Participating in the Philmont Conservation Project were, sitting from left: Sriram Rangamony, Kavitha Sankar, Aditya Sriram, Travis "TJ" Behn, Nathan Yee Ong, Keegan Watson. Standing, from left: Philmont Ranger John "Jack" Burns, Kyle Link, Victor Chen, Jayland Brooks

A crew of teenage Scouts and their leaders from American Canyon made a life-changing summer trek through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Philmont covers 214 square miles of vast wilderness with trails that climb from 6,500 feet to as high as 12,441 feet. During their trek, members of Troop 62 hiked more than 50 miles over six days.

Philmont Scout Ranch has served more than 1 million participants since 1938.

This summer, Philmont is expected to host more than 24,000 participants in the high adventure trek. The group of Scouts and their advisers carried everything they needed on their backs. They participated in back-country programs along the way including spar pole climbing and black powder rifle shooting.

The trek included a conservation project where the Scouts pulled out tree stumps and broke rocks to improve trails at Philmont. Along the trek, challenges included backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs, and inclement weather that included hailstorms with lightning.

Crew leader and Eagle Scout Aditya Sriram said, “The trek at Philmont that our crew completed was one of many that they offered, each with their own advantages and challenges. Although many parts of the Philmont experience challenged us, both as individuals and as a group, overcoming those challenges and hiking up the next peak allowed us to grow and have fun.”

Lead Adult adviser Sriram Rangamony said, “It was fun working with the Scouts during the trek and while preparing for the trek over the last year. I am sure that all the scouts and adult advisers will retain the memories and lessons from the trek for a long time.”

Troop 62 meets Tuesday evenings at the American Canyon Boys & Girls Club, 60 Benton Way from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Anyone interested in Scouting is welcome to attend.

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