Included in this message:
- Advice on avoiding disharmony on the trail
- Watchu Mountain Outfitters will be open for business during the WMA
- Watchu Mountain Adventure hints
- Rafting and Blue Sky Adventures releases reminder
- Question about program availability
- Philmont Arrival information confirmation
- Watchu Experience Web site FAQs page reminder
Disharmony on the Trail
A physically and mentally challenging Philmont trek can lead to stress-induced disharmony even in a crew of good friends. Here are some words of wisdom from fellow Philmonter Joe Jansen on how to avoid such unpleasantness:
- Be sure everyone has plenty to eat. Phil-meals will accomplish this.
- Be sure everyone has plenty of water to drink. It’s very easy to imagine you don’t need water on a day that is not hot and humid. Everyone should drink plenty and at regular intervals, whether you imagine you need it or not.
- Be sure everyone takes care of their feet. If anyone has the slightest doubt on how their feet are doing the crew should stop, take hiking boots off, and look for any points of wear. A Band-Aid and/or a change of socks may be needed.
- Be sure everyone gets adequate rest. Tents should be pitched where the ground is not stony or where there are remains of stumps or roots. Everyone should have a ground pad, both for insulation from the cold of the ground and for comfort.
- Be sure everyone gets a chance to participate in decision making. You need to keep a steady pace to stay on a reasonable time schedule, but the treks allow enough time to stop, enjoy a view and take photographs. It’s easy to take a wrong turn and get off course on some treks, and participation in navigation is a very good idea. It’s a very good idea for the Crew Chief to discuss with the crew on a regular basis (several times daily) what decisions have been made and why they have been made.
- Be sure everyone’s idea of what they hope for their Philmont expedition gets considered at regular intervals. There is considerable flexibility at every stage of a Philmont Trek to discuss where you are going and learn about Philmont as you go along. So be sure to have discussion among crewmembers – what they are interested in accomplishing as they learn more about the opportunities.
- Be sure everyone understands the crew is a BSA crew. The Scout Law and Scout Promise (or Venturing equivalents) are the best guide to harmony on the trek.
- Conduct a “Thorns and Roses” session each night. Daily “Thorns and Roses” sessions will prevent small irritations from growing into larger issues that threaten crew harmony.
The Watchu Mountain Outfitters will be open for business both during the Watchu Mountain Adventure and the June Advisor Briefing. In addition to their regular items, they will have surplus Philmont Trail Meals for sale – stock up for your last shakedown hikes! Stop by and pickup some bargains.
The Watchu Mountain Hints: Participants at Badger Day on Watchu Mountain Saturday, April 25, report that the bugs were “tough.” Be prepared with bug repellant (of course, a “smellable” and needs to be up in the bear bag at night).
Year in and year out advisors cite “Hiking is a Team Sport” as the single most important thing they got out of the entire eighteen month Watchu Experience. Your entire crew needs to be prepared for a “pop quiz” on hiking is a team sport; make sure they are ready!
Reminders: Both a whitewater Rafting Release and a Blue Sky Adventures Release are required for each member of the crew, youth and adult. The forms for youth must be signed by parent or guardian. If there are any members of your crew who can’t go rafting, for whatever reason (medical, non swimmer, no parent permission, etc), the tour operator, Rob Pardue, needs to know during your Watchu session with him. Please come prepared with that information. The Rafting Release states that in should be signed no more than 180 days before the trip, but Rob Pardue of Blue Sky Adventures advises that the outfitter, Echo Canyon Rafting, will accept forms signed earlier.
Advisor Question: “If a crew is passing a staff camp that has a program you are interested in, can they just stop in and get the program presentation without any advanced check-in?”
Answer: Advanced check-in is generally not required except for horseback riding, which crews sign up for during their Logistics session in Base Camp on the first day at Philmont. Simply have your Crew Chief check in at the staff cabin and ask if your crew can participate in the program. If your crew is “ship-shape” and polite, you will probably get in on the program. The exception being if the staff is backed up with crews scheduled for the program via their itineraries. That conflict does not happen often, though beginning in 2012 Philmont camp staff were invoking it more commonly. Most backcountry staff bend over backwards to get you through their program.
The Watchu Trail Planning Team will answer questions about your trek at the Watchu Mountain Adventure – come prepared with plenty for them!
Philmont Arrival Information: All crews should have submitted their travel information to Philmont and received a confirmation e-mail of their travel plans (separate from the confirmation of itinerary selection.) If your crew has not received a travel confirmation, click HERE to login to Philmont’s Web site (you will need your crew password used for itinerary selection) and supply the information, which for all contingents is:
- Your Arrival Contact is Rob Pardue, Blue Sky Adventures, phone 561-531-3722. Use your e-mail address, not Rob’s, so that the confirmation is sent to you.
- You will arrive at 9:15am on the month and date indicated by your crew number (6/30 for the 630 contingent, 7/11 for 711, etc.)
- Your Arrival Mode will be Chartered Bus
- Your Location will be Philmont
- Your first meal at Philmont will be Lunch
- Your do not need transportation from Raton or Cimarron
Philmont uses this information to make sure your Ranger is available when you arrive and to minimize your wait at the Welcome Center. If the information on your confirmation e-mail does not match what is shown above, log on and correct it.
Watchu Request: Pray for rain! Philmont training works much better in the rain.
Reminder: The FAQs page of the Watchu Experience Web site contains the answers to dozens of questions that come up every year. It is worthwhile to read through them even if you don’t have a question at the moment – there may be one you just have not thought of yet!
Check it out! Two representatives from Canon USA and photographers from the BSA national office were at Philmont in 2011 to plan for a photography workshop taking place that fall at Philmont Training Center. During their visit they captured this Gigapan image from the Miranda meadow: http://gigapan.org/gigapans/fullscreen/74276/
Phil Fact: Henri Buruel obtained mining rights from Lucien Maxwell in the 1860’s and operated the French Henry Mine on the ridge above Copper Park on Baldy Mountain. The remains of his cabin are still there. French Henry camp is at the location of a mill constructed in 1898 by the Claude Mining and Milling Company, and the present museum cabin dates from that time. French Henry is the only staffed camp which does not have camping, and one of only two without a source of treated water (Crooked Creek is the other.)
French Henry camp is God’s country!
Baldy Mountain, New Mexico Territory