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BE PREPARED for Philmont!

A message from your Scoutmaster
Some of you have informed me that you can't go on a Philmont prep trip due to sports or other commitments.  While I can't force you to go, I also cannot excuse you from going.  You need to recognize that your trip to Philmont will probably be the most challenging physical task you have undertaken in your entire life.  This isn't meant to scare you.  It's meant to get you to focus on what you need to do to BE PREPARED.  

The pre-Philmont trips that we have planned are meant to familiarize you with backpacking skills of increasing difficulty, get you comfortable with your personal gear and crew gear, and force you to work together with Scouts and adults that you probably don't know all that well (even if you think you do).  The trips also allow us to check you out; your gear, your attitude, your physical and psychological fitness.  We do this before you travel 1,814 miles to New Mexico and find yourself unprepared and struggling at 8,000 feet above sea level (prior to climbing to 12,500 with 30 pounds on your back).

All of this REQUIRES that you participate in this preparation (in addition to doing regular, personal fitness exercise and getting your gear completely in order; nobody can do this for you, you have to do it yourself).

Also, recognize that for regular campouts we often just drive up to the campsite and plop out of a car.  For our Philmont prep trips we are going farther away, and immediately hiking into the wilderness once we arrive.  This makes it virtually impossible to "meet up later" or the next morning.  We also try to leave as early as possible on Friday and we return considerably later than usual on Sundays.  This is what you signed up for and it will be worth it.

I hate to ask you to disappoint your coach, music teacher, play director or Bar Mitzvah friend but please stop and think.  Boy Scouts is meant to help you help yourself and others, now and for the rest of your life.  MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION by choosing to BE PREPARED for your Philmont Expedition.

Here's a suggested way of doing it:
  • Go to the Troop website, www.bsa98.com, access the calendar, and write down all the Backpacking Trip dates.
  • Think about or check for commitments you might have on those weekends,including Friday and Sunday afternoons.  If you have a personal or family calendar, mark down the Philmont trips (in big red letters).
  • Write a note or send an email to your teacher or coach, explaining that you need to prepare for a very challenging backpacking trip and that you don't want to increase your risk to yourself or to your crew by being unprepared.  Tell her or him that you regret this will force you to miss X, Y and Z.
  • Offer to make up practice or service by doing it at other times.
  • If you need to, blame your wicked mean Scoutmaster.
If you have a specific issue that you need to discuss with me, please take a moment to write down your circumstances and thoughts in a message first.  Send it to me and I'll call to discuss it with you personally.

I said your Philmont trip may be one of the most challenging things you've ever done.  I know from having been there six times that it will be one of the best things you've ever done.  BE PREPARED for it!


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