Fall Court of Honor – September 28, 2016

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Troop 59 will be holding its Fall Court of Honor.  This Court of Honor celebrates the achievements of the troop, including rank advancements and earned merit badges, since this past June. All scouts, family members and friends are invited to attend.  Scouts will wear full Class A uniforms, including sashes and pins.

The Court of Honor will start at 7:30 PM, at the First Presbyterian Church.  Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

Nicholas Haines, Eagle Scout

Congratulations to Nicholas Haines, upon earning Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scout program.

During a Court of Honor held on August 27 at the First Presbyterian Church, Nick was presented with his Eagle Scout badge and pin, and was celebrated by members his family, friends, and fellow Troop 59 scouts and leaders.

Troop 59 offers our heartiest congratulations to Nick on this achievement!

New Leadership Positions

Here are the 2016/2017 Troop 59 leadership positions of responsibility:

  • Senior Patrol Leader: M Baeyens
  • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader: W Walto
  • Patrol Leaders: T Garno and A McAvoy
  • Scribe: J Wagner
  • Webmaster: T Marshall
  • Quartermaster: M Sullivan
  • Librarian: D Vreeland
  • Bugler: A McAvoy
  • Leave No Trace Trainer: J Soldan
  • Chaplain’s Aide: J Sullivan
  • Historian: S Theoclitus

Scouts must know, understand and fulfill the responsibilities of their positions in order to have completed the requirement to “serve actively in your unit… …in one or more (of the following) positions of responsibillity.” for rank advancement.

Refer to the responsibilities on the Troop 59 web site at http://www.troop59.com/troop-positions-of-leadership/


Spring Court of Honor

On Wednesday, June 8th, Troop 59 will be having our Spring Court of Honor.

It will start at 7:30 PM at the First Presbyterian Church.

All scouts and family members are invited, and there will be light refreshment served.

Please join us there!

WG43 – Disharmony on the Trail

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:

  1. Be sure everyone has plenty to eat. Phil-meals will accomplish this.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!

Henri Buruel
Baldy Mountain, New Mexico Territory

WG42 – Watchu Mountain Adventure Invitation

Included in this message:

  • WMA Invitation / Friday night and Saturday morning schedules
  • Watchu Request – fill your water bottles at home
  • Crew Photo and Cell Phone reminders
  • Fast Pass update
  • Note to Contingent Tour Advisors
  • Guidebook to Adventure tip / Trail Planning reminder
  • WMA Pre-test

Your crew is enthusiastically invited to attend the
2015 Watchu Mountain Adventure!!

Friday, May 1st through Sunday, May 3th

Mount Allamuchy Scout Reservation

The Watchu Mountain Adventure will be the highlight of your entire Watchu Experience – the opportunity to put all you have learned to the test in a simulated Philmont environment, the chance to ask questions of experienced Philmont veterans during presentations on every aspect of a Philmont trek, and two exciting multi-media shows that will have you and your crew chomping at the bit to get into the Magic Mountains of the Philmont backcountry.

The schedule, as follows, is identical for all crews until 8:00am Saturday morning, at which time each crew will begin following one of two separate tracks through the remainder of the weekend’s activities.

Friday Evening:

5:00pm to 6:30 pm    Check-in

5:15pm to 8:15pm       Trail of Discovery (floating start, based on arrival time)

6:45pm to 8:30pm     Setup camp (floating start, after Trail of Discovery)

8:45pm                        Advisor Orientation

9:00pm                        Youth Gather

9:30pm                        Opening Program, followed by a crackerbarrel

10:15pm                       Setup camp (if more time is needed) / Free time

11:00pm                       Lights out

Saturday Morning:

6:00am            Reveille, breakfast, strike camp, and pack

7:15am            Crew Chief Briefing on Shakedown Mesa

Chaplain Aide Briefing on Shakedown Mesa

Crew Reporter Briefing on Shakedown Mesa

Lead Advisor Briefing on Shakedown Mesa

Recall – all youth crew leadership positions should be filled BEFORE you arrive on Watchu Mountain

8:00am            Find the gaps – it’s not just a hike – hiking is a team sport!

See Friday/Early Saturday Schedule and Sample Saturday/Sunday Schedule for more information and detail about the schedules.  Your crew will receive its actual schedule for the weekend at check-in on Friday evening.


Watchu Request:  Please remind everyone in your crew to come to the Watchu Mountain Adventure with full water bottles – it will help speed up your journey on the “Trail of Discovery.”


Crew Photo Reminder:  Shortly after arrival, a crew photo will be taken – each crew member should look sharp in their full official BSA uniform.


Cell Phone Reminder:  Each crew should carry at least one cell phone throughout the Watchu Mountain Adventure.  Cell numbers will be recorded at Check-in on Friday in case your crew needs to be contacted in an emergency and crews will be given a telephone number to use if they need to contact the Watchu staff.


Watchu Fast Pass Check-in:  Tuesday night 17 crews were certified for Fast Pass Check-in at the Watchu Mountain Adventure.  Great work!.


Special note to Contingent Tour Advisors (one per contingent):  You are expected to attend a short meeting Sunday morning at 8:15am on Shakedown Mesa with Rob Pardue of Blue Sky Adventures and Chief Watchu.


Tip:  The Watchu Mountain Adventure will work much better if all members of your crew have read their Guidebook to Adventure beforehand.  Also, all advisors should have read the other material sent from Philmont in the advisors package, especially the Philmont TREKS – Itinerary Guide.  Bring these important guidebooks and your Philmanac with you to the Mountain for your Trail Planning session Saturday evening.

Trek Planning Reminder:  Your crew will have a crew-specific Trail Planning exercise during the Watchu Mountain Adventure.  Recall that Dwight Stein, the former Logistics Manager at Philmont, will be on the mountain to answer specific questions you may have about your trek.  Bring your crew’s Philmanac and TREKS Itinerary Guide.  Each crew member should bring their Guidebook to Adventure.  (If you have not received your copies of TREKS, the Guidebook to Adventure, and other documents, you should contact Philmont about getting replacements.)


Pre-Test:  The Watchu Team refers to the Watchu Mountain Adventure as a “mid-term exam” for you to evaluate where your crew is on the trail of preparing for Philmont.  Test yourself to see if you are ready for the Adventure – do you know the answers to the following questions from the Watchu Mountain Adventure section of the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page of the Watchu Experience Web site?  If not, you should spend some time brushing up.

  1. How does a crew handle a Tour and Activity Plan for the Watchu Mountain Adventure?
  1. What is the check-in time on Friday for the Watchu Mountain Adventure?
  1. What is “Fast Pass” check-in and how does a crew qualify for it?

4    Will copies of the Philmont medical forms be acceptable at the check-in for the Watchu Mountain Adventure, or must originals be used?

5    Is it possible to turn in something other than a Philmont medical form for a crew member at the Watchu Mountain Adventure?

  1. Is it possible for a crew member to leave the Watchu Mountain Adventure for a short period of time to attend to some other personal commitment?
  1. Will crew members wear the full official uniform during the entire Watchu Mountain Adventure?
  1. Is it correct that, unlike Philmont, crew equipment such as toilet paper, tents, dining fly, cooking utensils, pots, etc., will NOT be provided for the Watchu Mountain Adventure and must be supplied by each crew?
  1. Is there anything special (not on the Equipment Lists) that advisors should bring to the Watchu Mountain Adventure?
  1. Will food be provided to crews at the Watchu Mountain Adventure, or must each crew bring meals for its members?
  1. When should the crew’s Crew Chief, Chaplain Aide, Wilderness Pledge Guia and Navigator be selected?
  1. Will there be opportunity to fill water containers during the Watchu Mountain Adventure?
  1. Will dinner be at sites with a water source, or will it be a “dry camp” where water must be carried in?
  1. Will the hike during the Watchu Mountain Adventure a crew be at least 15 miles, satisfying the requirement for the Backpacking Merit Badge?


See you on the Mountain!

Bat Masterson
St. James Hotel, Cimarron, New Mexico Territory
Lawman, gunfighter and guest