Thank you to Liz Fallin for the particulars and early notification.
Attention Orthodox Boy Scouts and Venturers!
Pan-Orthodox Scout Troop 67 and Venture Crew 67, based in Seattle, are going to Philmont Scout Ranch this summer, for eleven days of backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our coed group of teens. We will be exploring a glorious part of God’s creation, and we’d love to have you come along!
Our Troop was formed in 2004, and is very active in the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest; we have hikes, backpacking trips, and other outings over fifteen times per year. And all of this is done within the context of Orthodoxy: mealtime prayers, attending Divine Liturgy at local churches, or saying the Typika if we’re in the backcountry.
Venture Crew 67, a coed group for teens age 14-20, was formed this year. The crew is planning hiking and backpacking trips, and is going to Philmont this summer.
But I’m merely a leader. Matthew, age 17, gives a better perspective:
“The outdoors is one of the easiest places to make friends right away. The people around you share common feelings for the wilderness, lakes and mountains and make the experience fun for each other. Scouts and Venturing is teamwork and family, and sometimes fosters the closest connections to others you make as a youth.
“Several members of our troop went to Philmont Scout Ranch in 2009. Our backpacking trek tested our stamina and teamwork skills, and the leadership training I had accumulated over the years came to good use. For any hardship in the experience, it gave us in return memories that will last forever. It was one of the real soul-searching and freeing feelings I have ever had.
“A trip to Philmont Scout Ranch feels like the fresh beginning you think you only get once. The New Mexico mountain terrain is breathtaking. The heights give a marvelous view, and as you climb over the boulders to the summits, you see the green and the gold and the billowing clouds going by, casting huge shadows across the lowlands. The river water reflecting light is dazzling to look at, and the crystal clear rivers tempt you to swim; the weather and smells are just as wonderful. The experience was one of the greatest chapters of my Scouting experience. And of course, I am going again.”
Wondering about Philmont? Take a look at the website: www.philmontscoutranch.org. Wondering about our trek? The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) has a great article about our 2009 expedition: http://eocs.org/?p=216. And because our group was blessed to include Father Dean Koldukis of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, Seattle, we have a picture of the very first Divine Liturgy ever celebrated in the Philmont backcountry.
We have a handful of openings left, for young men and women ages 14-20 (or age 13 and having completed 8th grade). We also have openings for up to four adult leaders. Parent/teen pairs are especially welcome! On our 2009 trek, we had four pairs of fathers and sons; for them, the trek was that much more meaningful.
The trip will be approximately July 1-16; you can join us in Seattle, or meet us in New Mexico. The cost will be $1700-1800 per person, depending on the cost of airfare and how much you’d like to budget for souvenirs and in-town meals.