I have never been on one of Troop 444’s more challenging trips that didn’t have some adversity involved — and that’s a good thing.
This adversity takes different forms depending on where we are, what we have, what we don’t have, and what we are doing. I think back on our adventures and can remember feeling, at various times, cold, wet, hot, dusty, hungry, tired, dirty, stressed, afraid and even sometimes annoyed with myself or someone in the group.
Here’s a short list of what a challenging trip does for those who go:
- It forces us to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. That’s when we grow and expand our capacity to handle life and its problems.
- We become more competent in our skills.
- We become more self confident about our ability to meet physical and mental challenges.
- We become better at making do with fewer resources.
- We learn that we can do more than we thought we could.
- We bond ourselves together through shared adversity.
- We become more grateful for our families, friends, homes and many conveniences.
- We get a real look at who we are and what we are like when things aren’t easy–and the chance to make changes if needed.
- We get a chance to be at our best. A poet wrote, “We are climbers, at our best when the way is steep.”
- We learn to see all the good things that are in adversity.
- We learn to try, fail, and then get up and try again. And again. And again. And…again…
On each of these trips there is always at least one moment when I question my sanity for being out there and ask myself if I should even be there at all — and all of this is part of a process that is very good for each of us. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the chance to learn these lessons. We are better for them.
Jay Downs, Former T444 Scoutmaster & High Adventure Advocate
Philmont covers 140,177 acres of wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains in northeast New Mexico.
Choose from different adventures out of 3 locations: 2 in the Florida Keys, 1 in the US Virgin Islands.
Gateway to almost 6 million acres of wilderness in Northern Minnesota, Northwest Ontario and Northeast Manitoba.
13+ miles of the New River Gorge National River borders the park, giving access to more than 70,000 acres of managed wilderness.