Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Scouts enjoy high-altitude summer adventure

By the Scouts of Troop 66

The perennial question as everyone returns to school is, “What did you do during your summer vacation?”

Well, if you were part of a group from Davis’ Boy Scout Troop 66, the answer isn’t the same old boring things. It’s, “We went to Philmont!”

Philmont Scout Ranch, in the Sangre Cristo Mountain range near Cimarron, N.M., is known simply as “The Ranch” and is one of four Boy Scouts of America national High Adventure camps.

Waite Phillips, an early conservationist and avid outdoorsman, firmly believed that, “Nothing worthwhile was ever accomplished without the vision to start, the enthusiasm to continue, and regardless of temporary obstacles, the persistence to complete.”

The 137,493 acres of wilderness establishing Philmont in 1938 were a gift from him.

The visitors from Troop 66 were divided into two crews of five Scouts, each with a crew leader and two adult advisers. They hiked more than 70 miles in 10 days at elevations ranging from 6,500 feet to over 12,000 feet, carrying 50-pound backpacks with all of their water and equipment.

A typical day for the Scouts would include waking up at 4:30 a.m., packing up their tents and belongings, hitting the trail at 6 a.m., arriving in a location and setting up camp in the afternoon.

Camp set-up had to be done quickly to escape getting wet from the afternoon thunderstorms that occurred nearly every day.

But the Philmont experience is more than just hiking in the backcountry, as many of backcountry camps at The Ranch have interpretative programs staffed by college-aged Scouts who dress and live as the early settlers did.

Camp programs included learning about 18th-century settlers and Kit Carson, as well as French fur trappers and traders, cattle ranchers, gold miners and loggers who helped build the railroad.

The Scouts learned about hatchet throwing, how to use 18th-century logging tools, gold mining, how to mountain climb (using modern gear), climbing 50-foot-tall trees (spar-poles) with belts and spurs, horseback riding, blackpowder rifle shooting, cattle roping, western handgun shooting and branding.

In addition to these interpretive programs, Philmont stresses “Leave No Trace (LNT)” principles. Throughout the trek, the crews undergo extensive training and monitoring in LNT techniques by backcountry staff.

“We practice isolated, high-impact, Leave No Traces principles to preserve the land and protect the wild creatures who make this area their home,” said Ranger Sam Ferdon.

Ferdon also noted that, “At any time, Philmont will have nearly 7,000 people hiking in the backcountry.

“Over the course of the 10 weeks of summer operations, The Ranch will host over 23,000 Scouters, making it the seventh largest city in the state of New Mexico.”

The Leave No Trace principles followed by the Troop 66 crews and others allows Philmont’s wild inhabitants, including black bears, elk, white- and black-tailed deer, mountain lions, several varieties of trout, wild turkey and guinea, and many different bird varieties to be protected from both hunting and pollution brought in by human interaction.

Another important Scouting ethic put into action at Philmont is service to the community. Troop 66 crews took part in backcountry conservation projects during their trip, with one crew helping reconstruct a hiking trail and the other removing non-native plants from a backcountry meadow.

Every crew attending The Ranch participates in a minimum of three hour-long service projects. This helps preserve Philmont for future generations.

All of these things help make up the Philmont experience, but the daily experiences are what make special memories. One of the crews learned how to care for and hike with a burro for several days.

“We named him Lupe and he acted like a big, fuzzy dog,” said crew leader Tommy Slabaugh. “Even though he pushed several of us off the trail, he was very well-tempered and a great trail companion.”

After the arduous climb to the top of Mount Baldy (12,441 feet in elevation), the views made up for the effort.

“The vistas were amazing,” said crew leader Andy Schmidl. “You could see into Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas from the top of Mount Baldy.”

Schmidl’s crew included Matt Grabert, Nick Grabert, Andrew Davis and Ryan Bruch as well as advisers Kurt Schmidl and Bill Grabert.
Tommy Slabaugh’s crew included Tom Thornton, Kevin Krupa, Eric Pytel, Josh Gieschen and advisers Michael Thornton and Tom Slabaugh.

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

UCD admits record number; 4,284 from abroad

By Cory Golden | From Page: A1

 
Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

 
Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

 
Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

 
Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

 
Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8