Philmont Trek Choices
Going to Philmont this summer? Congratulations!
Your final payment to Philmont is due in less than a month. In just a few weeks, your crew will need to submit trek choices. Of the 35 various treks available, you'll need to decide on your top 5 and hope you get the one you want. Treks are numbered 1 through 35 with 35 being the longest in miles and most strenuous. All treks are long enough to qualify for the 50-Miler award and most offer plenty of program fun - there is no bad trek itinerary at Philmont.
If you've not had a Philmont crew meeting yet, you'd better get moving!
By now, you should be electing a crew leader and selecting chaplain, guide, and other crew positions. In February, your crew should be meeting to hear about the various Philmont programs, treks, and guidelines, and to gather program and difficulty preferences from each scout. Using Itinerary Selection Tools from the Boy Scouts, the crew leader and advisor can decide on the top 5 treks that best meet the crew's desires.
Prioritizing your trek itinerary elements should be done by the crew members, not just the advisor. There are many things to consider when choosing your trek. Here are some:
- Dreams - Many scouts see Philmont as the pinnacle of their scouting life. Find out what each crew member expects from Philmont - what they've heard, special attractions they can't miss, concerns they have. Since they'll probably only do it once, it would be great to fulfill as many dreams as possible.
- Experience - A crew of scouts going on their first big backpacking trip might bite off more than they can handle by selecting a higher number trek. Choose a lower number and enjoy the shorter hikes each day.
- Age - Boys develop muscle as they age. Most sixteen and seventeen year old scouts are physically developed so they can do the strenuous treks, if they're in shape. Fourteen year olds may not have the muscle strength and stamina to take on those hard hikes.
- Program - All crew members should have input about what program elements their trek will include. Since there are around 40 different program elements, you can't do them all on a single trek. Prioritizing what each scout wants and then finding the trek that contains most of the highly desired elements can take a lot of work. See this Philmont Programs checklist to see which treks include which programs. You could give this Philmont Program Choices list to every scout to gather personal program priorities. There are some very useful trek selection tools at this page.
- Medical - Every crew has a weakest hiker. That is often an adult, so honestly assess the abilities of everyone in the crew. Review medical forms and use practice hikes to evaluate physical abilities. Choose an easier trek if it better matches your crew.
There are dozens of Philmont resources online that are very useful in learning about Philmont and planning your trek. Some are out of date, but these have good info:
Posted: 15:42 02-04-2013 944
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