Silver on the sage, starlit skies above
Philmont Scout Ranch has digitized all their crew pix back to 1988 and put them online. I have my originals somewhere, but I managed to find these on the online archive. I post them both for sentimental reasons and to note how some of us have aged in our life of adventure. So, here are the crews from my five Philmont treks.1997, Explorer Post 697
Seated: (Kati) Blendall Stiles (now Carter); Anna Collins (now Waite), Crew Leader; Daniel Shourds; our Ranger (we were his first crew); Matt Prarat; Zachary Randall, who was a month shy of his 14th birthday; Chris Neuendorf (Cumeg, Mighty Warrior).
Standing: Art Collins (me, in the red beret), Advisor; Deanne Collins, adult; Roger Fehling, adult, an old Scout who finally got to Philmont with us.
I had lucked into an open reservation for a trek, and we formed an Explorer Post expressly to go to Philmont. Deanne and Ben built a snowman on the shoulder of Baldy on the first day of summer.1998, Explorer Post 697 and others, Hoosier Trails Council contingent
Seated: Deanne Collins, adult; (Kati) Blendall Stiles (now Carter); Megan Tierney; our Ranger; Cindy Mattingly (who went on to become Anna's bridesmaid at her wedding); Anna Collins (now Waite); Tom Stiles.
Standing: Art Collins, Advisor; "Tater" Shourds; R.J. Clutter; John Schaaf; Charlie Finecy; Daniel Shourds, Crew Leader.
Deanne and I took six boys and four girls in two vehicles. It rained almost every day on the trail. One of the toughest treks I've ever taken, anywhere. The highlight was summitting Mt. Phillips.2000, Venturing Crew 699, Hoosier Trails Council contingent
Seated: Anna Collins (now Waite), adult; Madison Stuart, Crew Leader; our Ranger; Brian Waite, adult, Anna's fiancé, Sarah Lockwood.
Standing: Me again, Advisor; Carolyn Stuart, Madison's mom; Zachary Randall; Tom Stiles.
We had four adults and four youth, four veterans and four newbies, four males and four females. We were perfectly balanced, and for once, everything worked like the Scouts say it should. We faced extreme weather and the wilds of the Valle Vidal. Our crew leader was the youngest of the crew and the others made her into a great leader.2010, Venturing Crew 119, The Children of Jedediah Smith
Seated: Kaleb ("Carlos") McArdle; Connor Thomas; our Ranger; Makayla Goen, Crew Leader; Ben Jeatran; Jordan Napier.
Standing: Scott Thomas, Connor's dad; Melody Hash (now Martin), Makayla's mom; Meself, Advisor.
I returned to the Philmont backountry after ten years with my new Crew. We went under the auspices of The UMC; our trek was organized by NAUMS. Highlight: Mt. Phillips.2012, Venturing Crew 119, The Children of Jedediah Smith Ride Again
Seated: Michael Niemi, Crew Leader; Dakota Baker; our Ranger; Cheyanne Wolf; Sarah Lockwood, adult now.
Standing: T.C. Wolf; Pat Wolf, Cheyanne's and T.C.'s dad; Yours Truly, Advisor; Jeffrey Gosney (now Bacon); T.J. Nichols.
Once again, our happy Crew returned to Philmont under the auspices of The UMC/NAUMS. The highlight of the trek for me was summitting Baldy again (my third time to the top). At 87 miles, my longest