Aid) a week or so ago in preparation for our upcoming Mystery Camp.  I’ve been doing some reading in both books when I have some free time and found them both to be very good.  They lay thing out in an easy to understand way that you can assist you (or me in this case) for teaching and getting the points across.

I was so impressed that I ordered the two more of the books today (Women in the Outdoors and Backpacking) for my daughter.  They are both written by women and appear like they might be an excellent reference source for her.  I know that with our Philmont trip coming up in August, she has a lot of apprehension about certain things….. and I really can’t help her out with the answers to those questions.  I’m hoping that these two books might give her a female perspective and help answer some of those questions.  Only time will tell on that one.

Getting Ready

Well it’s been a "week in preperation" so to say… we went up to Ski Roundtop to finish up preperations for the Klondike for our distirct (We are the sponsoring troop this year).  We will be seting up camping areas in and around the paintball areas near the pond.  I think that the event will be pretty cool.  All we really need is some snow and we are set.

The other item that has been slowly working is the "Troop Mystery Camp" that the Venture Crew plans for March.  I was able to get the camp sites reserved so that part of the camp is now set.  Sunday night I set up the initial items for the camp:

  1. Set of directions to Camp Hedquaters Building.
  2. Set of Bearings from Headquaters Building to general area of Camp (a Heading to it)
  3. Distance to be used to find the general area on that heading.
  4. List of "To Do Items" that need to be accomplished once they find their campsite.
  5. Invitation to a "Cracker Barrel" or late night snack.

Normally, we tell the troop where they are going when the arrive to depart for the trip.  This time, we are planning on leaving before the troop to setup parts of the camp.  We will leave each patrol and envalope, a camp orientering map, and a list of items to be complted / answered for the cracker barrel.

The idea is that each patrol would find it’s information in the color coded tube.  They will need to compute how to get to their campsite given the information provided in the envalope.  Each campsite will have a colored flag at the entrince to designate where that group is camping (it will match the color of their map tube… but they will need to put that detail together at the camp.

They can choose to solve some of the questions prior to departure, enroute to camp, or after they have arrived.  Some of the things are map reading questions.  What is the change in elevation between conture lines, locating major features on the map using some map symbols, determinging drection back to a campsite based on intercetion of trais (using a heading).  These are all things that that they will use when on the trail the following day.  They will also need to post their duty roster, camp roster, setup an axe yard, and repostion their color flag to a prominant location in their camp using a lashing.

Then they can come and enjoy a cracker barrel provided by the crew.  I think that this will be pretty fun.  We’ll have a bunch of hot chocolate and snacks as well as a "HUGE" Campfire for the evening.  The next day they will go on a five mile hike in the woods and put some things that they’ve learned into pratice.

The guys are now planning classes now for February and March to teach the needed skills for this campout.

Campout Last Weekend


The Venture Crew did our last tune up Campout before the our Mystery Camp in March.  We had a good time… however, we really did not need to be in a cabin.  We usually do a cabin camp in the winter to give us a break from the cold; however, we had overnight tempatures in the 50’s last weekend.  It is very usually for PA to have that kind of warm weather this time of year.  In fact our son, Oklahoma State University, has had more snow than us this year.   

At any rate… we walked down to the dam after breakfast and the kids had some fun with "Mr. and Mrs. Man".  They had a GI Joe and a Barbie that they were dropping from the bridge over the dam into the dam tailwaters and then picking them up down stream after they "shot the rapids".  It was amusing for 45 min or so…. then we started out on our hike.

We did a five mile hike and picked out all the spots for the "Scout Skills" activity stations along the trail.   There were six stream crossings during the hike… I managed to slip on some rocks crossing the first stream and bust my knees up pretty good.  They were a nice shade of purple the next day… they are more yellow today and I’m not quite as stiff three days afterwards.  But, then I guess it’s all part of the "adventure" that you sign up for on some of these events.  The hike was good otherwise.  It sprinkled on us off an on during the hike but the scenery was absolutely beautiful.   I always enjoy a hike when I can make it at my own pace.

After the hike, we checked out some campsites that the camp staff had recommended on our previous trip.  I was not too thrilled with the sites.  While they would do, they were not really conducive to the event that we want to run.  We went back to the cabin and cooked up some cheese sandwiches and some soup and then just died for a couple of hours (at least the adults did… kids seem to have the boundless energy that lets them keep going).   I sat down on my bunk and was gone for about three hours… fast asleep in no time.  When I got up, I started to get dinner ready.  We did spaghetti with meat sauce and home made garlic bread with a saild.   A good meal after a day out hiking about the woods.

The following morning after breakfast, we went back up to the other side of camp and scoped out some ore camp sites.  We found some sites for a "Plan A" and sites for "Plan B".  I’ve called and was able to secure the sites for Plan A.  We got three sites one for each patrol. 

New Year

The new year is going well so far…. I’ve been trying to walk more frequently and watch what I eat.  I got a pedometer for Christmas, so that’s been a good way tro keep track of how many "steps" that I"ve taken.  Last weekend, we walked about 5 miles (12,000 + Steps).  During the week, I’m probably averaging about 2,500 steps a day.   Today we got another 10,000 steps in and took a short walk on the NCR Rail Trial… Lots of beautiful waterfalls!