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Trail of Courage

This was the 4th year of Trail of Courage

2015 Philmont Participation (September 15, 2015)
Total Crews = 2,098 Total Crews participating in program = 1,060 % participating = 50.5%
Total Participants = 21,992 Total Participants taking the pledge = 10,041 % participating = 45.7%
Total Staff = 1,130 Total Staff taking the pledge = 676 % participating = 59.8%

All backcountry participants and staff received information about the Trail of Courage – Right Decisions/Right Now Program which included 21,992 participants and 1130 staff. In addition the program was introduced at the Philmont Training Center to 2,009 family participants and at the 7 courses and 500 participants taught at the Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp. A total of 25,631 introduced to the program over the summer months.

Staff Participation

  • 676 staff members took the pledge. This was an increase from 439 staff members in 2014.
  • The program was shared with each manager during the Leadership Conference on May 23rd. (120 Managers and Assistant Managers).
  • Ranger Leadership was briefed on the program. (40 Ranger Leadership)
  • All Staff Training – The program was introduced to all staff members during the all staff training on May 29th. (1000 staff members present)
  • 18 sessions of Aims and Methods and Philmont Brand training were conducted. The program was shared with all staff to indicate that each crew leadership positions responsible for guiding their crew in moments of conversation along the trail. (1130 staff)
    • Crew Leader – Trail of Courage – Right Decisions/Right Now – Be Tobacco Free
    • Chaplain Aide – Duty to God
    • Wilderness Pledge Guia – Wilderness Pledge Achievement Award
  • Detailed training was presented to each Ranger during the Ranger Rendezvous on June 4 and June 21. Discussion of each of the seven parts was provided. (250 Rangers and Ranger Leadership)
  • Copy of the brochure was given to each Ranger for them to study to understand how to guide the Crew Leader in implementing the program to their crew.
  • Each staff member has been provided a copy of the brochure with a special staff pledge form.
  • An article was included in the PhilNews staff newspaper.
  • Participant Participation

  • Information included in the Philmont 2015 – Guidebook to Adventure. Each participant receives a copy of this booklet.
  • Crew receives two copies of the brochure and pledge form during check-in by their Ranger.
  • A Kiosk about the Trail of Courage Program was on display at the medical recheck pavilion. Rangers made a presentation about the program to their crew when they
  • sited this location as part of their day of check-in.
  • Advisors are informed of the program during the Advisor’s Meeting. 67 meetings conducted during the summer presented by a member of Ranch Leadership. The
  • portance of being tobacco free is emphasized. The increase in teenage tobacco use is shared.
  • Rangers work with Crew Leaders to help them understand the program. 67 Crew Leader’s Meeting conducted during the summer that were led by a Ranger Trainer.
  • Information included in the Crew Leader Field Guide.
  • Crew Leader and Advisor sign Ranger Training Card to indicate that the program was presented.
  • Pledge cards are submitted when crews check out and receive Philmont Arrowhead patches at Camping HQ. Special 2015 Patches and Boys’ Life pocket pledge cards
  • e presented to Crew Leader to distribute to crew.
  • Reminder note and pledge card are presented to each crew who checks out without submitting pledge card.
  • Program introduced to 363 NAYLE (National Advance Youth Leadership Experience) and 137 staff at the Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp.
  • Program introduced to family participants at the Philmont training Center. 2,009 family participants.
  • New in 2015. A copy of the brochure, pledge form, Boys’ Life pocket pledge card and one patch were sent to each crew that did not submit a pledge form while at the Ranch.
  • Trail of Courage Comments – 2015

    Crew Leader

  • It was cool! Had to talk about avoiding common peer pressure.
  • Two thumbs up.
  • Our crew is dedicated to being clean and making the right decisions, and the program reminded us of the importance of these things.
  • With Trail of Courage Program we had something else to think about. Instead of arguing we thought about what we want our lives to be like, so it relaxed us and de us what to have a clean life.
  • It strengthened our belief in not doing drugs.
  • It gave us a pledge to stay tobacco free.
  • It taught us to appreciate the values of it, and to fully comprehend the rules and implications.
  • We all took the pledge and hold to keep it.
  • Really made everyone think about choices they have in their life and how they can stay safe and fit.
  • It made us think about what we eat and do in our daily lives.
  • It changed the way we think for the better.
  • It lead to interesting discussions.
  • The program served to educate us about substance abuse and its consequences. Overall this program gave meaningful ideas to us throughout our trek.
  • We read a part of it each night and reflected on it.
  • It brought us closer together.
  • We will never smoke or do drugs.
  • It taught us a lot about drug abuse.
  • The program was very informative and benefitted our experience.
  • Awesome!!!
  • The Trail of Courage helped us learn about staying drug-free and about cancer awareness.
  • We all were very motivated to stay in shape and make good choices.
  • It helped us practice and maintain healthy behavior throughout the whole trip.
  • It opened up people’s eyes to the dangers that people who do these things allow to affect them.
  • At first the crew was not that interested but after Theo explained it and we discussed it everybody agreed it’s one of the most important awards.
  • We learned about the dangers of Drugs/Tobacco/Alcohol and pledged to abstain.
  • Opened our eyes to the dangers
  • The Trail of Courage is important thing and it gave our crew something to think about.
  • It provided our crew with awareness and strengthened our personal reserve.
  • We all took the pledge to ourselves and a Scout is trustworthy, so we will keep it.
  • Adult Advisor

  • Another great opportunity for the crew leader to get a feel of other levels of leadership. Excellent.
  • It is a great idea to speak to the boys about keeping their habits clean and respectful of oneself.
  • We had some good discussions on the topic that hopefully had an impact.
  • It helped the Scouts think about their actions.
  • Always good to have those messages presented to youth!
  • They all signed pledge and are more aware of dangers of a poor life choice.
  • It was nice. Gave us a reason to talk about important issues.
  • Reinforces what they already know about drugs and alcohol.
  • We took advantage of a rainy day by having a “porch talk” about the Trail of Courage. It inspired some interesting conversations and lightened the mood during e thunderstorm.
  • The Trail of Courage is a good idea. My crew didn’t fully appreciate its meaning until late in the trek but they got it.
  • Discussed the need for sunscreen a lot more.
  • Positive reminder to healthy lifestyle.
  • We reviewed the info and the boys bought in.
  • It was good reinforcement of what Scouts have learned at school.
  • Good program to have for the Scouts while they enjoy the outdoors and healthy living.
  • It is a very powerful tool to address the topic of quitting tobacco and other drugs.
  • Impactful.
  • Zach did a great job of explaining it during the medical checkup and Scouts were discussing it during the trek.
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    About Philmont Scout Ranch

    Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America's premier High Adventure™ base, challenges Scouts and Venturers with more than 214 square miles of rugged northern New Mexico wilderness. Backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs offer young people many ways to experience this legendary country.