Posts Tagged ‘Philmont’


img_1088Seven Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 had a blast at Philmont Scout Ranch this summer. The local newspaper was notified of the trip and decided that an article was in order. At last night’s troop meeting we received a visit from Herman, the newspaper reporter. He sat down with four of the seven Scouts for about 25-30 minutes. He had quite a few questions to ask, and the Scouts did a pretty good job of answering. It was fun to watch them as memories came back to them during the discussion.

I did not attend the trip to Philmont so I decided to stand behind the table as the interview was being conducted. I have not had the time to sit down with the Scouts myself to talk to them about the adventure so I was anxious to hear what they had to say. I helped Herman by asking a few questions of my own that he might have asked if he had been to Philmont. I was also able to give a few details about the camp itself for which the Scouts did not have answers to give.

When Herman left the meeting it just made me think that I may have to host a Philmont evening to hear their stories about the trip, and see the pictures that were taken. I might even have to make a few pizzas and have some sodas available.

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Philmont75Seven Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 recently participated in a trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. I was there to see them off when they left and wished them a good trip. After I returned home I was in a Philmont mood and noticed I had an email from the Tooth of Time Traders website, which is the place to buy all things Philmont related. ( https://www.toothoftimetraders.com )

I noticed a book was available for the 75th anniversary of the high adventure base. The hardcover book was named A Million Miracles, 75 Years at Philmont Scout Ranch. It was published by Donning Company Publishers, and written by David Mullings. The website says:

   In commemoration of Philmont’s 75th anniversary this book was written to explain Philmont’s Prehistoric History, Cimarron and its Wild West History, Waite Phillips’ Story, 75 Years of Scouting, Philmont Today and Philmont Tomorrow. 
   Within the 120, full color, pages is the history of many years with great photos to document and memorialize those who came before us and helped make Philmont what it is today. A great gift for anyone with Philmont history.

I decided I wanted the book. Instead of ordering it through the website and paying postage, I sent a text message to one of the Troop 68 adult advisors, Dakota, who was on his way to the ranch. He replied that he would pick one up for me.

I stopped by his house yesterday and picked up my book. I am glad I had him pick one up. I have quickly paged through it and noticed it has great photographs from the history of Philmont. I look forward to reading it. It is a great addition to the other Scouting related books I have picked up over the years. Dakota also liked the book and picked one up for himself.

The book can be found online at http://www.toothoftimetraders.com/A-Million-Miracles-75-Years-at-Philmont-Scout-Ranch/-3155101591808044816/Product .

Have any of you read this book? What did you think of it?

Now that the Scouts of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 have left on their trip to Philmont Scouts Ranch I have been thinking about my trips to the ranch, and the DVD I have in my collection known as The Philmont Documentary Collection. It is one of my favorite Scouting DVD’s. I was even able to chat with Larry McLaughlin, the producer and creator of the DVD, during a Leader’s Campfire podcast episode. (More of that interview can be heard at http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=1920 )

Recently, while browsing Facebook, I scrolled across information about another DVD about the ranch. It is a collection of 40 short films created by David E. Carter during the years of 2006-2008. The DVD includes segments on all 36 of Philmont’s backcountry camps, as well as 3 special features.  It was only sold for two years in the Philmont trading post, and has not been available since then. This newly-edited version includes additonal content that has never been seen before. It contains over two hours of video.

It looks like this is a DVD I need to add to my collection. The price of $22 includes shipping. Not a bad price if you ask me. My only wish is that it was filmed in high definition, but alas, it was created before all the new tech was readily available.

More informations can be found on the website at http://www.sanibelfilms.com/philmont-dvd.html

Do you plan to order yourself a copy?

PhilmontLeaving - 5The crew is on the way! The Scouts and advisors of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 left for their trip to Philmont Scout Ranch last night. Everyone seemed to be excited for the trip. They will have a great time. Hopefully, I will be getting a few photos sent to me as they travel that I will be able to share with you.

PTC Trip 2014 - 175Today is the day that seven Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68, along with two adults, head out for the trip of a lifetime. They are going to Philmont Scout Ranch for a ten day backpacking trek in the backcountry of one of Scouting’s favorite locations. They will be driving to the ranch with a stop at Mount Rushmore.

I have been to Philmont seven times, five times on treks and two times for training. I know the Scouts are going to have a great time. In some ways I wish I was going with them but I also realize it is time for others to pick up the mantle and help the new generation learns about the magic of Philmont.

Philmont Gate 2014It is official! Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose is going to Philmont Scout Ranch in the summer of 2016. Our committee chairperson received confirmation of our trek registration last week. Let the planning begin!

It has been a decade since the troop went to the ranch. In 2004, six troop members and three adults went along with the council contingent. Unfortunately, we signed up late and our group was split up to fill out the two crews. It was not the ideal situation but everyone who went had a great time.

The 2016 trek will once again be a troop outing. The council did not reserve a contingent for that summer. This means we, the troop and committee, will have to do all the planning and transportation arrangements which is not a bad thing when you think about it. We will probably drive to New Mexico from Minnesota so we will need to plan the course and overnight stops. A little sight seeing will have to be included. Can you say “road trip!”?

The first time Boy Scouts from Troop 68 attended Philmont was in 1986 when five Scouts and myself partook in a trek. (This was before the two deep leadership rule.) The troop went back in 1989, 1992, 1998, and 2004. We tried to plan a high adventure trip every three years. In 1995 we went to the High Knoll Trail in Virginia. In 2001 we participated in the National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill. The 2004 Philmont trip was the last high adventure outing for Troop 68, until now.

This is not saying that our Scouts have not had opportunities for high adventure. Several individual Scouts did participate in council contingents to Philmont and other National Jamborees over the years.

The troop has a registration for 5 Scouts and two adult leaders in July 2016. I am thinking we may have 6 or 7 Scouts sign up for the trek. We already have two adults and one Scout who will be an adult at that time who have stated they plan to attend. There has been some talk among the committee that we offer any unfilled slots to another local troop to fill out a 12 person crew.

I would like to go back to Philmont with the 2016 crew. I have participated in the previous five treks taken by the troop and enjoyed every one of them. Those five treks may have to be enough for me though. I have been having a little problem with my right knee over the last few months. Walking does not bother me but climbing stairs can be painful at times. Most of the Philmont trails have an easy seven degree incline but there are always the steeper climbs that become more challenging. I will have to see how the next few months turn out before I decide.

Villa Philmonte 2014When you participate in a program at Philmont Scout Ranch, whether a 12 day trek or a training session, you should try to schedule a tour of the summer home of Waite Phillips, known as the Villa Philmonte. The home now serves as the anchor of the Philmont Training Center (PTC) and is only a short walk from the Philmont Base Camp. Tours are scheduled through the Seton Museum and Library.

I first toured the Villa way back in 1984 when I attended scoutmaster training at PTC. I was, and still am, employed as a draftsman at a local lumber yard so I really appreciated the design and details of the home. Whenever I returned to Philmont to partake in treks with Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 though the 1980’s and 1990’s I tried to find time for the Scouts to tour the Villa.

It has been ten years between visits to the ranch. I returned to Philmont for a week in June for an advancement training course at PTC. I went on the trip with Bob, our district executive, who also took the same course. We decided early in the week that we would take a tour of the Villa once again. We scheduled a visit for Tuesday afternoon, the last tour for the day.

I was hoping to see a few items within the home that I had seen back in the 1980’s. Would the carved wooden chest still be located in the living room? Would the model ship still be on display? Would the old piano still be playable after all these years? Are all the animal trophies still to be found in Waite Phillips hunting room? Would the portrait of Waite Phillips still be located in the closet of the lower level? The answer to all of the question was “Yes.”

There was much more to see on this tour than the previous ones I had taken. I believe more of the Villa is open to the tour now then 15 or 20 years ago. It may be that the Philmont staff may have been using these rooms for other purposes during the 80’s and 90’s.

Bob and I were the only two people during our scheduled time for the tour. Our guide did an excellent job. This year we were able to view the three bedrooms of the Phillips children, each of which was triple the size of my bedroom at home. The old cars in the garage were also fun to look at.

My favorite part of the tour was the gun room, located off the hunting trophy room. I do not recall ever seeing this room on any earlier tours. We could not go inside the gun room but we were allowed to look through the barred window in the door. It was awesome seeing the old rustic cabinetry and the various rifles and muskets that were stored in there. I did put my camera through the door window bars and got a couple nice shots of the room.

Fact is, I took a lot of photos during the tour. One hundred and two of them. Back on previous tours I used a film camera and was doing well to get a dozen or so pictures of the tour. Isn’t digital photography wonderful?

The last stop of the tour was a large room which I had never seen before. It was set up as a small museum of Philmont history, almost like an extension of the Seton Museum. You had to enter the room through the exterior courtyard where the swimming pool used to be. It is a definite “must stop” of the tour. There is a lot of information in there.

I will be placing many of the pictures of the tour online in an album on my Flickr account. You can see the album at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevejb68/sets/72157645062415997/

Have you toured the Villa Philmonte at Philmont Scout Ranch? What did you think of it? What were your favorite parts of the tour?

PTC Trip 2014.511When I was at the Philmont Training Center for a week last June, I gave my camera quite a workout. I think I came back with around 900 pictures from the trip. That is a lot, even for me. I remember my first trips to Philmont for 10 day backpacking treks in the 1980’s when I took 150 photographs and thought that was a lot of photos. Just goes to show the difference between film and digital technology I guess.

Almost every night during my stay at PTC I would wonder on over to the Philmont Base Camp and look around, take a look through the trading post, and maybe stop by the snack shop for a bag of popcorn or an ice cream cone. One evening I decided to play with the camera and see what kind of night shots I could take. Would this simple point and shoot Canon camera take good pictures when there was little light? I was going to find out.

I was pretty happy with the pictures. So was Bob, the district executive from our council who also went to PTC that week. I thought it might be fun to share the pictures with you so I posted 14 of them to a Flickr album for you all to view. Check them out and let me know what you think of them. The link can be found at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevejb68/sets/72157645252031607/  .