The Law of the Wilderness
A Dallas Police Department Explorer Post visited Philmont Scout Ranch this summer, proving Philmont isn't just for Boy Scouts. Below is an article that was written for Philmont's newspaper.
Trustworthy, Loyal and Helpful: these are just a few of the qualities all Scouts strive to possess. Crew 623 Q12 came to Philmont in search of a deeper understanding of those traits.
On June 23, 2016, a crew of Law Enforcement Explorers passed through the Welcome Center threshold and into a land of High Adventure. The crew was filled with ambitious teens seeking a career in Law Enforcement and/ or Military Service.
“After high school I’m planning to go to college at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, and I plan to join the academy and become a police officer,” said Angeles Calleja, an Explorer from Dallas, Texas.
Crew member Gavin Walker also expressed plans of going to college and later going into the military or becoming an FBI Agent. The two had never been to Philmont before and said it was quite a challenge at first.
“We got kind of confused about what we were supposed to do, because it was our first time being out here in the backcountry. We’re used to the city so everything was a new experience,” Calleja said.
Among the challenges listed, the crew found the weather to be the toughest obstacle. They recounted stories of hail storms in certain parts of their trek. They also struggled, at first, with New Mexico’s higher elevation.
Once they adjusted to their new environment, they were able to complete a trek from Zastrow to Mount Phillips during which they participated in program that helped them prepare for their futures.
“The black powder shooting was fun. It definitely got me interested. If I were to get some form of weapon later on in life, it would make me prepared for that… also the hiking itself helped me get a glimpse of what the military might be like,” Walker said.
The crew also got to ride horses and learned how to navigate, cook, hang bear bags and set up tents. Each day they divvied up the activities listed on their duty roster so that each person had a chance to help the group.
Aside from the physical activities that are important to every Philmont trek, the crew also learned valuable team building skills which will help them achieve their personal career goals.
“It definitely showed me how to follow orders given and also how to protect people who may not be able to protect themselves...to stand up for someone who is being bullied,” Walker said.
The Explorers grew individually and as a crew, and they expressed interest in returning to Philmont in the future.
“We support each other,” said Calleja. “We try to have each others’ backs, because without one another we can’t survive. Everyone has an important role in our team, and that’s what matters.”
Written by Hannah McCarthy, PhilNews Editor