A group of eight Boy Scouts and three adult leaders from Troop 71 in North Stonington embarked on a camping and hiking adventure in the Southwest United States in August. After a late night flight to Las Vegas, the group picked up rental cars and spent the next three days hiking and camping while exploring Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon National Parks. Following that, the group flew to Albuquerque where they enjoyed the spoils of a night in a hotel and an authentic Mexican dinner. From there, it was on to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Philmont is a 140,000 acre wilderness owned by Scouts BSA in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The crew spent 10 days backpacking, carrying all their food and supplies with them. Along the way, they had the chance to do rock climbing and rappelling, shotgun shooting, learn how to blacksmith, and exploring of an old gold mine. A highlight for all was the climb to the summit of Mt. Baldy, the tallest point at Philmont at 12,441 ft. above sea level. After covering 75 miles over 10 days and making a lot of great memories, the crew returned to Connecticut. Those who traveled to Philmont include Scouts Mitchell Ashton, Ian Spracklin, Noah Slitt, Ben Dobley, Jake Neddeau,Simon Reichert, Tyler Dean and Justin MacCormack; and adult leaders Sully Mrowka, Tom Adams and Doug Spracklin.

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