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FROM TOP: THAO NGUYEN; BSA FILE; BETH WALD


MILESTONES A Million Philmont Memories


Who wants to host a million visitors? Philmont Scout Ranch hit that proud milestone this past summer. The BSA’s New Mexico hiking haven issued special “Millionth Day” patches to each participant, and Camping Director Mark Anderson mused on Philmont’s history and unique mission, which began in 1938 with Waite Phillips’ original gift of 35,857 acres. That fi rst summer, 189 Scouts from four states paid $1 each for an unforgettable weeklong adventure. After World War II, attendance skyrocketed as Philmont became synonymous with Scouting. This past summer, 22,500 Scouters took their 12-day treks across the ranch’s 214 square miles and 315 miles of trails. Citing Phillips’ personal mission statement, Anderson says that Philmont encourages faith,


self-reliance, freedom and the principles used by American pioneers to build the country. “He wanted young people to form a code of living and maintain those ideals,” Anderson says. “He also felt a real need for young people to have thoughtful adult guidance.” As for the future — looking toward that 2 millionth visitor — Anderson speaks of the duty


to preserve and enhance the Philmont brand. “It’s so important for kids to stay in touch with nature, so they don’t lose sight of the world we live in,” Anderson says. “It’s a continuing chal- lenge to have those places where you can see an elk and maybe a mountain lion, hear an owl at night, climb a mountain where you can see forever. “Out on the trail, they prove they have the knowledge and skill to make decisions and work together. We’ve had a chance to aff ect a million people with the quality of that experience.”


TRY THIS Make Unit Meetings Healthier


We’ve all heard about the childhood obesity problem. Some medical experts even worry that a generation of tweet potatoes might have shorter life expectancies than their parents. Luckily, some Scout leaders have decided to tackle this


problem — and you can be one of them. The BSA has partnered with Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180


at Tufts University, to help improve kids’ diet and exercise habits. The result is the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch, which can be earned in about three months. How? The whole program can be boiled down to six words —


Snack Smart, Drink Right, Move More — and three numbers: 3, 6, 9. To earn the patch, units must …


Serve a fruit or vegetable at 3 meetings Make water the main beverage at 6 meetings Include 15 minutes of physical activity at 9 meetings If you’re already hearing cries of “Where’s the pizza?”, rest


assured: Healthy Kids Out of School, which is supported by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, has tons of research- tested activities and ideas for nutritious snacks to help units earn the patch. Sandy Smith, a Tiger Cub den leader in Bangor, Maine, attended a training session with Healthy Kids Out of School (not required) and came away inspired. “The SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch training has been


enlightening for me,” he says. “It has inspired me to become a role model for these boys and to fi nd creative and fun ways to instill healthier habits for my den.” Help your unit get fi t and earn the Healthy Unit Patch. Find ample resources and instructions at bit.ly/healthyunit.


12 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2014


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