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West Groton’s Troop 1 Boy Scouts 2019 Philmont High Adventure Trip

Troop 1 W. Groton Philmont Crew left to right – Ryan Donaruma, Kevin Prince, Andrew Wilson, Akul Chennakesavan, Kyle Zimmer – Crew Leader, Aidan Prince, Patrick Daly, Jesse Hendershot – Wilderness Pledge Guia, David Zimmer, Norm Boulanger, David Hendershot – Chaplain Aide


This summer Troop 1 of West Groton attended Philmont Scout Ranch High Adventure base in New Mexico. Philmont is a high adventure trip geared towards scouts age 14 or older who have attained the rank of First Class. This trip challenges both the boy’s scouting skills and sense of adventure.
     On July 16th in the wee hours of the morning a crew of eleven – eight scouts and three adults – began their adventure to Philmont Scout Ranch located in the Rocky Mountains of Cimarron, New Mexico. The first few days were spent having fun at Bandelier National Monument and water rafting down the Rio Grande River in order to help get acclimated to the high attitude change.
     On July, July 18 the crew headed to Philmont Scout Ranch for their high adventure backpacking trek. Over the next twelve days 70+ miles of backpacking they saw all that the beautiful backcountry of the Rocky Mountains can offer including, huge fields of wildflowers, numerous kinds of animals and magnificent sunrise and sunset mountain views. The pinnacle highlight of the trek was summiting Mt. Baldy at 12,441 ft. which is the highest peak at Philmont and in the Cimarron Range.
     The trek was especially rewarding to the crew this year after their trip was canceled in 2018 due to the Ute Park Wildfires. The scorched earth from the fires last year were still visible in certain areas of the ranch. In order to help restore and preserve Philmont for the next generation of scouts, each crew that visits takes part in a three- hour trail conservation project. Troop 1 West Groton earlier in the year also donated $250 to help in the efforts to restore five acres of land from the fires.
     After twelve days of backpacking the scouts returned home on July 30th tired and with some great stories to tell. It is important to note that this trip was planned and led by the scouts. The adults were there to guide them and ensure their safety, but once on the trail or on the water, the scouts were in charge. This is part of teaching them leadership and responsibility and to help them build confidence in what they can do.
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