Troop News

Info About Philmont Scout Ranch

posted Jul 19, 2011, 6:51 AM by Troop 521 Scoutmaster

There are a number of different kinds of treks available.  The standard trek is 12 days long and a short trek is 7 days long.  Pricing varies and does not include transportation.  Standard and short trek requirements include being 14 years of age or 13 years of age and completed the 8th grade before the starting date of the trek.  Treks are organized by Councils, Districts, and/or individual units.  Treks, even those organized by individual units, may be opened up to multiple troops or crews to fill open slots.
In addition to going with a crew organized locally, there are several other ways to go listed on the site under "Individual Treks."
OA Trail Crew:  This program is a 14-day experience for Arrowmen to join together in cheerful service and the formation of lasting brotherhood on the trails at Philmont. Under the direction of the Philmont conservation department, experienced Philmont staff members with strong Order of the Arrow backgrounds will lead participants. Arrowmen must be at least 16 by the program start date but not 21 by its conclusion.
Trail Crew:  The Trail Crew Trek Program (TCT) is an exciting new program at Philmont Scout Ranch. This 14-day experience will help prepare participants to develop a path that will help them achieve the William T. Hornaday Silver Award upon return to their homes. Scouts and Venturers must be at least 16 by the program start date but not 21 by its conclusion.
NAYLE:  The National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) is the ultimate in training experiences for youth leaders. It is conducted for older Scouts and Venturers who have the potential for being on the staff of the council junior leader training or youth leader training conference. Scouts and Venturers must be at least 14 by the program start date but not 21 by its conclusion.
Mountain Trek:  Mountain Treks are six-day hiking expeditions through Philmont's wilderness backcountry. Groups of five to 10 young people (male or female crews) are led by experienced rangers into the backcountry wilderness. Treks begin each Sunday and coincide with the Philmont Training Center conference schedule. Young men and women must be at least 14 by the program start date but not 21 by its conclusion.
In all cases, participants must meet the high adventure medical standards including the height/weight standards established by BSA.  Under no circumstances is anyone over 295 lbs permitted to participate because the rescue equipment is not rated for weights greater than that.  Anyone going to Philmont who does not meet the medical/physical health standards on arrival will not be permitted to leave the base camp with the crew.

Grimes Canoe Base Guidelines

posted Jun 17, 2011, 8:00 AM by PACAT Conferences   [ updated Dec 26, 2014, 9:48 AM by Troop 521 Scoutmaster ]

Here are some tips and hints for doing a Grimes Canoe Base day trip.


·         Grimes Canoe Base is a Middle Tennessee Council property located just outside Linden, Tennessee.  We get there by taking TN 13 from Clarksville, through Waverly, across I-40, to Linden.  The distance from Clarksville is approximately 100 miles.

·         Scouts will need the following

o   Class A uniform shirt to travel to and from Grimes Canoe Base.

o   Swim trunks, swim shorts, or other short pants suitable for getting wet.  Blue jeans are NOT recommended as they become extremely heavy and therefore dangerous when wet.

o   T-shirt to wear in the canoe (this isn’t southern California or Florida and the objective is NOT to get a wonderful tan)

o   Dry shoes to wear on the trip down and back and a pair of shoes to wear in the canoe that can get wet.  The river bottom is very rocky as are the shoals where we stop.  It is not possible to go barefoot without injury.

o   Sun Block (at least SPF 30) suitable for water activities.

o   A hat or some kind the Scout doesn’t mind losing.  It doesn’t happen often but sometimes a low hanging branch will steal a hat or it will float off when you end up unexpectedly in the river.

o   Money for food and/or the trading post (t-shirts, frozen slushies, etc.) in a zip lock bag or envelope with the Scout’s name on it.
o   Two 1/2 liter bottles of water.

o   A 5’ length of string, laundry line, 550 cord, or similar.  We use this to tie the water bottles to the canoe so they don’t float away if the canoe overturns.

o   A dry snack to eat on the river (Scout is responsible for carrying it and keeping it dry)

·         If Scouts want to bring an MP3 player with them for the trip down and back, that’s fine but it will be locked in the vehicles in the heat while we’re canoeing.

·         Scouts will be permitted to use adults' cell phones to call ahead when we’re on the way back.  They do not need to bring their own.

·         Scouts who have not completed the BSA Swimmer test must be paired with either a Scout who has or with one of their parents.

·         Flotation vests, properly secured, are to worn by all youth and adult participants at all times they are on or in the water.  There are no exceptions to this rule, ever.

·         A canoe or kayak with an adult on board will always be the last boat in line.

·         This is not a race.  The boats will stay together and always in sight of each other.  Boats are responsible for relaying warnings and for spotting a canoe or kayak in trouble.  Every boat should be able to see the one in front and in back of them at all times.

·         When told to space canoes further apart and wait because we are entering a narrow stretch of river, you must do so.  If a canoe becomes stuck at this point, it can easily become a multi-boat pileup as additional canoes are pulled in by the current.



Typically, for a day trip, we drive to Grimes (adults may elect to stop at the McDonalds drive-through at the I-40 intersection on the way down) and once we arrive we get changed into swim trunks, apply sun block, etc.  Once we’re ready, the Ranger will give issue flotation vests and paddles and give us safety instructions and an update on river conditions.  For the 7-miler, we board vans and travel 7-miles upriver.  We unload the canoes and get everyone settled and ready to go.  If we were racing, the 7 miles would take between 1:20 and 2:00 to complete.  Since we’re going to play and work on requirements, we’ll probably be on the river for around 5 hours.  On the way back, we'll stop at either Sonic or Subway for food.


Canoeing instruction en route consists primarily of experience.  We will stop and assist canoes having problems and there is a decent stretch of fairly wide river at the first part of the 7-miler.  Canoe partners should remember to COMMUNICATE so they paddle together and keep the canoe headed downriver instead of into the banks, trees, rocks, cows, etc.


Board of Review Guidelines for Scouts

posted Jun 16, 2011, 4:03 PM by Troop 521 Scoutmaster

“Be Prepared.”  This is an interview for promotion, so the BOR expects you to be on time, dressed in your Boy Scout uniform, and have your Boy Scout handbook as well as your notebook containing completed merit badge cards, rank cards, awards, paperwork for merit badges being worked on, etc.  When you arrive, the BOR will review these items and then ... (For the full set of guidelines, go to our Forms/Downloads page)

Helpful Summer Camp Info for Troop 521 Families

posted Jun 4, 2011, 1:14 PM by Troop 521 Scoutmaster   [ updated Dec 26, 2014, 9:50 AM ]

Medical Checks for Camp

posted May 15, 2011, 7:21 PM by Troop 521 Scoutmaster   [ updated Dec 26, 2014, 9:47 AM ]

1.  Open a copy of the BSA medical form.  A link is on this site's Forms/Downloads page.  You can enter the information onto the form directly using your computer.  Be sure to save the file as well as printing a copy to bring to the physical.
2.  Make sure you complete all of the information on Parts A and B, including the vaccination record.  Dates of vaccinations must be provided.
3.  List all prescription medications being taken on a regular basis, including name, dosage, and how often taken.
4.  Attach a copy (front and back) of the individual's medical insurance card to the medical form.
5.  Schedule an appointment for a checkup well in advance.  We must have all completed forms 2 weeks before our arrival date at camp to turn in at the Council 10-day out meeting.
6.  Make sure a parent/guardian AND the Scout have signed the form in the necessary places.
6. Once completed, make 2 copies of the completed form.  One is for the Troop's activities medical book that has to go with us on trips the second is to give to Boxwell medical staff for summer camp.  Always keep the original.

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