Lee County Scouts at Philmont

The group atop Window Rock at Philmont: Bottom row (L to R) Jake Camp, Andrew Stanford, George Abraham, Dakota Burkhalter, Davis Baird, Andrew Sellers – Top row (L to R) Andrew Baird, Will Pendleton, Robert Perry, Joseph Farrow, Brian Moore, Cameron Nix

     Lee County Boy Scouts departed Auburn on June 14 for Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico — the Boy Scouts of America’s largest national high-adventure base — to complete a 12-day backpacking trek as part of the Chattahoochee Council contingent. The 12 members of Expedition 617-R, led by Troop 50 Scoutmaster Andrew Baird, included Scouts and leaders from Troops 15, 50, and 128 — with all but one making the trip to Philmont for the first time.

     Philmont covers 137,000 acres — about 214 square miles — of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range of the Rocky Mountains. Philmont, just outside Cimarron, New Mexico, is situated among high mountains with rough terrain, beautiful scenery, and bountiful plants and wildlife. Phillips 66 founder Waite Phillips donated the land to the Boy Scouts in 1938, making 2013 the 75th anniversary of the base. Today, Philmont operates 34 staffed camps and 55 trail camps, with a seasonal staff of 1,000 and more than 22,000 Scouts who participate in the various backcountry programs.