Women at Philmont

Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 10:06:22 -0700
From: CoopWright@aol.com

Thanks for asking some questions. The Philmont Advisor's Guide has been updated twice since the 1998 and is available for those folks who are interested. E-mail me for the particulars.

Last year I took a co-ed crew to Philmont and had a wonderful experience. It was a much more social crew than my last crews; lots of talking on the trail and in camp, lots of brother-sister pranks, and an awful lot of support for one another. Let me try and respond to the areas cited by John.

Women at Philmont. We saw a general acceptance of women, both on staff and in crews at Philmont. Of course there will always be someone that can't understand why women are in Scouting in the first place, let alone Philmont, but the looks and jokes that I saw several years ago are gone.

Blisters. The section on blisters has stayed pretty much the same. Blisters are preventable if each crew member knows that it is ok to stop if they feel a hot spot coming on. Also, lots of time in your boots ahead of your trek breaks your foot in!

Latrines. There are still some open air latrines at Philmont. I don't think they will ever go away. Trying to build permanent structures at some of the more isolated trail camps would be impossible. We just had our crew go to the latrine in pairs; one to use the latrine and the other to let other folks know that it was occupied. On the trail during rest breaks, it was guys to the rear, gals to the front. We had absolutely no problems.

Washing Up. Again, this was no big deal. Shower houses have separate times for male youth, male adults, female youth and female adults. When we were at a camp without showers, we would still wash up after camp was set up. Guys simply wore their hiking shorts and gals wore their sports bras and hiking shorts when they washed. Again, lots of chatter going on. I think this group of young adults respected each other.

Clear and copious. Dehydration still takes more people off the trail than any other Philmont injury or sickness. Each morning our crew leader would have the crew camel up before leaving camp. If someone needed a pee break, the crew stopped and everyone headed in the right direction. Again it was no problem. One funny incident. As we were climbing up to Schafer's Pass, we took a pee break. Our crew typically pees right on the trail, since that section of ground has already been sacrificed to allow us to be in the backcountry. Of course the gals went to the front and the guys went to the back. Now the trail up Schafers is pretty sandy, so after the crew got started again and rounded the corner, the naviguesser who was a guy and who was leading the crew shouted "Oops, watch out for the two mud puddles" (we had two girls in the crew). The whole crew broke up laughing.

Cooper Wright
Advisor, Crew 1519
Co-author of the Philmont Advisor's Guide

See also:

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