I traveled 95 miles in 12days in the New Mexico wilderness with a 55 pound backpack on my back. I was in charge. Last summer, I went with a contingent of three fellow scouters and two adult advisors to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, for a two week adventure.
Before the trip, I was elected to be crew leader because I am an Eagle Scout. I have scouted since first grade and demonstrated the leadership qualities needed for this adventure.
Throughout the trip, my leadership skills were tested. A fellow scouter in our sister crew got hit in the head with a huge stick and needed stitches. The incident happened when our sister crew was playing a game. As soon as I saw what happened, I rushed over to the injured scouter and organized a group to help get him down to the health lodge. He was okay a day later and rejoined us.
After being with the same people for over a week, some of the crew was annoyed by what was done or said. It was my job to make sure this never happened and I was successful. In one case, I convinced a scout he would be safer putting his food covered shirt in the bear bag. After he agreed, he was allowed back in his tent after being pushed out by his tent mates.
Never again will I be able to sit on top of a mountain and be able to see for miles in every direction. Never again will I be able to be five feet away from a rattle snake and not be scared or see a United States Air Force Bomber flying inches above the tree line. Or be feet away from a bear that was trying to invade our campsite. Even though I will not be able to experiences these events again, they will live on with me forever.
When I first got back, people asked me if I would ever do it again. My original response was no. But after I thought about it, after I thought about how much fun I had, how much I learned, and how much I enjoyed being away from everything, I would have to say I would.
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