Area boy scouts visit Philmont Scout Ranch

This summer, boy scouts from the Tyrone area made a trek to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico for two weeks of backpacking in June and July.
The scouts were part of a larger contingent from the Penn’s Woods Council. There were 46 in all who traveled to Philmont and of these 12 were from the Tyrone area. The Council contingent leader for the trek was local Scoutmaster, Cummins McNitt. He and his Assistant Scoutmaster, Willie Hampton, served as the local crew’s adult leadership for the trek. The scouts elected Jonathan Hampton as their crew leader and Dudley McNitt as their chaplain (assistant leader).
The scouts on this expedition were: Luke Christine (Troop 103), Jonathan Hampton (Troop 20), Jon Hoffman (Troop 20), Clayton Hoover (Troop 20), Justin Howard (Troop 104), Zachary Knable (Troop 20), Bradley McNeal (Troop 20), Michael McNeal (Troop 20), Dudley McNitt (Troop 20) and Tim Zimmerman (Troop 103).
The scouts spent the past two years preparing for this experience of a lifetime. They each worked hard on fund raisers to pay for their trip. The Tyrone Women’s Club and other retired scouters from the Tyrone area helped with several scholarships. The scouts also spent the past year preparing physically for the ordeal by backpacking through the mountains of central Pennsylvania. Their “shakedown hikes” were designed to get them physically conditioned, used to their equipment, and to improve their leadership and team skills. They also had to learn the elements of low impact camping, such as no fires, but using backpacking stoves only. They had to carry everything in and pack everything out everywhere they hiked. The scouts endured snow, hail, and flooding rains during their shakedown hikes and a good thing it was!
While at Philmont, the boys had to endure temperatures ranging from 37 to 120 degrees, altitudes from 6,500 to 12,441 feet, as well as psychological and physical challenges. Their leaders asked each scout to keep diaries of their experiences. Often all that is left of such experiences 40 years later are faded photographs and memories. This practice would ensure the details of their experiences would last a lifetime. One of the scouts, Clayton Hoover, was voted by the crew on day three of their trek to become the official historian. While everyone kept their own records, Clayton’s tended to be more entertaining. The following series to begin tomorrow in The Daily Herald is a day by day account of a Tyrone scout’s experiences while at Philmont.