Local Boy Scouts backpack in Colorado, New Mexico
Published 10:02 am Friday, September 4, 2015
Boy Scout Association Troop 17 of the Western Tidewater area recently went to Colorado and New Mexico where they hiked mountains, stayed at a base camp, earned awards and much more.
During the trip, the troop was broken up into two crews. Crew one (812-7E-1) consisted of Brian Fenters (lead advisor), Terry Godwin (parent), Joe Edenfield (parent), Jim Moore (parent), Scott Pittman, Brandan Fenters, Jack Godwin, Christian Edenfield, Lee Johnson and T.J. Moore. Crew two (812-7E-2) consisted of Joe Belmonte (lead advisor), Mark Drumheller (parent), Alex Ona (parent), David Hall (parent), Harrison Drumheller, Anthony Ona, Collin Hall, Liam Lockwood, Arthur Johnson and Carter Brittle.
The troop left from High Street United Methodist Church, which charters them, on Aug. 10. Pastor Nathan Decker gave each of them a morning and an evening prayer that they said each day and night during their trip. He also gave each of them a prayer bracelet.
They took a bus to Raleigh, North Carolina, and from there they flew to Denver, Colorado. The troop stayed at the Marriott during their stay in the Mile-High City.
While in Denver they went to the Red Rock Amphitheater, toured the Air Force Academy and walked the Garden of the Gods — a hike over three miles. They also took the cog railway, which is like a train, to the top of Pikes Peak.
On Aug. 12, the troop took Blue Sky Adventures to Philmont, New Mexico. On arrival they received their equipment, a guidebook for the trip and rangers who would stay with them during their first two days.
Crew one was assigned John Pittman (crew leader), Corbin Womble (wilderness guide) and Emery Weist (chaplain’s aide). Crew two was assigned Will Belmonte (crew leader), Noah Shaffer (wilderness guide) and Jacob Vick (chaplain’s aide).
The lead advisors for each crew had to come up with a duty roster that the scouts had to follow through with during their time in Philmont.
They had a lead and an assistant for cooking, cleaning, the bear and in charge of water and fire and they had one person as the navigator. The scouts changed positions each day.
The first night they stayed at base camp. The next day they went off into their separate crews and each crew went on a different track. They carried everything they took in a backpack.
“It was backpacking in the back country,” crew one lead advisor Bryan Fenters said.
Throughout the tracks, the crews reached different destinations that had a program at each of them, such as rock climbing. Each crew also completed a conservation project during their journey. Crew one complete a path, crew two moved equipment from one place to another on a mountain.
During the hikes, the crews were caught in several lightning and hail storms. One of the most notable summits the crews reached was to climb to the top of the Tooth of Time.
On Aug. 18, the crews returned to base camp and checked in all of their gear.
Troop 17 chose to go to the Express St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico, for dinner that night. The hotel is known for the many gunfights that took place there in the 1800s. Today, the hotel keeps the look and feel of that time period.
After dinner they returned to base camp for their last night, and in the morning Blue Sky Adventures took them back to Denver. They flew back to Raleigh and returned home on a bus.
Both crews hiked more than 50 miles during their trip. The crews earned the Duty to God Award and The Wilderness Achievement Award.
“It was a wonderful and great opportunity for the scouts and the parents who came along,” Joe Belmonte lead advisor of crew two said. “It was unique to see all the boys pull together and they really started functioning as a great union.”
Fenters said, “It was the most challenging but rewarding experience I have ever had, watching the scouts work together. They did it all by themselves. We the adults just made sure they were safe.”