Philmont – Day 4

Philmont Scount Ranch - Day 4
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Philmont - Day 4

Crew with NormanIn the morning, we packed up, went to a chuckwagon-style breakfast, and then picked up our burro. On the next leg of our trek, we got to use a burro to help carry some of the load to our next camp. There is a fifty-pound weight limit for how much the burros can carry, which typically is equal to three days of trail meals. And the purpose of the burro is not as much to carry the weight for the boys, but more team building and dealing with the stubborn animal. Our burro was named Norman and he wasn’t much about being helpful, instead, the boys learned to pretty much loathe the animal. The boys pretty much had to coax Norman the entire way.

This leg of the trek really tested the crew as the crew leader was stubborn and did not want to listen to what the navigator had to say and they missed a very important turn just outside of Ponil. So a 6-mile trek turned into more than a 10-mile trek with the crew going a good two miles off course. Since the crew is 100% boy lead, the adults had picked up on the mistake early on and we tried to get the boys to re-evaluate the situation and their location, but the crew was too frustrated with the burro to work together as a team. At one point when the crew stopped for a water break, the three adult leaders did not put our packs back on and left them at the side of the road, knowing we would have to come back this way in order to get back on track. The boys never noticed this and the only thing that got the boys to really pay attention was when a pickup truck drove by and the driver who was one of the camps chaplains stopped and talked to the adults for a good 15-20 minutes, then he loudly (making sure that the boys overheard him) stated that he hasn’t seen donkeys on this road before, which allowed the boys the opportunity to rest and take another look at the map and vote on turning around (with some gentle coaching from the chaplain). It was then that the boys noticed that the adults had ditched our packs and that upset the crew leader as he thought that the adult leaders should have said something to him. We reminded him that it was boy-led and that we tried to recommend that they review the map and figure out where they were at on it.

We finally arrived to drop off our burro late into the day with a group of tired boys, only to learn that we had a few more miles to hike in order to get to Pueblano-staffed camp for the night. All said and done we hiked over 10 miles that day with a 500′ elevation change. The boys were all upset with how they managed this leg of the trek. By the time we got there, our sister crew was about to finish up with their spar pole climbing, and then the climbing would be suspended for the evening.

Pueblano is set in 1914 as a logging camp of the Continental Tie and Lumber Company, Pueblano immerses scouts in the ways of the logger. Their program offers scouts the opportunity to spar-pole climb, as well as teaching them how to use period tools in creating their own hand-hewn railroad ties, which are used at Metcalf Station.

In the evening, the scouts attend the Company Meeting. The Company Meeting is a campfire-style show featuring period songs and stories. Pueblano is also known for its very active “mini bear” population. Mini bear is the name the scouts give the chipmunk population that runs all over the camp.

I chose not to do the spar pole since my hands were already sore and I wanted to save my hand strength for the rest of the trek.

Until Next Week

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