A Philmont Adventure; Troop 976 (Crew 628-P7),Vienna VA, Spring 2011


I recently returned from my 2nd of 2 BSA High Adventure Camps this July and am eager to share some stories from an adult (volunteer) adviser’s perspective who was very appreciative to be along for the ride.  The first was of our 16 day trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico with a crew of 12 (8 scouts and 4 adults), the second, on the Lenhok’sin Trail at our Council’s Boy Scout Camp in beautiful Goshen, VA, outside of Lexington in the heart of the Blue Ridge with 2 crews of 5 13 year old boys and 4 adults.


As I sift through hundreds of photos its very apparent that to do this story justice will take me several posts over many days.  If you have stumbled on my blog from a search engine looking for Philmont photos, stories and tips; read on! If you are here for the images, that’s cool too.  We encountered many obstacles along the way including snakes and bears.  So surf around and have a look.    Either way I assure you I will make it interesting and will make it worth your stop.  Sometimes I just write based on my memory and sometimes it will be directly from my journal.  I have never been much of a journal keeper.  However, I did this time at the request of my wife, who loves journals, and in the end, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  When you are out in the back country, sometimes there is little to do as you lay in your tent.  Its not like your packing paperbacks and magazines, although some choose to.  EVERYTHING comes down to weight and how much you are willing to carry on a very long journey.

You can re-meet the crew by reading an earlier post about one of our adventurous shakedowns HERE.

Photography Geek Speak:  I greatly enjoy my Canon DSLR equipment and rarely leave home without it.  However this trip called for something much more lightweight so I used a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 recommended to me by fellow photographer Jeff Revell.  It was a fantastic little camera.  What I liked most was its ability to render panoramic photos (great for mountain views) and capture HD video.  I shot primarily jpeg images as I did not want to fool with large RAW files.  As it were, I never burned through my 8 gig card and just barely tapped into my backup battery.


After months of preparation we were flown out of BWI airport in Baltimore Md.  We were one of 7 crews (contingent 628-P7) under the auspices of the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) in Bethesda Md.  For one flat fee, all details of our departure and return were handled by NCAC, including the Philmont Camp fee, air fare, bus transportation, and two days worth of touring and acclimating to the high altitude of Colorado and New Mexico.  Prior to this day were many days of training both classroom and physical so we would know what to expect on the trail.  In the end NCAC did a logistically fantastic job in prepping us for this trip and showing us a good time as you will see.

Arrival at BWI for a 6 AM departure.

All backpacks must be sealed in a plastic bag before being placed on the luggage belt.  Don’t forget to pack your pocket knives or you’ll lose them in security.

Six of our eight at the airport hanging out and killing time. (Kevin, Joe, Danny, Stephen, Zach, David)

Four advisers, the last time we would feel clean for a long time. (Chip, Scott, Joe, me)

Most Excellent Crew Chief: Hugh

Landing at Denver International Airport.

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  • Anita M. - July 26, 2011 - 12:03 PM

    Can’t wait to see your pictures from both adventure camps. We spent 2 weeks in NM, CO, UT and AZ last summer showing the kids the National Parks and visiting family in Alburquerque.

  • Jeanine P. - July 26, 2011 - 12:04 PM

    I will be reading all your blogs about Philmont! I enjoy hearing about peoples treks! I told you already but will say again, I have 2 boys working out there! oldest is at Phillips Junction, youngest is at Cyphers Mine. I think you went to Cyphers Mine! Looking forward to that part of the blog! Love your pictures! I have been trying to learn more about Photography. I will read your tips! Take care Jeannine P.

  • […] If you have stumbled into this blog post from a search engine on Philmont, consider starting at my first post HERE. […]

  • John R - August 7, 2011 - 2:16 PM

    Thanks for posting your journal. Look forward to reading it. Didn’t post one the first time out, but made sure I did the next after I found out how much I enjoy reading them, brings back lots of memories.

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