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Hagerstown native works with Boy Scouts

R. Scott Smith was lead adviser for Elkridge, Md., group's trip to Philmont Scout Ranch

August 05, 2012
  • Front row, from left, Joe Dilosa, Kenny Shotting, Tim Larkin, Noah Smith (Philmont ranger), Cameron Smith, Porter Polcaro and Blake Foster. Back row, R. Scott Smith (lead adviser), Jack Goulet, Patrick Bibeau, Max Berman and Marc Berman.
Submitted photo

R. Scott Smith, son of Barbara and Ronald Smith of Hagerstown, was the lead adviser for a group of Scouts attending Philmont Scout Ranch.

He attended as a youth in 1978 with Boy Scout Troop 100 of Williamsport, and was thrilled to return as a leader and to share the trek with his son, Cameron Smith, the grandson of Barbara and Ronald.

A crew of teenage Scouts and their leaders, from St. Augustine Boy Scout Troop 1111 in Elkridge, Md., went on the life-changing summer trip through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M.

Philmont covers 214 square miles of vast wilderness with trails that climb from 6,500 feet to as high as 12,441 feet. During their trip, Boy Scout Troop 1111, Crew 711-L16 hiked 81 miles over 10 days.

The group of Scouts and their advisers carried everything they needed to survive during the trip on their backs while hiking from camp to camp. They participated in back-country programs along the way, including rock climbing, archaeology and gold prospecting.

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The trip included a conservation project through which the Scouts learned and participated in the upkeep of Philmont’s ecosystem. Along the way, the Scouts endured tough challenges, including backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs and inclement weather.

“They may meet only one other group of Scouts on the trail in an entire day of hiking,” according to Backpacker magazine. “Even in the most crowded destinations, each Scout group camps in isolation, out of sight and sound of all other groups.”

The crew made what amounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with its trip to Philmont.

Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high- adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world, serving nearly 1 million participants since 1938.

R. Scott Smith graduated from South Hagerstown High School in 1981 and James Madison University in 1986.

He became an Eagle Scout in 1979 with Troop 100 in Williamsport, which is sponsored by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

He is now scoutmaster of Troop 111 in Elkridge.

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