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Local Scouts Enjoyed Adventure

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Eight scouts from the Five Rivers Council, including Wyalusing and Camptown troops, and four scout leaders experienced a two-week trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. Pictured are, front row, from left, Gavin Rexer, Nick DeRemer, Alex Campbell, Jeff Ranger, Terry Williams, Eric Lloyd and Matt Miller. Back row: Levi Hewitt, Richard Rexer, Tim Shaw, Jim Sprowls, Frank Melly and Mark Miller.



"It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I hope I can go back."

Nick DeRemer, a member of Boy Scout Troop Four in Camptown, had nothing but praise for his trip to historic Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron, NM, this summer.

DeRemer and Matt Miller, a member of Troop Eight in Wyalusing, were joined by six other scouts and four scout leaders from Wyalusing, Camptown, Sayre and Wellsboro on the two-week trip.

Both scouts were impressed by the history and natural beauty of New Mexico and Philmont, the Boy Scouts' top high-adventure camp.

The group, which also included Rick Rexer, Gavin Rexer, Eric Lloyd, Terry Williams, Alex Campbell, Levi Hewitt, Tim Shaw, Frank Melly, Mark Miller and Jim Sprowls, left for New Mexico on July 29 by train from Rochester, NY.

It was the first train trip for Matt.

"Going out was fun," Matt said. "Just seeing different landscapes, different terrain."

The train ride included a quick five-hour tour of Chicago before heading south to Albuquerque.

At Albuquerque and Cimarron, the scouts visited local attractions and museums.

Matt, the 15-year-old son of Mark and Cynthia Miller of New Albany, was amazed at how well preserved the old Albuquerque was.

Nick, the 15-year-old son of Anthony and Jeanne DeRemer of Laceyville, enjoyed the St. James Hotel where the likes of Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday spent time.

When they got to Philmont, they embarked on a 12-day backpacking trip through some of the most beautiful country in the U.S.

Nick explained that packing the burros for the start of the trip was interesting.

They had to carry all their food —dehydrated meals—for the hike so the hardy pack animals were a blessing at the start of the trip.

They enjoyed many adventures including rock climbing, horseback riding and free bouldering.

They hiked to the top of Mount Baldy, which Nick explained towered 12,441 feet high, providing a view of seven different states.

The flora and fauna of the West was also something new for the scouts.

Matt explained that one of the highlights of the trip was seeing the different plants.

Both boys noted that the animals they encountered on the trail were unafraid of humans.

On the last day of the trip, Nick described a mule deer buck walking down the path with them.

"He didn't have a care in the world."

As thrilling as the trip itself was, the boys learned a valuable lesson prior to boarding the train.

They had to raise their own money—$1,200 apiece—to defray the cost of the trip.

"We had been talking about it in scouts," Nick explained. "We were told if we wanted to go, we had to sign up and start fundraising."

Nick sold barbecued chicken, pizza and discount tickets from Subway to raise his share of the costs.

Matt had a similar experience.

He received a call from scout leader Nancy Newell one night telling him that two openings were still available for the trip.

Matt and his father, Mark, agreed to go.

Matt also sold food to raise money for the trip, including popcorn.

The boys returned on Aug. 16, just in time to begin practicing with the Wyalusing Valley High School marching band. Nick plays the trumpet and Matt the saxophone for both the marching and concert bands at the school.

"I'm very glad I went," said Matt.

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Eight scouts from the Five Rivers Council, including Wyalusing and Camptown troops, and four scout leaders experienced a two-week trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. Pictured are, front row, from left, Gavin Rexer, Nick DeRemer, Alex Campbell, Jeff Ranger, Terry Williams, Eric Lloyd and Matt Miller. Back row: Levi Hewitt, Richard Rexer, Tim Shaw, Jim Sprowls, Frank Melly and Mark Miller.

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