EDMOND — Troop 479 from Edmond backpacked the mountains of northeastern New Mexico at Philmont Scout Ranch over 12 days in June.
The troop’s 12-member high adventure team consisted of Caleb Baker, Josh Griffin, Roady Hollingsworth, Jonathan Jossell, Jackson Moore, Nathan Moore (crew leader), Dillan Randle and Jonathan Wyckoff. Advisors were Ray Baker, Patrick Hollingsworth, Lewis Moore and Mark Wyckoff.
The trek required the Scouts to prepare and choose gear, navigate, bushwhack the first three days and carry all gear, food and water for dry camps. The crew hiked more than 79 miles, climbed several peaks, learned about gold mining and blacksmithing, shot black powder rifles and shotguns, threw tomahawks in competition, raced burros, observed rattlesnakes in their environment, made fishing flies, fished the Rayado River and threw down at the Cypher’s Mine “stomp” where staff members perform and conduct operations in early 1900s period apparel and customs.
The trek challenged their leadership, physical capabilities and resourcefulness.
In the year leading up to the trek, they worked on backpacking and hiking merit badges and refreshed their CPR and wilderness first aid skills. Many miles of walking, jogging and hiking were done to prepare. Multiple gear “shake-downs” were conducted for size, fit, quality, weight and function.
The team worked well together, making the 10-17-mile hiking days go smoothly. Sleeping came easy even without showers and Scouts were able to rinse clothes using 2-gallon zip-close bags.
Philmont Scout Ranch, a high adventure base near Cimarron, N.M., exists because of the generosity of an Oklahoma oilman, Waite Phillips, of Tulsa, who donated much of the 215 square miles to the Boy Scouts of America.
Boy Scout and Adventure crews consisting of boys and girls from across the United States and beyond come to Philmont for the challenge and adventure.
Lewis Moore is assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 479 and the father of Jackson and Nathan Moore.