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Eagle1993

Philmont Announcement - March 27

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4 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

To be fair, this is one of a number of programs at Philmont.  The "core" program (treks) is still about the Scouts themselves. And hopefully always will be.

But this is new in that it goes into the backcountry, no doubt crossing with "core" program treks

As examples:

ROCK CLIMBING

This is a day-long session beginning with a mild hike from Cimarroncito Turnaround to Cimarroncito Backcountry Staff Camp. Once there, you will receive a safety briefing and climbing demonstration followed by a chance to climb several different routes on natural rock.

Inspiration Point Hike

Guided by a Program Counselor team from the Philmont Training Center, you will have the opportunity to hike as a family to a spectacular view on the side of Urraca Mesa. A trail lunch will be provided in lieu of lunch at the dining hall.

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Is this a grab for money? Sure, but there's nothing wrong with that. Bills need to be paid.

As an avid hiker and backpacker, this would be an exciting trip, IMO. I may actually do it without my son (Cub Scout).  All my PTO is scheduled for this year, but if they do it again next year...

I grew up in an area without Boy Scouts, so was never one as a youth.  Maybe this will allow me to go and experience it without living vicariously through his adventures and intruding on his experience.

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42 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

To be fair, this is one of a number of programs at Philmont.  The "core" program (treks) is still about the Scouts themselves. And hopefully always will be.

Yea, I think this is just better marketing of something that was always available and making lemonade out of the lemons of less crews signing up this year (for whatever reason).  Given the popularity of National Parks I think they may be exploiting an available market. 

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I'm unclear why this is seen as a bad thing.  For folks championing an outdoor program I would think encouraging families to camp and/or hike together, including and maybe especially into the back country, this should seem like a good thing.  This is the kind of thing I did with my family growing up and the kind of thing I've done with my family raising my kids.

I'm assuming this is being driven at least in part by economics which would seem straightforward.  To make all the various program areas, like rock climbing, available at Philmont, you have fixed cost X, if you don't have enough people paying to participate to cover X you have to either close down some areas or increase the paying participants.  It's possible you could reach some tipping point where the non trekking participants start materially interfering with the trek experience, but it's not necessarily a given that you'll get there, and it certainly isn't going to happen in any near term.  Ask yourself how many scout families in your troop are realistically candidates for this.  

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38 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

IAsk yourself how many scout families in your troop are realistically candidates for this.  

I feel like we should be the target audience... I have a 9yo CS and a 11yo BS. The value proposition of the 3 of us going down for a week at $650 is pretty compelling... but looking at the descriptions the activities are weak. So we have horse rides on docile horses and climbing on very easy routes and short hikes. This looks like Cub Camp or First Year Scout Camp. That's not what I want to see at Philmont. B-P and others talk about the mythopoetic  value of Scouting activities. Beyond the physical majesty, Philmont also serves as some sort of pinnacle of high adventure. Yeah, that's debatable but *this* family camp detracts from that image.

1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

To be fair, this is one of a number of programs at Philmont.  The "core" program (treks) is still about the Scouts themselves. And hopefully always will be.

For us, the *core* program is exactly what we are looking for in a family camp. My 11yo will have just done a BWCA trip in June and my 9yo is going to go into Webelos over the Summer and will cross over at 10 1/2 next Spring. He is bridling at the lack of adventure. A family scouting program could get around the informed consent problems and if provided more skilled guides get younger kids into the backcountry.

I think the 14yo official HA cutoff is hurting Scouting. Somehow the Y camps can take 12 and 13yos on 60-120mile BWCA trips while BSA waits 2 more years. Next year our troop is going back to SeaBasa but we need to find a different activity for the younger Scouts. That might be fine if these activities were so elite but plenty of younger Scouts could do these.

My ideal Family Scouting trip would be something like a hypothetical trip with my wife, her sister, and their mom with the 4 grandkids between 11/12-13/14 going to MOHAB and doing the packrafting/backpacking course. For family trips I want to leverage the guiding expertise of the Scouts to do real HA not daycamp. So for us the Philmont Family Adventure falls short. The boys and I will probably spend the week of July 4th either backpacking on the SHT or the Kek or canoeing on the Namekegon.

Edited by oldbuzzard
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1 hour ago, walk in the woods said:

So basically they've opened the PTC spouse and children's program to families, eliminating the need for mom/dad to register for a training course?

I was only half listening but yes - it is through PTC, not through camping HQ, and it sounded like no training course is required.

And did anyone notice the dates....June 23 - July 7.  Weeks 3 and 4.  The weeks that were traditionally LDS weeks but quite suddenly became empty weeks this year.  No surprise that they are trying something to recoup that lost income.

 

 

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I'm thinking this is the tradeoff of the BSA high adventure program. 

To make the challenge achievable by many, it has to be achievable by many different kinds of youth.  I full imagine there are lots of 10-12 year olds that could easily handle the more strenuous treks.  I imagine that you'll find that in general, the kind of family who is likely to do this is that same family who's kids are more likely able to handle the treks.

But, once you open it up to younger youth, you dispel the notion that it's only achievable for older scouts.  Even if just for maturity's sake - I think it should remain 14+.  If I were a 17 year old going on my "pinnacle of Scouting" trip, I'd rather go with other older scouts.

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9 minutes ago, jjlash said:

I was only half listening but yes - it is through PTC, not through camping HQ, and it sounded like no training course is required.

And did anyone notice the dates....June 23 - July 7.  Weeks 3 and 4.  The weeks that were traditionally LDS weeks but quite suddenly became empty weeks this year.  No surprise that they are trying something to recoup that lost income.

 

 

The LDS units...did they get to use Donkeys or Hand Carts?

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43 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

The LDS units...did they get to use Donkeys or Hand Carts?

I couldn't tell you for sure, but historically we're partial to handcarts, so that would be my first guess. ;)

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1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

The LDS units...did they get to use Donkeys or Hand Carts?

 

24 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

I couldn't tell you for sure, but historically we're partial to handcarts, so that would be my first guess. ;)

 

Humor aside - maybe I should have elaborated for those who maybe dont understand the significance....  Traning center weeks 3 and 4 were scheduled for LDS leaders / sessions only.   Late last year the church announced that they were discontinuing their annual conference on Scouting at PTC (https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900004968/lds-church-discontinues-its-annual-leadership-conferences-at-philmont-scout-ranch.html).  This left the entire PTC empty for those two weeks except for a session of Leadership Challenge being held at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp.

 

 

Edited by jjlash
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Oh that's right, I totally forgot about that! That ABSOLUTELY explains this entire thing; the church had a great program going but as most of the leaders had to pay their own way, it was getting harder for some to cover the costs AND make the time for the training program. So yeah, it's totally reasonable for Philmont to try and find a way to make up the revenue they would have gained from those two weeks. I can't blame them for that!

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I like this.  I have never been to Philmont and honestly don't know all that much about it, but I will tell you that my boys' troop is not necessarily into high adventure and the adults in my sons' troop seem unenthused about putting together a big trek.  

So, perhaps my family, mom, dad, 3 boys wants to go as our own family trip?   That's fine.  It's easier to manage than trying to get it through the troop.  Of course if the troop goes, or if we have a multi-troop thing going, they could join up with that.  But maybe for our family, it would work better to go on the family dates.   At least we have options and it's more accessible to get down there. 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

I like this.  I have never been to Philmont and honestly don't know all that much about it, but I will tell you that my boys' troop is not necessarily into high adventure and the adults in my sons' troop seem unenthused about putting together a big trek.  

So, perhaps my family, mom, dad, 3 boys wants to go as our own family trip?   That's fine.  It's easier to manage than trying to get it through the troop.  Of course if the troop goes, or if we have a multi-troop thing going, they could join up with that.  But maybe for our family, it would work better to go on the family dates.   At least we have options and it's more accessible to get down there. 

 

 

There have been times in my family scouting career where we deserted Mrs Turtle that a proposed trip like this would have smoothed the waters. So I can see the utility.

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