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Warren Scouts BSA Troop 50 going to New Mexico

Submitted by Scoutmaster Brian Wurtzel
Crookston Times

    Warren’s Scout Troop 50 has been accepted to again attend the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico on June 23, 2021. Philmont Scout Ranch is the Scouts BSA’s largest National High Adventure Base. Philmont has become a bustling center for high adventure and training. It covers 140,177 acres of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern New Mexico. Philmont has a unique history of ancient Native Americans who chipped petroglyphs into canyon walls, Spanish conquistadors, who explored the Southwest long before the first colonists arrived on the Atlantic coast, the rugged breed of mountain man such as Kit Carson, who blazed trails across this land, the great land barons like Lucien Maxwell who built ranches along the Santa Fe Trail and miners, loggers and cowboys. All left their mark on Philmont.

    Philmont Scout Ranch operates 35 staffed camps and 55 trail camps across the rugged terrain that ranges in elevation from 6,500 to 12,441 feet. More than 1 million Scouts, Venturers, and Advisors have experienced the adventure of Philmont since its first camping season in 1939.       

     Troop 50 last attended in August of 2017, which happened to be at the start of the rainy season for the area. Despite being rained upon almost every day in the afternoon, the scouts covered over 50 miles of backpacking various elevations in 6 days.         

    When we arrive to the Ranch and check-in, our Troop name will be dropped and replaced with “crew.” Philmont 2021 will be attended by a whole new crew of mainly Troop 50 scouts, younger members from when the older scouts from 2017 attended. From Warren, Andon Gornowicz, Austin Wittman, and Brodie Wurtzel. Also attending are scouts in the troop from other towns: Alec Haskett from Mentor, and Gage Nelson, Grant Nelson, and Brandon Wandrie from Crookston. Eric Wittman and Brian Wurtzel (from Warren) are returning as leaders. Finally, the crew is complete with two adults and their two sons from North Carolina.     

    The scouts are eager to attend after having heard the tales regaled by the older scouts and viewing the pictures. In fact, some of the scouts in the troop had some things they are excited about but also nervous for. Gage Nelson comments that he is “most excited to be able to see the scenery that New Mexico has to offer and to see all the different places and attractions that come with it.” But Gage is nervous about getting there and seeing what we are up against “because you can’t really tell what is going to happen just by stories and tales that you have been told.” His brother, Grant Nelson, says “I am excited because I have never hiked up a mountain. I can’t wait to see the views as we do not get to see these around here. We get to view a different environment than what we see around here. I want to go there for the experience and see as much as I can.” But Grant is worried that the trek will be “physically daunting.”  

    "I have never hiked up a mountain before but I would be excited to hike to the summit of the Tooth of Time after seeing the pictures of the previous crew going,” says a beaming Brandon Wandrie. “I would like to look at the clear night sky away from city lights,  using binoculars to view the stars. But I am nervous about injuring myself.”          (The scouts will actually go through a few areas of training to hopefully prevent that from happening.)

    Due to the circumstances of fundraising around a pandemic, our Troop has impatiently been waiting for those conditions to ease so we can continue with our efforts to raise the funds we need to travel. But be as it may, our efforts to raise money for Philmont have been slow going. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me at 218-416-2154 or email gilly775@gmail.com.