OAKVILLE — The Boy Scouts of Troop 52, Union Congregational Church, went on a trip through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., this summer. During the trip, 27 scouts split up into three groups and went on an almost 70-mile hiking journey in 10 days, carrying all the equipment they needed on their backs.
The trip started on Sunday, July 14, when they arrived in Colorado to visit the Red Rock Amphitheater and the U.S. Air Force Academy. The scouts visited Colorado first in order to adjust to the high altitudes they would experience during their hike through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
The scouts were to start their hike at an altitude of 6,500 feet.
Once at Philmont, the scouts split up into three groups. Two groups hiked in the south country and climbed to the top of the Tooth of Time, a height of more than 9,000 feet.
The third group hiked north and climbed to the top of Baldy Mountain, a hight of 12,400 feet.
Throughout their hike the scouts stopped at various points to resupply, rest and participate in activities.
Activities included rock climbing, mountain biking, fly-fishing, gold prospecting, rifle shooting and creating railroad spikes.
In addition to enjoying nature, the scouts also had the opportunity to appreciate the deep history of the region. That area of the country was once the frontier and is scattered with outpost that the pioneers used to settle the Wild West.
During their trek, the scouts completed a conservation project where they learned and participated in the upkeep of Philmont’s ecosystem.
After a week and a half of roughing it through the wilderness, climbing steep slopes, enduring inclement weather and camping outside, the campers safely returned home.
“I would go back again if I could,” Scout Josh Scalo said. He enjoyed the hike and said that is was “very scenic.”
“The memories we had out there were awesome,” said Jaiden Carter.
The scouts are already preparing for their next summer trip.
Troop 52 plans to go canoeing down the Allagash River in Maine in 2020.
“We’re practicing now,” said Jaiden, excited for next year’s trip.
“We try to do a variety of things that the scouts enjoy,” said Assistant Scout Master Brian Shannon.
The scouts meet at 7 p.m. every Wednesday at the Union Congregational Church, 167 Buckingham St. They welcome all visitors to their meetings.
Those seeking additional information about Troop 52 may visit the website at http://tr52.com/