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BSA designates Philmont as a "No Adventure Base"

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In its quest to emasculate scouting completely, Philmont now offers a glamping option that completely removes the possibility that participants might actually experience outdoor life.

The new tents have permanent, full floors, electricity, queen size tempurpedic mattresses with Egyptian 800-thread count sheets, in-tent maid service, in-tent massage, and big screen canvas wall mount televisions with your choice of Netflix or Hulu. Covered parking is provided with valet service available on demand.

The story:
https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/08/16/with-new-deluxe-tents-philmont-training-center-broadens-appeal-to-more-families/ 

 

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PTC is for families.  Why the hostility towards making them comfortable?  We want more folks trained and if this is what it takes, why not?

This is not for the folks on Trek. and you forgot .......air conditioning.....you ever been in the tents there?

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Posted (edited)

These "tents" are on the PTC campus, not on the camping headquarters side of the ranch.   Rest assured, trek participants are still residing in standard issue BSA wall tents with cots when they are in base camp, trailbound and homebound.  No electricity or other amenities. 

PTC and CHQ are two entirely different worlds.

Edited by desertrat77
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We complain that training centers are underutilized and "we'll never be able to pay the balloon payment on Summit" Then we complain when we make accommodations to lure more people to utilize those facilities.

This has zero impact on Treks.

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13 minutes ago, Pale Horse said:

This has zero impact on Treks.

Not 100% sure about that. 

There were many pics posted by PTC with the kids and families out and about in the back county.  (see one example below).  Not much a stretch to see this could impact the remoteness and "adventure" experienced by the 12 days crews when they come across a group of kids or families on the trail.  Sort of like when families come up mid-week to summer camp, can changes the dynamics of the experience.  I wonder what the long-term impact of more families, family scouting, the family glamping, will be to the Philmont experience for the 20,000 Scouts and Leaders that come to New Mexico looking for the (literally) mountain top backpacking and crew experience as part of their Scouting journey.

A group of Mustangs from the Philmont Training Center hike toward Crater Lake's main cabin after spending the night in the backcountry.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sky, tree, outdoor and nature

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Not 100% sure about that. 

There were many pics posted by PTC with the kids and families out and about in the back county.  (see one example below).  Not much a stretch to see this could impact the remoteness and "adventure" experienced by the 12 days crews when they come across a group of kids or families on the trail.  Sort of like when families come up mid-week to summer camp, can changes the dynamics of the experience.  I wonder what the long-term impact of more families, family scouting, the family glamping, will be to the Philmont experience for the 20,000 Scouts and Leaders that come to New Mexico looking for the (literally) mountain top backpacking and crew experience as part of their Scouting journey.

A group of Mustangs from the Philmont Training Center hike toward Crater Lake's main cabin after spending the night in the backcountry.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sky, tree, outdoor and nature1

So the youth in the picture pass your crew on the trail.  Or spend the night in the neighboring campsite.    What are the potential negative impacts on your Philmont experience?   Edited to add:  Mustangs are 11 - 13, and if memory serves, they are accompanied on their overnight by PTC staffers, not mom and dad.

Edited by desertrat77
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5 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

So the youth in the picture pass your crew on the trail.  Or spend the night in the neighboring campsite.    What are the potential negative impacts on your Philmont experience? 

I actually have seen what younger siblings on a camp out or visiting at summer camp can do. It is not pretty. That was the primary reason why  my family left a troop. Despite the number of problems the family was causing, not only to my family but also to the other Scouts in the troop, other Scouters wanted to work it out. After 19 months of trying to work it out, I had to leave as the situation was getting worse and not better.

So I can see where @Jameson76 and others have concerns. I have  serious concerns with "family Scouting."

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Just now, Eagle94-A1 said:

I actually have seen what younger siblings on a camp out or visiting at summer camp can do. It is not pretty. That was the primary reason why  my family left a troop. Despite the number of problems the family was causing, not only to my family but also to the other Scouts in the troop, other Scouters wanted to work it out. After 19 months of trying to work it out, I had to leave as the situation was getting worse and not better.

So I can see where @Jameson76 and others have concerns. I have  serious concerns with "family Scouting."

But this isn't family camping.  It's a group of 11 - 13 year olds on an overnight campout at a Philmont staff camp.  If I recall correctly, PTC staffers, rangers or ranger-types, accompany them.  Mom/dad are back at the PTC.

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1 minute ago, desertrat77 said:

But this isn't family camping.  It's a group of 11 - 13 year olds on an overnight campout at a Philmont staff camp.  If I recall correctly, PTC staffers, rangers or ranger-types, accompany them.  Mom/dad are back at the PTC.

I don't know the specifics as I cannot afford PTC, but if you are correct AND they are out of the way of the trekkers, that is one thing. They just need to stay way from the trekkers until they get back to base camp.

 

But yes, I got concerns.

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Just now, Eagle94-A1 said:

I don't know the specifics as I cannot afford PTC, but if you are correct AND they are out of the way of the trekkers, that is one thing. They just need to stay way from the trekkers until they get back to base camp.

 

But yes, I got concerns.

Serious question:  what could these kids possibly do that would detract from a trekker's experience?  Aren't we trying to encourage more youth to embrace outdoor adventure?  Restricting these kids to popsicle stick arts/crafts in base camp isn't going to keep them engaged.  Plus Philmont is a big place.  Letting them spend 24 hours in the backcountry at a staff camp isn't going to hurt anyone.

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Posted (edited)

If scouters have concerns about family scouting, that's one thing.  I have mixed feelings about it myself.  I was in a small council where I saw it work, a full decade before it was officially authorized.  But everyone understood the boundaries and I didn't see where it detracted from the overall scouting experience.  But not every place is like that.  And parenting "styles" have changed a great deal over time, and not for the better.

I'm the last person who would willingly serve as an advocate for National's watering down of the outdoor program.  But the PTC Mustangs are not part of the problem.  They are a group of kids who are getting a small sample of Philmont adventure while mom and dad are eating cobbler back at the PTC.  Camping near Crater Lake will be, for most of them, the highlight of the summer.   Bonus:  getting away from all of those old people at the PTC :)

 

Edited by desertrat77

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@desertrat77 I wonder if the problem isn't creep.  PTC participants hiking on Wednesday on a few restricted trails; mustangs, and mountain trek in the back country with Philmont staff guides are one thing.  But, Families climbing the tooth of time with their 7 year old is another (https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Philmont-Family-Adventure-2019-Guidebook.pdf).  Full disclosure, I've done PTC and wished I could have hiked more trails, but I've never trekked.  I could see running into a whiny 7 year old on the tooth detracting from a 17 year old's experience.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

@desertrat77 I wonder if the problem isn't creep.  PTC participants hiking on Wednesday on a few restricted trails; mustangs, and mountain trek in the back country with Philmont staff guides are one thing.  But, Families climbing the tooth of time with their 7 year old is another (https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Philmont-Family-Adventure-2019-Guidebook.pdf).  Full disclosure, I've done PTC and wished I could have hiked more trails, but I've never trekked.  I could see running into a whiny 7 year old on the tooth detracting from a 17 year old's experience.

@walk in the woods, your points are sound.   Tooth Ridge trail, one way, is enough to tucker out a 7 year old, much less boulder up the Tooth and then take Tooth Ridge trail back.   It can physically and mentally zap an older kid or parent as well. 

Anecdotally, I understand the family adventure numbers were quite low this summer.  Much lower than hoped for.  On the trek side of Philmont, over 24K advisors and crew members participated in a trek, 12 day, 7 day, cavalcade, etc.   If there is a slight silver lining, I think the odds of a trekker having his/her adventure diminished are small. 

Edited by desertrat77

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"Family Scouting" creep is a major concern for me. Some folks do not care about boundaries.  I've seen what a 5 year old Lion can do to a patrol at camporee. Add in his helicopter parents, and life was miserable for the Scouts. Add to it that Dad was so focused on 5 year old Lion that he didn't honor the commitment he made to running an event ,affecting not just a patrol, but every single Scout attending the event, as well as the adults he had to ask to take over the event, which happened to be that morning.

Heck I've seen how an 11 y.o. "Family Scouting" Scout affected the entire patrol. Ignoring directions from SPL and PL, running off when work was to be done, hanging out with family instead of doing stuff with his patrol, abandoning his tentmate to sleep with parents.

So I am concerned.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

"Family Scouting" creep is a major concern for me. Some folks do not care about boundaries. 

That too is my concern.  The inevitable slide.  So you are camped out in a back country site.  Your crew of 16 - 17 year olds, say day 7 or 8.  There is a crew of Mustangs in the next camp.  Maybe it's their only night out, so they are more boisterous.  Also it can lessen the feeling of being out and away.

At the surface, seems benign, it would not take much to have a less than favorable impact.   Maybe there are ways to promote outdoors and not be out in the crown jewel of Boy Scouts backcountry.

Hey...there's always Summit and they desperately need folks to go there.  Make it Family Scouting paradise and leave the rest of us alone.  Not sure how many families you need attending to pay down an over $125 million balloon bond payment....

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