Concho Valley Council

Trips and Tours

Scouts Tour Big Bend

Twenty-four Scouts and leaders took a tour in the summer of 1938, to the Chisos Mountains and the proposed site of the new Big Bend International Park.  They left in a Water Valley school bus and a car under the leadership of L. M. R. Rogers, field executive, on Saturday, August 6th.  Enroute to Big Bend they visited Fort Stockton, Balmorhea, the observatory near Ft. Davis and the Ft. Davis state park.  They entered Big Bend by way of Marathan and made base camp at Green Gulch.  The next day they hiked to Mt. Emery and to Boot Springs.  Then they hiked to the "window" and climbed Casa Grande.  The fourth day in camp they took a trip to Santa Helena Canyon, Castalon, and Terlingua, complete with a big black-mud fight in the Rio Grande.  The last day they went to Hot Springs, enjoying a pleasant soaking off of their dirt, followed by a visit to a place where scientists had some dinosaur bones.

Other staff members, in addition to Rogers, were Frank Swift, Assistant Scoutmaster; Bert White and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster Otto Sherz, both of San Angelo; Senior Patrol Leader Phil Mahaffey of Sterling City; Jack Lagon, supply & commissary; Stanley Wallace, Chef, John S. Trotter, bus operator; and State Highway Patrolman J. R. Carlisle.

The Scouts who went on the trip were Herbert Beadle, Jr., and Joe Stool of Del Rio; G. W. Kelly, Arthur Rosenthal, Deloria Morris, James Sewell and Joe Hardgrove of San Angelo; Jack Mathis, Charles Churchill and Ross Foster of Sterling City; Charles Burnett and Jim Lane and Bill Lane of Texon; Tom Hogan and Paul McCollum of Crane.

Back to Big Bend in 1939

Fourteen senior Scouts from San Angelo, Sterling City, Brady and Crane, participated in a second tour of Big Bend in the summer of 1939.  Malcolm R. Rogers, assistant Scout Executive and Ralph Crower, Highway Patrolman, went as leaders of the group.  They took the same basic trip as the year before, except at Boquillas, the group crossed the Rio Grande in a cable car, rented a truck on the Mexican side of the border, and traveled 75 miles into Mexico to the end of the Del Carmen range of mountains.  There they spent two nights with ranchers and toured local silver mines.

Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp

A new national camp had been established at Cimmarron, New Mexico called "Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp." The 35,857 ranch was given to the Boy Scouts by Mr. and Mrs. Wait Phillips in late 1938.  The property was in the Rocky Mountains, near the Sangra de Cristo Range, all above an elevation of 7,000 feet, and rose in spots to at least 11,000 feet.  We know this camp today as Philmont Scout Ranch and Explorer Base.

As word spread about this new camp in the mountains, interest grew in the council to take a group of Scouts out there to explore the high country.  Senior Scouts of the council first took a trip to the New Philturn Camp in July of 1940.  The expedition was arranged by Julius Johnson of San Angelo.

The Scouts left in a bus and spent the first night in Amarillo.  The next day, upon arrival, they made their base camp at a place that is now called Ponil at Philmont Scout Ranch.  From there, on the second day, they hiked about four miles to view picture writings at an Indian camp, eat lunch, and look for arrowheads.  The third day, they toured Taos.  On the fourth day, they hiked to and toured an old logging village of Pueblano.  Along the way they saw beaver dams and an old log skid used to move logs from Wilson Mesa to the railroad.  A chuck wagon went with the group so that they would have plenty of hot food for lunch.

Horseback Ride

On the fifth day, the group took a horseback trip to Black Jack's Cave and then they hiked to the top of Burnt Mountain and returned by way of Graveyard Canyon.  The Scouts returned to San Angelo by way of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Elephant Butte Dam, El Paso, Juarez, Carlsbad Caverns, and Pecos.

Another trip was planned by the Council to take Senior Scout to Philmont during the summer of 1941, however, due to one of the leaders becoming ill, the trip had to be cancelled.

Since that first trip to Philmont Scout Ranch, groups from the Concho Valley Council have made numerous treks to that great outdoor camp.

For instance, a crew of nine San Angelo Scouts, under the leadership of Robert R. Routt, left from in front of the Stand-Times at 6 a.m. one morning iin late July 1973 for Philmont.   Going with Routt were John Faison, assistant leader; David Faison, Tim Parnell, Keith Watson, Randall Bessent and Earl Kuykendall.  They visited Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, N. M. enroute to Kirkland Air Force Base at Albuquerque.  From there they visited an Indian reservation and traveled to Santa Fe.  After spending time hiking the trails at Philmont, they began their return trip to San Angelo on August 13, 1973.

Monterrey Mexico Trips

From 1991 through 1996 a group of 25 to 85 Boy Scouts, Explorers, Girl Scouts and adult leaders celebrated the birthday of Scouting each February by traveling to Monterrey, Mexico.  The celebration honored Lord Baden Powell, the international Founder of the Scouting Movement.  The group went by bus to Monterrey crossing the border at Del Rio.

The event was hosted by the Asociacion De Scouts of Mexico, Provincia Nuevo Leon, and centered in Baden Powell Park.  Over 1,200 Scouts from Mexico and the United States participated.  The annual event include opening ceremonies, presentation of the Mexican and U. S. Flags and the singing of both national anthems.  Participants paid tribute to scouting’s founder and placed wreaths at a statue which had been erected in the park.

The youth and adults were placed in homes of Mexicans Scouts for Friday and Saturday events.

Most older Scouts participated in a citywide activity which called for patrols to interpret instructions and directions for the game.  The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were paired with patrols of Mexican Scouts and together solved the problems presented.  The evening events ended with an ecumenical worship service, a campfire and a dance for all participants.  Scouts from all over the Council attended the weekend events.

In 1995 and 1996, they took  two tour buses, leaving the Scout Service Center in Brownwood at midnight on a Thursday evening.  There were Scouts from Mexico, Concho Valley Council, Alamo Area Council and the Rio Grande Council.  In addition to the many formal activities, the group was able to tour the sights of Monterrey.  On Saturday night they were back at the park and visited with their Mexican hosts and traded patches.  Some of the Scouts even traded hats and at least one uniform was traded.  That was followed by a campfire and a dance.  The next morning it was back on the buses for the return trip to San Angelo by way of Nuevo Laredo for shopping and lunch.

Material for this story was taken from "Panjandrum A History of Scouting in the Concho Valley Council 1911-2001,"
by Frank T. Hilton, 2001

Last Updated:  January 10, 2003
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