A crew of teenage Boy Scouts and their leaders from Troop 775 in Cuba City and two Scouts from Troop 84 in Platteville completed a summer trek through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M.
The Scouts left Cuba City July 27 and returned Aug. 10.
Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure camp and the largest camp in the world, serving nearly 1 million participants since 1938.
Philmont encompasses 214 square miles of wilderness in northeast New Mexico. During their 12-day trek, members of Boy Scout troops 775 and 84 hiked more than 70 miles. The highest peak climbed was Baldy Mountain at 12,441 feet. Climbing to the summit was part of a 12-mile hike on that day.
The Scouts and advisors carried on their backs everything they needed to survive during the trek while hiking from camp to camp. Gear and supplies included tents, clothing, stoves, water, food and sleeping bags. Every three to five days they received food supplies, including power bars, jerky, trail mix, Gatorade packets and dehydrated food.
The Scouts participated in backcountry programs along the way. Among the activities were rock climbing, mountain sunrises, shot gun shooting and exploring an ore mine and blacksmithing. The troops participated in a burro race and by the end of the race were laughing and smiling from ear to ear. The trek also included a conservation project in which the Scouts learned and participated in the upkeep of Philmont trails. Along the trek, Scouts endured tough challenges, including backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, discovering a rattlesnake on the trail, steep climbs, an afternoon thunderstorm while on a mountain ridge and a hail storm that netted over an inch of hail on the ground.
The highlight for the Scouts was the daily challenges that made each one challenge themselves and the challenges that made everyone come together as a group to solve.