B A L T I M O R E A R E A C O U N C I L
T H E L E A D A D V I S O R
O c t o b e r 1 3, 1 9 9 8
Every Lead Advisor has the following situations to deal with:
W. C. Feurtado
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- KEY ADMINISTRATIVE DATES - Philmont provides the physical forms in
January. Physicals should be required for anyone to participate on any
Philmont Training Coordinator
Baltimore Area Council