Issue 6 2017 .indd - Philmont Scout Ranch

Jul 14, 2017 - BSA, and Scouting is an integral part of the Church's program. At the PTC, Church leadership learns how to further apply the Aims and.
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JULY 14TH, 2017

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PHILNEWS From coast to COPE

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More than thistles Elizabeth Harper Staff Writer

Andrew Kliewer and Elizabeth Harper Staff Writers As Scouts trek through the dense trees and underbrush that characterize Philmont’s south country, only the sky above, the forest around them and the trail ahead are visible in many locations. This feeling of uninterrupted wilderness is a key aspect of the Philmont experience that helps create a feeling of isolation from the surrounding world. However, those assuming that the forest they are trekking through is free of human impact would be mistaken. Although it may not appear so to untrained eyes, virtually every area of Philmont, from the swaying aspens that line Baldy to the ponderosa filled valleys in the South, have undergone large ecological shifts since first being settled, that today’s staff is working hard to address. One of the first impacts humans had on the land that currently comprises Philmont resulted from widespread clear cutting. Today two camps, Pueblano and Crater Lake, depict the frenetic


friends, family, numerous towns and even the Grand Canyon, that Graydon would ultimately see as he crossed the country. Graydon’s inspiration for this epic journey came four years earlier, when he was hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Having grown up with parents highly involved in Venturing, and having come to Philmont in 2008, Graydon already had a deep appreciation for the outdoors. After hiking all the

Bright purple musk thistle grows in clumps scattered throughout a green meadow near Rich Cabins. The pretty but spiky plants are wildly deceiving. Musk thistle is actually a type of invasive species that grows across the country. Fortunately for Rich Cabins, however, six girls with shovels also dot the grassy expanse. They plunge their shovels into the ground, uprooting the large thistle plants and then chopping off the colorful heads to keep the seeds from spreading. Those six girls are members of a Roving Outdoor Conservation School (ROCS) trek. They and their two Environmental Educators spend 21 days hiking through Philmont, learning about the environment and doing many different conservation projects as they go. There are multiple ROCS treks each summer, split into women’s and men’s crews. “My goal for the girls is that they learn to love learning outside of the classroom,” said Environmental Educator Amanda Adams. “Learning happens

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Head of Dean Program Councelor Jackson Graydon rides a makeshift bike made from COPE course materials at Head of Dean on July 5, 2017. While biking across the United States in the spring of 2017, Graydon made a stop at Philmont Scout Ranch and applied for a Backcountry position the summer. Drew Castellaw/PhilNews

Andrew Kliewer Staff Writer On a warm windy spring day, Jackson Graydon finally caught a glimpse of a familiar rock formation. For the first time in nine years, he saw the Tooth of Time jutting over the New Mexican plains and knew he was close to his destination. Instead of hitting the gas however, Graydon simply continued pedaling. A few hours

later, he spun into Philmont’s gravel parking lot, hoping to find company and potentially a job application. Graydon’s journey to Philmont began not that morning in Springer, but actually over a month ago several thousand miles away. On March 5, 2017 he set out from the Georgia coast on an almost 3,100 mile bike trip that would conclude over two months later in Southern California. Philmont was only one of many destinations, including

Friday, July 14, 2017

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Marketing Manager Bryan Hayek

MPS Manager Cassidy Johnson

PhilNews Editor Suzannah Evans

PhilNews Writers Andrew Kliewer Elizab