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Scouts grow from facing daily challenges at Philmont

July 13, 2022 — Across the Ranch, participants overcome challenges each day. What they learn from these difficult moments shapes the magic of a Philmont experience. In many ways, it is how participants grow from these situations that makes a trek so transformative.

At climbing camp Cimarroncito, you can see these moments play out on the rocks. The crews are treated to an expansive view of the Tooth of Time and Arrowhead Rock but are faced with the challenge of what may be a new experience: rock climbing.

A member of Crew 613-OA2 looks up at the rocks while climbing at Cimarroncito on June 23, 2022, at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M. Photo by Marielle Scott.

On the rocks, a crew member reaches for the next handhold but suddenly stops and pulls their hand back. They look back down towards the ground, and then up to the top of the route. They shake their head. Can they finish the climb?

A raucous chorus of encouragement erupts from below. Their fellow crew members cheer them on. “You can do it,” the crew says. The participant reaches upwards once again, this time finding the next hold and finding a rhythm once again. They complete the climb, celebrating with high fives and fist pumps to their crew below. They’ve accomplished something that they didn’t think they could do.

That theme, accomplishing what was once thought of as impossible, is a common one across the Ranch. Atticus Goodwin, a crew member of 613-OA2, learned that maintaining a positive mental attitude was one of the most powerful ways to overcome the challenges of his trek. Goodwin, a member of an Order of the Arrow Trail Crew trek, became very familiar with challenge throughout his trek.

A participant waves at staff leaving the climbing area at Cimarroncito at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., on June 23, 2022. Photo by Marielle Scott.

An OATC trek requires Scouts to spend long days building trail, for 2022 in the high country below Mt. Phillips. Breaking rocks with rock bars, swinging pick mattocks to clear soil and learning all that it means to build a trail at Philmont were difficult but rewarding moments, said Goodwin.

“You get over the rough parts and have a lot of fun,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin’s fellow crew member Cole Goembel said he knew an Order of the Arrow Trail Crew trek would require long days of hiking and hard physical labor. For fellow Scouts who will embark on a Trail Crew trek, Goembel had this advice: “Pick something to look forward to at the end of the day.”

Goembel said he found hanging out with his buddies, telling stories while cooking dinner or joking about a recent red roof trip at the end of a long day a compelling reason to put his heart into the work. Goembel said the OATC trek was, “ of the hardest things that [he’s] ever done.”

As for finishing the trek itself, Goembel said he’ll take home the lesson, “...that you’re capable of accomplishing things if you put your mind to it.”

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