I don't have a bad Philmont experience to report ... just the opposite. My one trip to Philmont was in 1967 and it was the high point of my Scouting experience. My 'Expedition' group was '709I3' and we were comprised of a bunch of kids from towns in the central Texas (Austin) area. The only mountains that I'd ever seen were when my mother and I were taken to Carlsbad Caverns by her aunt & uncle and then around Fort Davis in west Texas - so Philmont was quite an eye-opener to me. I remember that I asked one of our Advisors (before going) if we'd be able to go swimming .... he said 'yes' but he had an odd look to his face. Within a day of being on-the-trail at Philmont I 'experienced' what a mountain stream is like (we made quite good jello by securing a filled cooking pot in a shallow stream bed for about 45 minutes). We were very careful about securing anything that might smell 'good' to a bear well up in trees but one evening a 'small' bear wandered into the edge of our camp. Instantly all of us were running-and-yelling towards the bear, which promptly spun-around and headed back the way he came. Our Advisor called after us "What're you going to do if it turns-around?" You could practically hear our boots digging into the ground as we 'slammed-on-the- brakes' .... we hadn't given that possibility consideration until it was called-to-our-attention .... With last year having been the 40th anniversary of going to Philmont I dug out my Philmont Belt and have been wearing it a fair amount since then. ('True Confessions' - The buckle was fine but I had to order a new leather belt from Tooth-Of-Time Traders .... strangely enough the old one had 'shrunk'.) By now I've almost gotten used to guys stopping me to swap stories ... A few months ago friends and I was about to tour a salt water nature preserve in SW Louisiana and as we were about to go in a couple was coming out and they stopped to tell us things to watch for. As the man was talking I noticed that he had a Philmont buckle on (I was wearing my Philmont Belt). I motioned to his wife and she saw my belt and tapped her husband on the shoulder. When he saw my Philmont Belt that shifted the conversation (my friends had kidded me about wearing the belt but that stopped) and we exchanged stories. He had been to Philmont in 1952 so I was the 'kid' in our conversation (grin). There must be somebody who has had a bad experience at Philmont .... but I haven't run across them.
Does Anyone know the history of the Yucca Pack .... what years was it produced ? (Background) My old Yucca Pack is in pretty bad shape (especially the leather straps) so I started looking for a replacement in the past year (not that I really need one at this point in my life but you never know ....). Within just the past couple of months I've found two and bought both. One was for sale on a Scouting related Web Site on the west coast and the other I stumbled-across just a couple of weeks ago while going to some antique stores with friends on a Saturday. The pack I bought at the antique store appears to have never been sold and there was a second pack also in perfect condition. I don't know if the BSA continued the practice but when I was a kid (late 50's/early 60's) it was common for Scouting clothing and related to be carried by retail stores in the small towns where I grew up in central Texas. The antique store, where I bought the 'new' Yucca Pack a couple of weeks ago, is in a medium/small town about a half-hour's drive south of Dallas and my guess is that the two packs came from some store's inventory when they were either discontinuing carrying Scouting supplies or it may be that the Yucca Pack was too long out of production and they decided to sell it off. Something I've noticed .... whereas my old (from when I was a kid) Yucca Pack, and the one I bought off-the-Web a couple of months ago, both have the shoulder straps with buckles on the bottom so that they can be unclipped from the bottom of the pack, the 'new' Yucca Pack that I bought a couple of weeks ago has the shoulder straps attached permanently to the bottom of the pack; the straps still can have their length adjusted but they can't be unclipped from the bottom of the pack. Any thoughts on Yucca Packs ?