B A L T I M O R E    A R E A    C O U N C I L

W H E N    I S    A    S C O U T

R E A D Y    F O R    P H I L M O N T ?

O c t o b e r    1 3,    1 9 9 8

More and more crews are going to Philmont with younger scouts. There are many reasons for this, but the prime is that the troop may not get another opportunity to hike Philmont again. Therefore, some advisors feel that a bad Philmont experience is better than no Philmont experience at all. In 1998, there were several crews with scouts who had not even begun puberty. Every day was a nightmare for them. To have the ultimate scouting experience, it is important that the scouts have the maturity to be successful.

Below are considerations on whether a scout is ready to have his best Philmont experience.

1. Physically, the scout must be capable of accomplishing the trek and he must be the one who wants to go.

Often parents are the sole motivating reason for a scout attending. When it hails or when in pain with severe blisters, what will sustain the scout is the fact that he he choose to participate.

2. The scout must have demonstrated an ability of being able to take care of his personal affairs (maturity).

The scout must be willing to drink water that has been purified with iodine. The scout has to understand that he must remain hydrated and drinking water that sometimes tastes bad is required for his own health.

The scout must we willing to eat food not for taste but for body fuel. Some of Philmont's food does not taste very good but the scout must understand that he needs to fill up his tank every day.

The scout must be willing to wash himself and clothes regularly to get the salt off his body and clothes otherwise rashes will develop.

The scout must understand that any form of horseplay is not tolerated because if anyone gets hurt, it may be miles before the crew can get help for the injured hiker.

3. The scout must have demonstrated working within a patrol or crew environment either as a leader or follower.

The scout must be willing to do his job correctly without being repeatedly reminded.

The scout must be willing to wake up at reveille and not linger in his sleeping bag.

The main reason for advisors to become involved with doing the in camp work is that the scouts get tired and wait for the advisors to do the work. THIS IS NOT BOY SCOUTING.

4. The scout's parents must have a willingness to cooperate with the advisors for the high adventure.

Parents do not like to discuss a scout's Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disabilities, Attention Deficient Disorders (ADD) or Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD). While mainstreaming may be a goal of our educational institutions, unskilled and uninformed high adventure advisors do not have the training to manage these scouts. Each case needs to be reviewed SEPARATELY with the parents to determine whether the scout and advisor will have successful treks. Be very careful of ADD and ADHD because the scout may have a "sequencing" problem that would make it quite possible for the scout to head toward the latrine and not be able to remember how to return to the campsite. Parents often do not volunteer this type of information and it is the advisor's responsibility to squeeze this information from the parents. The buddy system is absolutely required for scouts with "seequencing" difficulties.

It is the adult in charge who is the sole person who must determine which scout participates and which scout does not.

W. C. Feurtado
Philmont Training Coordinator,
Baltimore Area Council

This Web page is maintained by Selden Ball at Wilson Lab.
Please send any comments or corrections to seb@lns62.lns.cornell.edu