24 July 2010

Day 0

Ok troops,

I know that some of you might be missing junior (and senior) already while they are on the trail and others might be enjoying the peace & quiet.

Since Charles & Mike have their hands full at this point, I thought I would step in and give everyone a small rundown on what your little offspring is doing at this point.

After a very long ride in a cramped bus, today they arrived at base camp along with many other troops/crews. Honestly, at the welcome center it feels like grand central station with buses/vans/cars arriving almost hourly and hordes of scouts and their gear/packs. Intitally, it seems like controlled chaos, but the Philmont staff has a system and they will get the inbound crews processed and set up for their trek. By now, the crew has been assigned a ranger and they have been assigned tents on the trail bound side of camp (closest to the trail). There is a ton of things to do on the first day, so everyone is very busy getting checked in, checking out maps/logistics, getting checked out by the clinic, conducting pack shake down checks, and trying to take time to hit the trading post. Trust me, the first day in base camp is full of activitities and your son (and husband) are very busy getting ready for the trail. After a hearty dinner, most will have an opportunity to head off to services before they hit the trail. BTW - Philmont (as well as the rest of BSA) believes very strongly in duty to God and encourages everyone to participate in the services that are held in base camp nightly. Regardless of what denomination you might be, there is something for everyone. After services, there is a opening campfire that everyone attends (~45 minutes) that is pretty much a corny show put on by the staff to show some of the history of Philmont and the region. Great warm up before hitting the trail. At this campfire, they will award the crew leader with an American Flag (small size) for their packs to carry with them for the duration of the trek. This is a badge of honor for the crew leaders and tells the staff on the trail who the crew leader is.

Once the opening campfire is concluded. they will head back to camp for final prep for the night and tomorrow's step off on the trial. NORMALLY, this is when we encourage them to call home and take care of any last minute good-byes. In the morning, it will be fairly rushed to hit the trail, so I would not expect any calls tomorrow. Now, we have have had a rule not to take any electronics on the trail, but I know that last year several took phones (not my preference). While you may hear from your son while on the trail, I would not expect it until the come off the trail on July 3rd. Please keep in mind that, while you may not hear from them for many days, this is a significant experience for them and they will have an opportunity to grow (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) and experience things that most kids never have the opportunity. I firmly believe that anyone (old & young) participating in a trek comes away with an appreciation of things that we have taken for granted (air conditioning, showers, running water, plumbing, fresh laundry, HOT Cooked meals, deoderant).
While you may be slightly melancholy without your son home for the next two weeks, I can assure you he is having the time of his life. Philmont is a unique experience that is only available to a small number of scouts and they are participating in something that they will carry with them for a lifetime. Enough of my soapbox speech.
Since we were on the trail last year at about this time, I will try to give you a brief flavor of what they may be experiencing along the trail.

I am hoping that the trail is smooth and the weather dry.

Here's to wishing the crew "bonne journee"!


terri said...

Sounds like the staff does a great job of building the excitement and camaraderie among the boys. I can hardly wait to get started on the trail :-)

meleah rebeccah said...

I don't know if I could EVER survive without: air conditioning, showers, running water, plumbing, fresh laundry, or deoderant!!