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Every Lead Advisor has the following situations to deal with:

  1. Some of the crew (scouts) want to hike at a faster pace than the rest of the crew (advisors). The faster scouts will want to hike to the next trail intersection and wait for the slower hikers. If the scouts miss the trail intersection, the crew becomes separated, who has to find the missing hikers? The LEAD ADVISOR along with Philmont's PHILSAR (Philmont Search and Rescue). The way to prevent the crew from separating is to not allow it to happen during shakedowns. Tell the crew that if someone stepped on a rattlesnake, they would have to wait for the first aid kit anyway. Parents can relate to that. Allowing faster hikers to hike ahead of the crew does not promote crew camaraderie.

  2. HYPOTHERMIA RISK - When it rains at Philmont, the temperature dips into the 50's and the wind picks up, all the ingredients for hypothermia. If the crew is on the trail during this period, the crew must continue to hike without breaks in order to maintain body heat. While the crew will hike at the slowest hiker's pace, it is each hiker's responsibility to be in shape. If a hiker can not sustain a REASONABLE hiking pace, that hiker poses a real health and safety risk to the rest of the crew. The out of shape hiker must be resolved to intensify his exercise program or not participate with the crew.

  3. MANDATORY TRAINING HIKES - Difficulties experienced on the trail are directly related to those hikers who do not attend the "mandatory" training sessions. Regardless of the reasons, not having crew members participate in training sessions does not help the crew. Since it is almost impossible to have all crew members participate on every shakedown, consider requiring that each hiker attend a portion of the training dates, such as three of four. In addition, clear consequences for not making the required sessions must be clear. The problem is that most of the participants have already paid much of the cost of Philmont and it is really difficult to then state so late that they can not participate. Experienced advisors do not have any difficulties with eliminating untrained crew members because it is only on the skakedowns that out of shape hikers can be detected.

  4. KEY ADMINISTRATIVE DATES - Philmont provides the physical forms in January. Physicals should be required for anyone to participate on any shakedown.

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