The Compass Point

A Trail Crew Expedition

By: Matthew Pedrosa

High adventure is one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of the Boy Scouts of America. These bases are where Scouts and Scouters go when they are in search of extraordinary adventures the Boy Scouts of America have to offer. Arrowmen can attend these as regular participants, but they are also given the opportunity to serve their fellow Scouts by participating through Order of the Arrow High Adventure (OAHA). One aspect within the OAHA program is the Trail Crew at Philmont. Trail Crew aims to combine both the principle of servant leadership as well as the regular high adventure experience. Being a member of the Philmont Trail Crew is one of the most incredible experiences of my Scouting career. Philmont Trail Crew is a two week adventure that is split into two parts, each consisting of one week. The first week is dedicated to trail construction and trail maintenance which is all supervised by a Philmont Trail Foreman, who provides direction and motivation, while their Arrowmen do their part in cheerful service to build and expand Philmont’s impressive network of trails. The other half of the week is more of the traditional Philmont experience, where your treks throughout the backcountry will bring you to exciting places and do activities that are unique to Philmont. In my experience in the backcountry I climbed Baldy and the Tooth of Time, rock climbed on an actual rock face, used ancient weaponry such as the Atlatl, and tried my hand at blacksmithing just to name a few things. My crew and I accomplished all of this over the course of trekking over one hundred miles while carrying between forty and fifty pounds of gear on our backs. Every trek gets assigned a backcountry guide for the first two days or so in order to teach your crew the principles of Leave no Trace camping to ensure that the natural beauty of Philmont is preserved. Your guide also teaches you how to properly pitch a campsite, purify your water, and how to cook ultralight while trekking the backcountry. The trails you will find at Philmont are exquisite and unique in their construction and their placement is very specific to reduce environmental impact while giving hikers the best experience possible. In this day and age there are very few experiences like Philmont that are so easily accessible to Scouts. I would recommend to any Arrowman who is interested in high adventure to do Order of the Arrow Trail Crew due to the rewarding experience that you will obtain and never forget.


Region Leadership

Northeast Region

Justin St. Louis

Northeast Region

Bob Chaballa

Northeast Region
Staff Adviser

Brad Bowsersox