Journey to the Wild West all started with Cub Scout Adventure

BY FRED PATTERSON, Old Hickory Council, Boy Scouts of America

For eight teenagers and four adults, riding horseback in the backcountry of New Mexico was a chance of a lifetime. Scouts of Troop 715, sponsored by New Philadelphia Moravian Church, planned for over two years to travel to Philmont Scout Ranch. It is a large, rugged, mountainous ranch, located near the town of Cimarron, New Mexico, covering 140,177 acres of wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico. Each year thousands of Scouts from all over America backpack the trails at Philmont.

It’s rare, but occasionally a scout troop can apply for a horseback cavalcade excursion for ten days at Philmont. Troop 715 was given that chance! According to George Burns, parent and an Assistant Scoutmaster, this was a dream come true for his two sons.

The Burns family joined scouting in 2008 when their two sons, Wills and Miles, joined Cub Scouting. They were excited when they came home from school that fall with a flyer announcing a “Join Scouting” night the next week. Miles was too young for that year—you have to be in first grade to join—but Wills was ready. Mom and Dad took Wills to join Scouts. Two years later, Miles was old enough and ready to join. “It’s been a great family adventure ever since,” according to George. Of course, dad had to join in as well and eventually became the Cub Master for the Cub Scout Pack. In the next several years, the Cub Scout Pack grew to over 100 boys.

Now Wills and Miles are close to becoming Eagle Scouts, and Eagle Scout dad George couldn’t be more proud. “Scouting has become a way of life for my family, and the values and life lessons that I learned as a boy, and those that my boys are learning now, are preparing them to be awesome young men,” exclaims George.

“Our Philmont adventure this summer provided me the opportunity to share an experience with my sons that, frankly, few fathers may ever have.” In the not-too distant future, this father and his sons will all share a common legacy of being Eagle Scouts…and it all started with a flyer brought home from school!

To find out more about the programs—and the benefits for youth and families—offered by the Boy Scouts of America, visit

To find a Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Troop in your neighborhood, visit or call the Old Hickory Council at 336-760-2900. “Join Scouting” nights will be held all over Forsyth County in September of 2016.




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