Seven Boy Scouts from Troop 899 in Fallston recently returned from a 12-day backpacking trip at the Philmont Scout Ranch in the Sangre de Christo mountains (the southern extension of the Rocky Mountains) near Cimarron, N.M. Accompanied by four adult advisors on the trip, the scouts backpacked more than 80 miles over rugged terrain, including summitting Baldy Mountain at an elevation of 12,400 feet. Carrying everything they needed to survive on the trail for 12 days, the boys each carried backpacks weighing more than 40 pounds. Along the way, the crew participated in a range of activities, including black powder rifle shooting, blacksmithing, rock climbing and rapelling, tackling a high cope course and team building exercises. All participants were encouraged to devote a portion of their time on the trail to supporting ongoing conservation efforts on the ranch. This crew assisted in the eradication of invasive plant species in the area. In addition to simply being a high adventure trip, participating in a Philmont trek teaches team work, leadership, conservation, Leave No Trace camping/hiking practices and advanced trail survival skills. Participants from Fallston Troop 899 were Gavin Brennan, Paul Hubner, Jack Kelly, Wesley Mackow, Jacob Murdock, Thomas Streett and Benjamin Toppi. Adult advisors were Joshua Murdock, Timothy Murdock, Jonathan Streett and Edward Toppi.
Troop 899 returns from 12-day backpacking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch
Scouts and their leaders, from left, Thomas Streett, Jacob Murdock, Gavin Brennan, Benjamin Toppi, Paul Hubner, Jack Kelly and Wesley Mackow were part of a 12-day hiking trip in New Mexico. (Submitted photo / August 29, 2012)