“Back-pack,‌ ‌back-pack”‌

Backpacking‌ ‌to‌ ‌success‌


Photo Provided

Troop 78 on their annual backpacking trip.

Adeline Gruen, Staff Writer

Since the world has been closed due to COVID-19, some people have struggled to find socially distanced activities while others have found their fun in nature. One activity is backpacking. Scout troops all over the nation sent their scouts on backpacking trips this summer (2021).

There are many things young adults can earn from these trips besides acquiring cool patches and fun stories. Freshman Ian McCasland learned many things on his trip.

“So far I’ve only done one backpacking trip but I’d say it’s taught me quite a lot. I love the peace it gives me being out in nature away from all the distractions like my phone and my friends and all their shenanigans,” McCasland said.

Dr. Dallas New is a Scoutmaster for Troop 78 and has hiked a total of 665 miles since 2011. He thinks everyone should go out and hike because it shakes things up a bit.

“Everybody should do it. It’s great fun because it gets you out and makes you do something outside of your normal,” New said. “For most, it’s the hardest thing they have ever done in their life but when they look back it was one of the best things they’ve done, because they have seen what they could do as a person instead of sitting at home on the couch watching TV.”

Sophomore Seth Ratke was recently the crew leader for his troop’s backpacking trip in Philmont. With this position comes many responsibilities such as making sure everyone wakes up in time to travel to the next camp and helping the crew to stay positive through all the trials. 

“Backpacking has most definitely matured my leadership skills because it forces you to become tolerant of the people in your crew as well as learning their strengths and weaknesses allowing you to more effectively lead them,” Ratke said. 

As leadership is one of the main things focused on in scouts, especially in achieving the highest rank of Eagle, New has seen backpacking trips help his scouts who go with him.

“Of the ones that do it, they’re much more likely afterward to earn Eagle, and I’ve had parents say how much it changed their scout. It helps with maturity, and seeing what they can do,” New said.

Besides those in leadership roles, it can also help those who are just trekking along like sophomore Barrett Trower.

“It has taught me to be mentally stronger because it is hard sometimes, but it’s always worth the long hike up. The views that come with these long hikes will stay with me forever: Some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen,” Trower said.

While it is helpful to have skills that can be found on a backpacking trip for Scouts, Ratke has seen it help him in other places as well.

“Backpacking has definitely helped me in many aspects of my life because it has enabled me to work better with other people as well as helping to put me in the mindset that anything can be accomplished if you take it one step at a time,” Ratke said.

Backpacking trips don’t just change people’s lives for the week or two they are out in the mountains but can change their life for the better as they learn good leadership skills and mature through the different trails the mountains can bring.

Contact Adeline Gruen at [email protected]