May 23, 2009 at 7:33 pm #1236513
Hello fellow Philmont fans,
this will be our 3rd year to go to Philmont. It's about $1K per trekker when you add it all up if you don't have to buy much gear.
My goal for next year is to raise $10-12K through a foundation we're setting up to take 10 kids from the District / Council to Philmont that want to go but don't have the means(and not from our troop.)
I'm not soliciting $'s, I think we have that covered, but would like any bullets on what selection criteria you would use:
Should it strictly be based on financial need only? What about rank, service, etc? Should they / their parents have skin (some $'s) in the game? What about a competitive downselect: Select 20 and those 10 that show the most interest/prep over several months get the slot?
If you have any experience in selection criteria for anything remotely related, or just some good ideas, I'd really appreciate some feedback.
Feel free to respond here or to PhilmontScholarships@mikebarney.net
Thanks in advance,
MikeJun 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm #1507292
@rogertateLocale: North Texas
This sounds like a great idea you are cooking up and the question you raise is fascinating. So let me give you one man's ideas to throw into the mix.
As far as threshold criteria go, I'm not sure you need an age/rank/years of service limit beyond the age 14 requirement Phimont imposes. After all, a new Venturer could go to Philmont in the first year with no traditional scout ranks or time in a troop.
From other experiences, I would suggest that your application require:
(1) An essay from the youth on "Why I want to go to Philmont."
(2)A recommendation/nomination from the youth's Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor. (This will also help you weed out the not-really-needy and not-really-committed ones.)
(3) An essay from a parent/caregiver on "Why I want my kid to go to Philmont and how I'll support him."
These kinds of things start to get some skin in the game without actual dollars involved.
You mentioned the idea of starting with 20 and weeding it down to 10 as you prepare for Philmont. This idea bothers me, probably because it reminds me of reality television and. I also think it will be hard to do this in a way that is consistent with Scouting values. With that said, I suggest you start with the maximum number of youth allowed by Philmont with maybe two alternates, who are identified before the shakedown process. To be gracious, you might commit to giving a campership to a good council summer camp to any alternate that doesn't make the crew.
As far as the economic skin in the game question goes, I'd suggest some variation on the Habitat for Humanity model, where the youth has to put in sweat equity in order to go. If you wanted to, you could make the amount of the campership dependent on cheerful participation in the shakedown activities. A youth that does everything needed to prepare gets a full ride while a youth that misses opportunities has to put up more of his own money.
I assume you've already thought of this, but some of your campership money or effort will need to go into buying/borrowing gear for the youth.
Best of luck to you,
Roger TateJun 10, 2009 at 7:51 pm #1507394
thanks, thats good feedback. We start the paperwork for the foundation tomorrow, so any other ideas from anyone would be appreciated.
MikeJun 11, 2009 at 6:53 am #1507455
I think you guys have good criteria. The only other one I can think of is mandatory participation in a crew shakedown trip or two.
acronym 6/11/2009 8:53 AMJun 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm #1508954
got your PM,
but didn't see any contact info for you.
You can contact me about it @Jun 17, 2009 at 9:55 pm #1508960
Just out of curiosity, why Philmont? You could do your own trek somewhere else, less crowded, for 1/3 of the price..Jun 18, 2009 at 7:42 pm #1509183
fair question. Philmont provides significant logistics, resources and a program that could in part be produced elsewhere, but would take a very significant effort and capital to do so. Their programs are tied into BSA and they have significant team building and leadership components.
Yes we could do it elsewhere, but between the well planned logistics, relevant programatics and that great Philmont "Hawaiian Chicken" meals:), it's an easy program for otherwise busy leaders and advisors to provide for their crews. Because is is so spread out, once on the trail, it's far from crowded.
I'd be very surprised if the same programs, activities and resources could be had for much less than what Philmont charges.
MikeJun 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm #1509202
I guess I'm not familiar with the programs and activites. I just know we're doing a week in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness in July, and with an $85 rafting trip, it's $250 a head. And the boys have learned a lot by planning the logistics. Just wondered though, it has been time consuming.
If you ever get tired of the alpine mountains, you might check out some of the backcountry programs here – http://www.buffalotrailbsa.org/camping/btsr_about.html. Easy to combine a high adventure trip for the older guys with base camp classes for the younger guys.
The scholorships are a great idea though, for the guys who will seriously try to earn one.Jun 19, 2009 at 6:30 am #1509268
Here in MN our attitudes about Northern Tier High Adventure Base are similar to yours about Philmont. We have ready access to canoes, canoe packs and adults who know the BWCAW and canoe travel and can put together a trip at much lower cost. We'd never consider using Northern Tier's services.
But I'd never hesitate to recommend Northern Tier to Texans, southeasters or westcoasters looking for a different kind of backcountry experience.
Our troop has sent several crews to Philmont (two more going there in 2010) but I've had zero success in stirring up interest in a self planned and guided backpacking trip to other locations (other than the Superior Hiking Trail which we also know like the backs of our hands).
I've finally accepted that there's a basic level of discomfort offering a trip when none or at most one of the crew are familiar with the destination area. We've had too many cases where family or work related conflicts pop up and an adult bails out … that can leave the other adults responsible for the trip and feeling like very nervous virgins. It's much more comfortable knowing that there's help available when you arrive.Aug 18, 2009 at 8:13 am #1521585
Jim Colten wrote:
> I've finally accepted that there's a basic level of discomfort offering a trip when none or at most one of the crew are familiar with the destination area. We've had too many cases where family or work related conflicts pop up and an adult bails out … that can leave the other adults responsible for the trip and feeling like very nervous virgins. It's much more comfortable knowing that there's help available when you arrive.
This intrigues me. My Wood Badge "vision" will be to increase participation in higher adventure activities in our troop. I just completed my first weekend so it's a month before my 18-month clock starts. I see part of the issue as perhaps what Jim wrote. They like car camping, they're familiar with it, etc.
How many higher adventure trips does your troop do a year? I'd think if you went to Philmont, that would be the only one in that year simply for the expense involved.Aug 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm #1522386
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
In 2006, our troop created two crews for 2007 and required each interested scout to have completed 2 backpack treks of 15 miles and one backpack > 20 miles to be in the candidate pool. Each interested parent was required to led at least one overnight back pack to be eligible to come on the trip and complete the council Outdoor Awareness Training.
We thought we might have to have a lottery to down-select to two crews of 12 but by Feb or March several scouts had opted out on their own and there was no need for the lottery. The crews met and my crew decided to have three Spring training hikes and each Scout committed to attend at least 2 of the hikes.
You could require your scouts to be 1st class and have completed the backpacking merit badge to be eligible, then hold a lottery to choose from the candidate pool.
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