Elkin Scout troop treks through New Mexico wilderness

First Posted: 7/18/2009

A local crew of Boy Scouts and their leaders went on a 10-day summer trek recently through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico at Philmont Scout Ranch.
Philmont covers 214 square miles of wilderness, and members of an Elkin Boy Scout troop covered 88 of those miles in during their trip days.
The climax of the journey was climbing 12,441 feet, through a once-flourishing gold and copper mining district, to the peak of Baldy Mountain. Another highlight, the Scouts said, was reaching the top of a peak, the Tooth of Time, long-ago used by pioneers as a land mark while traveling the Santa Fe Trail.
The boys, ages 14 to 18, from Troop 648 of First United Methodist Church in Elkin, and their adult advisors carried everything they needed to survive on their backs during the trek, while hiking from camp to camp.
The Scouts participated in backcountry activities at different camps, including rock climbing, horse-back riding, and black powder rifle shooting. The trek included a conservation project where the Scouts learned and participated in the upkeep of Philmonts ecosystem.
Along the way, Scouts endured challenges including being in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs, and often-inclement weather.
The crew made what amounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with their trip to Philmont. Philmont Scout Ranch continues to be the Boy Scouts of Americas premier high adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world serving 22,000 participants every summer.

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