If all goes according to plan In August, Friday Harbor Troop 4090 Boy Scouts will be looking down from the 9,000-ft. high Tooth of Time at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. The troop, led by Lorin Geiser and Mark Fleming, has been planning this trip for a few years.
Three years ago Chris led a group of scouts including Emeron Geiser and Brian Fleming on a 42-mile seven-day hike at Philmont. Chris had also attended the scout ranch when he was a boy. "Going as a leader, it was cool seeing the boys experience," he said.
So now after months of fundraising, it's almost time for the next group to go. Since the number of treks are limited, Troop 4090 considers themselves fortunate to have made it through the lottery system that is used to select the troops.
Besides fundraising to meet the $15,000 cost (they still need a few thousand), the scouts have been building up their stamina by hiking with heavy packs. They'll fly into Denver which has an elevation of 5,280 feet and travel to Philmont Ranch. They'll have at least a day at base camp to help adjust to the altitude.
Other preparations included WIlderness First Aid training. Loren, Emeron and Luc Diaz attended two full weekends of training to become certified.
Asked what they are looking forward to, traveling super far with friends, being outside for a long time, and taking a real backpacking trip were some of the responses. They are also looking forward to the different activities at the camps along the way.
Philmont staff dressed as characters from different eras present activities such as gold mining and branding. The scouts will bring a leather object they want to brand.
The scouts will also do a conservation project during their time at the ranch. You can read more about the conservation efforts on the Philmont Scout Ranch website. Parts of the 147,000 acre ranch were damaged by the Ute Fire in May 2018. More than $450,000 has been donated for restoration efforts.
The trip takes place from August 5 to 14, 2019. The three Boy Scouts who will serve as leaders are Milo Geiser as Crew, Tyler Fleming as Chaplain's Aid, and Luc Diaz as Wilderness guia. Also going are Tate Geiser, Tiernan Clark and Hank Erickson.
While it is an exceptional opportunity for the troop to make the trip to Philmont, this isn't the only extraordinary thing about Troop 4090.
They have an abundance of Eagle Scouts. Milo Geiser, Emerson Geiser, Tyler Fleming and Brian Fleming are all Eagle Scouts.
An Eagle Ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. on June 19 at the Church of Latter Day Saints on Lampard Road for Luc Diaz and Tate Geiser.
Tate's Eagle project was removing bushes, trees and shrubs and other landscaping that was encroaching and causing damage to the Church building. It was a multiple day project involving 15 people who he directed.
Luc's Eagle project was repainting the interior of the Parkinsons Alert Dogs (PADS) facility. PADS trains dogs for early detection of Parkinsons. Luc was a regular volunteer with them for a few years. The facility's interior had been painted dark blue inside which made it challenging for observers to see results.
The troop invites other Eagle Scouts to attend the ceremony.