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Weighty Matters at Philmont...

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  • #16
    Right now I would not even think about going to any high adventure camp. Even go to Philmont for a conference. I have medical issues that caused me to gain weight and right now I am the incredible shrinking woman. Because of a tough year last year my son gained weight and he is getting it off too. We worked hard at Cub camp and I will probably consider high adventure for the family when he is a Boy Scout. I would rather be fit and enjoy the hikes than huffing and puffing and missing everything.


    • #17
      If the issue is extraction, then only weight matters, not BMI. If BMI is important, then it is a fitness test to appease lawyers and insurance. The truth is that both are important. Which issue is more deserving of a waiver?


      • #18
        My brother in law was a 6'2" "walking mass of muscle". Worked a hard, physical job mostly outdoors. Just had a DOT physical 2 weeks before. Dropped dead of a heart attack in his sleep at age 50. Smoked 2 packs a day for 35 years. Is that on the medical form, or are we just "concerned" about fat guys?


        • #19
 high adventure????? Boy scouting is not family scouting, Your confusing it with cub scouting. Send your son to Philmont, take a vacation and relax while he has his adventure.


          • #20
            Can't speak to OGE's personal observations but there are at least 14 folks this year so far that did not hit the trail at PSR due to being undertall for their weight. One of the things that PSR sees is that everyone looks different. The requirements are very liberal and thus allow someone who might not have as much muscle in chest and legs to hike with a pretty big mid-section.

            One of the recent ones that did not make it on the trail was 49 lbs over the max for his height.


            PS: There are noted alternative percent body fat requirements if needed.


            • #21
              My understanding from back a few years ago when taking the Wilderness First Aid course at PTC is that the weight limit is definately an issue for extraction by Philmont's Search and Rescue teams, not just "fitness" for the activity.


              • #22
                The personal trip insurance that I require all young people to purchase has no weight limit or any other such stipulation. And it provides for many $$tens of thousands of cost (helicopters) if necessary for extraction and evacuation. And this is from a foreign country, not a domestic location. If it can be done elsewhere it can be done at Philmont. Per person cost is less than $50 for the trip...peanuts compared to the rest of the costs.

                I just did a MedEvac quote for a domestic trip for one person 30 years old, coverage for one month of Adventure Sports coverage: less than $60. It pays for extraction and up to $50K for medical, etc. Not as inexpensive as the policy I use but I have a group rate.

                But if I croak out in the woods someplace, I'm hoping the wildlife will clean things up fairly a lot of money.


                • #23
                  You don't think it all boils down to the $$$ involved?

                  Weight limit / BMI is there to apease the BSA's insurance company and legal eagles (I think Bevah is one of these... legal eagle).

                  The health form can (and most likely does) be fudged (by those that like to eat their fudge).

                  Problem comes when said scouter shows up at PSR or other high adventure base with himself, two other leaders and x number of scouts in tow.

                  I don't know the exact scout to adult ratio required for trekking, but I bet there is one... lets say 5 scouts for each adult.

                  Fatty, plus two other adults show up to PSR with 14 boys in their group... all reserved / all paid / etc....

                  Now, Mr. PSR director - you gonna be the one to tell Fatty he is sitting out and pick which 4 scouts get to miss out on their long awaited, funded, capstone trek that is to be the pinicle of their scouting career? Better yet, you gonna field the calls from pissed off parents about why their son couldn't trek because he or his leader was too fat? You gonna field the call from your boss at national once the parents figure out who to call to complain that they paid x number of $$ (probably close to or exceeding 1K depending on mode and distance of travel to PSR) and their scout was not allowed to trek?

                  You gonna take that heat, or are you gonna make sure you have the papers in hand to cover your backside and wish them well and cross your fingers that Fatty's ticker doesn't explode 1/2 way up the Tooth of Time?

                  I bet they go with the paperwork and prayer more often than they'd like, but they also know whats good for them to keep their paycheck from bouncing. CYA and let Fatty take his chances would be my battle cry!(This message has been edited by deanrx)


                  • #24
                    Dean, if I were a gambler I'd take the bet. Wow, way off on a tangent on this one.

                    H/W guidelines came from experience and are one of many risk factors. And with around 22 years of execution, they continue to reduce issues in the backcounty. They are not the only risk factor, but for adults provide a very good "first step" in evaluating risk.

                    The PSR director does not like to have to be put in the position to turn folks away. He prefers to see folks having a great time at PSR. But, as I mentioned, 14 times this year so far he has been up to the task. He does not worry too much about support on this one or any medical related turndown. And with 50K attendees at high adventure bases annually the one or two times a year it does make it to my attention are rare. In case you wonder, have yet to overturn one of those decisions.

                    And please, this group seems to love to blame it on some "insurance carrier". It's about the health and safety of our members.


                    PS: Do you know how many times one had to acknowledge the risk before you get to PSR? Take a look at the literature to prepare for the trek and let the folks here know would you.

                    PSS: Two folks did not make it on SBR grounds for the shakedown due to not meeting the standards set. Please do not put the staff / medical team in this position. Start walking and hiking now for the 2013 NSJ.


                    • #25
                      I was at a Philmont conference in 2009, and one of our group was supposed to be on the trail with his Crew, but the Philmont doc said no. Apparently, he had some medical condition which his doctor in NJ said was fine, but the Philmont team did not agree.

                      Anyway, the crew went, and the kids had a great time. Our group member also had a good time with us and was even more committed to making sure he absolutely got his chronic condition under control.

                      Perhaps Philmont has a few spare staff they assign to crews that have sudden adult participation problems.


                      • #26
                        Only 2 got turned away at the Summit last weekend?????

                        from the pictures I saw it should have been a few more........OA staff advisor was grossly over weight and havin problems......

                        Just sayin....

                        There is a neighboring troop leaving for Philmont next week one of the moms is going along.....I know she is 40 pounds over the weight for her height.......I will be interested if she is permitted on the trail......The crew has worked very hard to get down to weight, she has not, missed all of the shakedowns and is not exercising.....

                        Interested to see what happens when she gets there....


                        • #27
                          "Undertall" -- I like it, I knew all along it was my height not my wieght that was my problem.


                          • #28
                            To be clear

                            I am talking about obese people with rolls of fat, not muscular behemouths.

                            And, why would any employee of a High Adventure Camp be on the hook for not allowing an under tall/ over weight leaqder on the trail? The standards are published. If a bunch of youth can't hit the trail because the advisors are too fat, thats not the Camps fault. Its the adults themselves and who ever thought it prudent to send them to the Camps.

                            The only thing the BSA can do wrong in this situation is not follow their own rules and thats what I saw

                            I will be at the Jamboree next July, I'll let you know what I see


                            • #29
                              OGE -

                              I agree 100% - the duty to be fit for the task lands with the unit leaders. The standards are published. But, it would be a hard call to turn away a unit dues to leaedr ratio or YPG issues because they show up with an adult that doesn't fit the standard.

                              Its hard to tell a paying customer "no" without backlash.


                              • #30
                                BD - nothing worse than a crew member (adult or youth) without her head in the game! The crew president and advisor should be grabbing that lady and doing a few forced marches every evening. If you know this lady and the situation is as bad as you make it out to be, now would be a good time to be as frank with her as you are with us. Hopefully the PSR staff will use good judgement with this one.

                                Suzi, ignore BD. Families can make the core great HA teams! But you all have to get in shape and show a high level of teamwork. Working on fitness together is a great start. Doing hikes as a family is important. Camping vacations become trial runs. You'll find yourself renting a climbing guide instead of going on the old house tour in Bar Harbour. You'll trade in a night at a hotel near Disney to camp with key deer and go snorkeling in the morning. (BTW, make sure everyone has their own camera, because without fail, the reef shark floats by when the family camera is in someone else's hand.) You'll practice letting the kids set the agenda. You all become a patrol and rotate responsibilities.

                                That way by the time your kids decide they want you to tour with the rest of their buddies, you'll have the faith to let them pick their crew chief and you and hubbie just fit in as part of the team.