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Philmont weight requirements (sending kids home?)

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I know Philmont has weight requirements but are they sending kids back home that don't meet the guidelines?

I called out to philmont and the doctor I talked to was nice but refused to talk about it. Just kept refering to the weight chart.

We have a kid that is 275 lbs 17 years old. He is a national level wrestler, bench presses over 300 lbs. Is as in shape as you could be yet there is noway he's going to make weight.

This is the one kid you wouldn't have too worry about but since hes bult like an offensive lineman he'll be sent home??

Or does philmont use some common sence with kids like this?

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Welcome to the Forums!


Phimont Scout Ranch has its own Class III Physical Examination form. It's SIX PAGES LONG. As I recall, about 2/3 of one of the pages is a height/weight chart. Even at base camp, you're a tad above 6000 feet up. They make a deal about not permitting folks to go on the trail who don't meet standards, be it expeditions or the training center.


Over and above that, there is an absolute upper limit on weight, based on the capability of emergency evacuation equipment. That's not a fitness/cardiovascular issue, that's a "if he breaks his leg, can we evacuate him?" issue. It is 295lbs.


The basic chart is here, in addition to being on the physical exam form:



There is a comment accompnaying the chart: "Discussion in advance with Philmont regarding any exception to the weight limit for persons under 21 years of age is required, whether it is over or under."



In the case of this particular young man, the Expedition Leader should have been talking with your Council Program Director and the PSR program director (a BSA National Staff Professional) weeks ago. At that time, accommodation might have been possible.


On site, you are hitting seasonal docs, nurses, and med students from the University of Kansas Medical Center (that's a story in itself involving Mr Phillips). They have guidelines and mandates. They don't get to go "outside the box," SFAIU. Everyone gets a medical re-check; that includes both Treks and PTC.


Here is a quote from another page of the BSA Philmont sub-site: "Important: the rules for participation are the same for everyone without regard to age, gender, ethnicity, or special needs. Any participant arriving at Philmont who does not meet the physical requirementsor any person coming off the trail because they cannot physically "make it"must return home at their own expense."




If he's not the expedition key adult, I'd have your SM or CC contact the Council Office and talk to the Program Director.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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There are also specific weight limitations for those wishing to ride a horse.


As I prepare to "make weight" (3 pounds to go with three weeks left) for a Double H trek I lament that this Mizzou grad will be checked out by Jayhawks. Maybe my Michigan address will fool those feeble minded folks and I can sneak past the gatekeepers!

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I'm in a funny family. Eagle tubist son is contemplating Marching Mizzou!!! We've done two campus visits; one included the Atmospheric Sciences program and both included time with the Bands programs.


His mother is K-State.


My late uncle is KU and KU Med (Class of 41) and my late aunt was KU.


I of course am Cal-Santa Barbara.


How's that for a threadjacking?


On a serious note, I hope so-ill provides us some feedback on the Scout at PSR!!!

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No info yet. My council rep is talking to philmont today and well get an answer. We are a scouting family and I did this trip with my dad in 1984 now I'm doing it with my son.


By the way I grew up in Topeka. My sister is a k-state grad but my dad followed KU football and basketball. I'm torn but I'd have to lean towards The Hawks.

Living in St. Louis now.


Thanks fellow scouters!!!

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18 hours before we leave for Philmont.


Cleared the final stuff at work, put on the out of office memo, turned off the cell phone, made sure my backup knows how to reboot the servers.


Got everything on the packing list. Did a shakedown with the crew this weekend. Crew looks strong, eager and ready.


I'm 6'1" and now 185lbs. well within the scale. Lost 20lbs prepping.


I'm 44 years old and because of the year long training for this trek, I'm in the best condition I've been in since I was 25 (and I was in darn good shape back then). Our last training hike was climbing Mt Massive Colorado, 14,421 ft, 4500ft gain, 14 miles RT in 9 hours. Felt great the whole way. Frankly, feeling a little cocky that Philmont will be a breeze. I'll report back after 12 days on the trail.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the thoughts folks.

Yes, we made it! Walked over the Tooth back to camp yesterday. 76.2 miles according to the Great Plastic Sextant.


Yeah, we definitely had the advantage on altitude. Got a little winded climbing Mt. Phillips but I blame it on the 7 liters of water I was carrying in addition to my 50lb pack, not the altitude. I did meet a very nice gentleman from Georgia on top who was returning after 50 years when he did it as a scout.


As for the weight issue, when they did our medical re-check, they didn't even weigh me or any of our scouts or advisors. I guess they just looked at our chiseled, Marlboro Man physiques and determined we were ready. I should have asked the doctor if he would send me home if I was out of bounds, but he was surly and very busy. Reminded me of medical physical in the movie Pappion.


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Yeah, Of course the 50lbs is an estimate. We weighed our packs before the left base and with 4 days of food and no water, mine came in at 52 lbs. Going over Phillips we had 3 days of food as we just reprovisioned the previous day at Apache Springs. We all watered up at Clear Creek before the climb as Phillips is a dry camp and next water was 10 miles down in Sawmill. Weighed the packs on return with zero food and zero water (dry march down the Tooth) and mine weighed 45 lbs but felt like 100.

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On weight too, I weighed myself back at base and found I gained 3 lbs! My travel pants needed a belt though. I may need to replace my backpack belt with a smaller one too! I guess I turned that last bit of belly fat into muscle mass. One of the rangers told me that the skinny guys gain weight and the fat guys loose it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm back! I had a great time in the end. My heart was broken however because my son was sent home. I thought about going home the third day out on the trail but I stayed for the boys and after I got to crater lake which I had visited as a boy I started to have a good time. This is was a trip I took with my dad in 1984 and it was to be a trip with my son before he leaves home for his life as a young man.

As I said with the first post above my son is a top-notch athlete and along with one boy in our crew that is a cross-country runner he was the most fit in our group. Philmonts Height and Weight chart may weed out 90 percent of the folks that have no business going up into the mountains but it also excludes some that are more than able. In my entire time in scouts I have never witnessed the BSA exclude anyone ,anytime. My son trains for wrestling 6 months out of the year and Jui Jitsu 12 months of the year and during the school year he lifts weights 5 days a week. During wrestling season this adds up to 5 lifting sessions, 6 wrestling practices and 3 Jiu Jitsu practices each week!!

The head doctor at the medical center did not care to hear about my sons fitness or the OK by our family doctor. He also refused to give him any fitness test or to watch him do any exercises, run or sprints etc.

He did say that he needed to protect the integrity of the Height and Weight chart. He also related a story of an ex-marine I think from north or south Carolina that he had just sent home that was 9 pounds overweight.

Hopefully after school and sports are over and done with my son will be able to get down to philmonts guidelines for what a typical fit person is.

I must say that except for this one doctor the staff at Philmont was exceptional, friendly and very energetic and into their jobs. We are already planning on a trek for 08 or 09 with the council contingent.


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Welcome home! I'm sorry your son was sent home.


If you feed him into a Council contingent crew for 08 or 09, have the Council program director get in touch with the PSR Program Director during the off-season. Comments from my post of June 26:


"There is a comment accompnaying the chart: "Discussion in advance with Philmont regarding any exception to the weight limit for persons under 21 years of age is required, whether it is over or under.""


Do that months before season. Someone is in charge of the Philmont medical service; between him/her, the Director of Philmont, and the PD, there's a decisionmaker who has authority to set aside the rules.


"On site, you are hitting seasonal docs, nurses, and med students (snip). They have guidelines and mandates. They don't get to go "outside the box," SFAIU. Everyone gets a medical re-check; that includes both Treks and PTC.


The doc has a protocol to follow. He's not given discretion to waive the protocol. He did exactly as he was paid to do.


Contact Philmont very early on next time!


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