Philmont Scout Ranch is a magical place. Just anyone who has been there. Most people want to go back again and enjoy the experience a second and third time. I have been lucky enough to participate on a Philmont trek five times with the Boy Scouts of Troop 68. Someday I may try a sixth trek.
Many of the camps through-out Philmont are staffed These staffed camps include programs for the campers. Themes include Indian Lore, gold mining, rock climbing, and the life of a mountain man. If you attend Philmont you need to be sure to include these programs in your stay. They are both informative and a lot of fun.
There are also many campsites through Philmont that are staffless and without any programs. These camps offer the crew a chance to kick back, relax, and really enjoy the wilderness of Philmont. Of course, boys being boys, they only kick back for so long before starting to look for something to keep themselves busy. Exploration of the nearby territory will keep them busy for a little while. I would also suggest you bring a few games to play.
Keep in mind that you will be carrying these game materials with you from campsite to campsite so a few things must be considered when choosing games. The game should be simple, lightweight, and limited in the number of pieces. After all, you will be carrying it on your back for ten days in a pack with a limited amount of room. Philmont games should not be electronic. You do not want to carry the weight of extra batteries in your back, or disrupt the relaxing songs of birds with the sounds of Mario racing through the next level.
My first suggestion for a Philmont game is a deck of cards. Cards are lightweight, small, and can be used to play many different games. You can play cards by yourself, with a friend, or with the crew. Cards can be played outside during a nice sunny day, or in the tent during an afternoon shower. A few decks of cards can keep a whole crew busy for hours.
My second suggestion is to bring a flying disc or two along, otherwise known as a frisbee. Simple catch is the most common game with the firsbee, of course. Crews can also play team games such as 500 or Ultimate. I have seen two crews playing each other in Tip and having a lot of fun competing against each other.
Hacky sack has been a very popular game during the last trips I have taken to Philmont. The bean filled sack is very small, and very lightweight. It can be played with two people or the whole crew. I have even seen Scouts play hacky still wearing their packs during a rest stop. I have discovered that most adults are not very good at this game, myself included.
Well, there you have it, three games small in size and weight that are great for a Philmont trek. Any of these can provide hours of entertainment for a bored crew. Of course, if you have been to Philmont you probably already know about these games. If you are a first timer be sure to bring them.
What other games has your crew played at Philmont?