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Philmont weight requirements (sending kids home?)

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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'm surprised that school and sports are the cause for your son's condition. What will be different after school and sports that will allow him to lose weight?

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From so-ill's description, I think we're talking about someone who is already near the musculature and bulk needed to be a nose guard at Nebraska or OU!


Probably very lean, but very muscled. I had a young Sergeant in my battery many years ago; he was all-Army wrestler. He also was, by the rules of the moment (before we measured body fat percentage), overweight by 35 pounds. To get him to his weight meant we had to destroy the athleticism of his body. Fortunately, my battalion commander was one of the smart ones, he was ready to fall on his sword to the Division CG for this young man.


Goes back to one of the old adages: Bad news does not improve with age...

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Thanks for your input guys! I don't want to give my son's name but he is a former Cadet national champion and current Jr. national runner up (2nd place). I have never encouraged him to get big but during the wrestling season he is near 285. It is very hard to compete and be successful if you aren't near the max weight. His last national event was in June so that only left 2 months to cut weight.

We did have 3 conversations with Philmont before going down. The problem is that every time I called we got someone different to talk to. The last doctor we talked to said to bring him down but there was a chance he would be sent home. Also our council rep. that handled the council treks tried contacting the Medical office at Philmont but they were having phone problems the 2 weeks before we went down. I finally got the last doctor when they had him come to a different building to use the phone.

Its in the past now. Just sharing and venting.


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You have exposed my ignorance to the necessity of gaining weight to wrestle in high school.


I guess going to Philmont (or Sea Base or Northern Tiers) and wrestling at a competitive level are just not compatible activities.


That must have been heart breaking to send your son home while continuing on with the trek yourself. I don't think I could have done that. It wouldn't have been fair to the rest of the crew with my sour attitude.

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  • 14 years later...

Been a while since this was posted on, but I have good news for people looking for answers to this topic. 

We recently completed a 12 day trek in August 2021 and found that Philmont really doesn't enforce its rules and grants exceptions where they explicitly say they don't. 

First, you can have crews larger than 12, just ask, we had 13 in our crew.

Second, crew members don't have to have completed 8th grade, we had a 13 year old in our crew that just finished 7th grade. 

Third, they don't enforce the weight limits. We had one adult that was almost 30 pounds over the limit of 239 for a 6' person; no problems at health check, they weighed him and we moved on. 

Fourth, they say no sheath knives at Philmont, but I saw numerous crew and staff sporting them, some excessively large. 

So I guess the moral here is just ask and don't assume what they write in their rules is the final word. 

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They made no age exception for us a couple of years ago.

You're right about the weight limits. We saw several adults who were clearly way overweight. A couple of them were behind the rest of their crew hiking up to Baldy and looked like they might not make it. 

I always say it's their place and we'll follow their rules, even the ones I think are dumb, outdated or don't teach the best backpacking skills. Now if you ask and they make an exception, you're still following their rules.

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