This is a report from Star Scout Cody Welch on his participation in the Boy Scout program at the Philmont Training Center July 7-12, 2002. Cody grants permission for you to include his report on your web page.
Calvin H. Gray
Scoutmaster, Troop 405
This summer I had a great experience. That great experience was a full week at the Philmont Scout Ranch. I was not hiking 40 miles or riding horseback across Philmont's back country. I was at the Philmont Training Center, or PTC.
Since I'm 12 years old I was in the Boy Scout program. I was with other boys my age from everywhere across the United States. There was my tentmate Sam from Los Angeles. There was Robert from Louisiana; Christen from Illinois; David from Rochester, New York. All total there were 12 scouts and three counselors.
Since my older brother and Dad have been to Philmont several times. I was getting very jealous. The first time my Dad mentioned that he was going to PTC, I thought he was going alone. Then he started telling me about the things I would get to do: things like day hikes, horseback riding, an overnighter, arts and crafts stuff. It sounded like fun.
On Monday, our first day, we played games and went to the Trading Post at Base Camp, which is about ľ of a mile from PTC. After that we went back to PTC and ate lunch. The food was better than all summer camps I've gone to.
Then at about 1:20 p.m. we meet again in the Villa's back lawn to go to the Kit Carson Museum. There we learned about Kit Carson and why the house had two-feet thick walls. We watched the blacksmith and toured every room in the house.
Tuesday our group went on an all day hike. We hiked to Cathedral Rock then on to Window Rock. Thatís where I experienced my first trail lunch. We had beef jerky, gorp, Ritz crackers and chicken in a can, which I did not eat. On the way down, it started to rain but that didn't stop us from hiking. We stopped at Waite Phillips' Hunting Lodge. Then on to the Cimarronito Turnaround for the bus ride back to PTC.
Tuesday was Western Night and we had a cookout on the Villa lawn with sausage, chicken, and buffalo burgers. There were games and a branding station. I got my boots and my walking stick branded.
Wednesday was Family day. Although my step-mom Lisa was sick, it was a pretty fun day. My Dad and I went horseback riding at 7:30 a.m., then to the Philmont Museum, then to Cimarron to go shopping and to take a look at the old jail.
Thursday was an all day hike for our group. We left at 8:20 a.m. and rode the bus to Lovers Leap turn-around. We hiked to Lovers Leap and the counselors told us the story of Lovers Leap. We sat around and talked for 20 minutes and left. We were hiking to Crater Lake when we had to stop and eat lunch on the side of the trail (that was my second trail lunch.) Once we all finished lunch, we hiked on to Crater Lake. We sat around and told jokes for 30-40 minutes and listened to a guy play the banjo. As we left we found a mini bear (that is a squirrel.) We hiked all the way back to the Lover Leap turn-around then to the Stockade for supper and to spend the night. For supper, we had Three Bean Chili. It was pretty good, although some kids wouldn't eat it.
Friday morning, the staff at the Stockade got on the roof and sang a song to wake up everybody. For breakfast we had Wild Blueberry cereal. That stuff is nasty! Once we packed all of our gear and got the water we needed, our group started hiking back to PTC. We passed the Tooth of Time and the Jarjarbinkes rock. It got the name from the director of Star Wars (that is where they got the design for Jarjarbinks.)
Once we got back to PTC, we got to tour the Villa. That house is awesome! The guide told us how Window Rock got its name. She showed us the Master Bedroom, and how the shower has seven shower heads and how the tile was heated when you got out of the shower. The guide also showed us Waite's "giggler" to get all the fat off of him.
Once we got done touring the house, it was time for lunch. This was the first real food we had in 24 hours. After lunch, we meet under the tree in the back yard of the Villa. We got a bus ride to Cattle Headquarters to go horseback riding. I got to ride Jeffers again, the same horse I rode Wednesday with my Dad. There were hills and dried-up streams to ride up and through. The worst part about it was when we had to walk back to PTC. Dalton got sick, so a counselor had to stay with him until a truck came to pick him up. When we got back to the Villa, we played Ultimate Frisbee until we had to go.
Friday night there was a closing campfire at the PTC. All the different groups who attended PTC that week got to do a skit. Our skit was about robbing a bank and being chased by sheriffs. It got a big laugh. The staff skit was eating cereal out of each other's mouth.
The next morning, Saturday, we had to leave to go home. There wasn't much breakfast, but that was okay. As we were getting into the car, there was a little rabbit sitting out side of the road. I finally got a picture of him and we started driving home.
That was my week at Philmont.
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