Scouts report back on trip to Philmont Scout Ranch, Baldy Mountain

The Scouts in Troop 202, chartering out of Locust Presbyterian Church, have a long and proud history of hiking Dennis Mountain in the Uwharrie National Forest.

The peak is 732 feet above sea level just across Lake Tillery in Montgomery County. However, a select group of eight Scouts in Troop 202 recently made it to the top of Baldy Mountain in New Mexico — 12,441 feet above sea level.

Sam Watson, voted by his fellow Scouts as crew leader for the trek, was on his second Philmont adventure. He also made the trip in 2021.

“It’s beautiful,” he said of Philmont. “I really enjoyed getting to know these guys a little better and growing our friendship.”

That hike up Baldy Mountain was part of the Troop 202 crew’s adventure on the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico from June 15-26. Philmont covers 220 square miles of vast wilderness and is one of the crown jewels of BSA Scouting. The Scouts in Troop 202 hiked more than 65 miles in 12 days.

These Scouts and their advisors carried everything they needed to survive during the trek on their backs while hiking from camp to camp. They participated in backcountry programs along the way, including a conservation project, shooting shotguns and learning how to hike with their very own burrow for a few days. The Scouts concluded the trek with horseback riding.

In addition to 2023 and 2021, Troop 202 have also sent scouts and leaders to Philmont in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

Crews from around the world have all made what amounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with their trips. Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world, serving more than 1 million participants since 1938.

Troop 202 has been active in the community through The Big Serve, picking up trash along Running Creek Road through the Adopt-A-Highway program and volunteering at West Stanly Christian Ministries.

Members meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Locust Presbyterian Church.