Troop 77 Scouts trek through New Mexico Wilderness
A crew of teenage Scouts from Chelmsford went on a life changing summer trek through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Philmont covers 214 square miles of vast wilderness with trails that climb from 6,500 feet to as high as 12,441 feet. During their trek, Boy Scouts from Troop 77 with members of Troop 3 from Manchester, hiked 81 miles over 12 days.
Scouts Ryan Carr, Joshua Plunkett, Sean McCartin, Andrew Destrempe, and Jon Olsen with their advisors Eric Olsen, John Plunkett, Bob Destrempe, and Bob Carr carried everything they needed to survive during the trek on their backs while hiking from camp to camp and navigating by compass and map. They participated in backcountry programs along the way including astronomy, black powder shooting, hatchet throwing, spar-pole climbing, horse back riding, and cowboy pistol shooting. Two highlights were climbing the summits of Mt. Baldy (12,441 ft) and the Tooth of Time (9004 ft). The trek also included a conservation project where the Scouts deconstructed an unused trail and learned about the upkeep of Philmont’s ecosystem. Along the trek, Scouts endured tough challenges such as backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, making steep climbs, and enduring afternoon thunderstorms.
The crew made what amounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with their trip to Philmont. Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world serving nearly one million participants since 1938. In addition to their time at Philmont, the trip took them through Old Town Albuquerque, Bandelier National Park, and the Rio Grande Gorge.