Scott Robertson

Hmmm... Philmont Squirrels
By: Posted On: 2010-04-11

When I was at Philmont as a Scout, one day were sitting in our camp chillin. We notice in the camp across from us the Scouts left their food on the tables and laying around the camp. They did not bother packing it up in anyway, not even a bear bag. We watched squirrels and other animals goobling it all up. I remember one of the Scouts asking one of our leaders if we should go chase the animals off. Our leader so no, that Philmont would replace there food and it wold be a major lesson for them.

Yet to this day I still feel kind of bad for that group when I think back to the experience. However as I recall they were under trained and way under experienced for what they were doing. As I recall it was a group we kept bumping into off and on over the ten days making mistake after mistake. Maybe that is why I am telling this tail... as its a tail of skill, knowledge, conditioning, etc.

The other group was fine, as our leaders said Philmont did replace there food. Though from that point on that group resented us because we didn't do anything to help them while there were away from camp and it became a bit of a feud. In the end I hope the lessons they learned helped them to be better outdoorsmen.

On the flip side I should tell you a bit about the Troop I was in... We were trained to the point were we were like on auto pilot when in the backcountry. We also went through almost a year of physical and mental conditioning. We were always part of the planning process, and by the end we were doing most of the planning and execution ourselves – probably a lot like how Venturing is today, but back then we were just a High Adventure Team inside of a Troop.

We were the kind of group that got up a bit after sun rise, packed up camp and hit the trail. By mid afternoon we were already in our next camp and situated before the afternoon rains hit (will all but once or twice anyway). We did make mistakes like all kids, but we also had the experience and adult leadership to correct our mistakes. I guess I should point out our Troop meet on a military base, we were all military kids, and we had leaders that were pilots, etc that had been through Air Force wilderness training. I am sure this played a role in how we Scouts were trained and conditioned for the riggers of trail life.

Anyway I guess this was more of a ramblings of my past, but I hope this real tale gives you some kind of hope or inspiration.


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