People ask me how I made it down to New Mexico to attend Order of the Arrow Trail Crew. While
the flight was long, the whole process of going from my home in New York to
Philmont was not that hard. Below is a collection of all the steps I took to
attend OA Trail Crew:
Signing U p
In January, I signed up for the trip by completing the OA Trail Crew
Application, along with submitting the required deposit to the National OA. In early March,
I received an acceptance letter from the National Order of the Arrow office.
Along with this letter was a packet of information that included a medical form,
"Philmont Handbook to Adventure," and "Eagles Soaring High"
book. These two books provided loads of information I needed before I even arrived
on the base, including what to pack and leave at home.
Philmont Scout Ranch wanted to ensure that I arrived well and on time. Since
I had to fly to the base, I sent the base my flight information by filling out
an index card provided in the information packet I received. I noted my flight
numbers and arrival/departure times so that someone would meet me at the airport.
The further in advance I purchased my airline tickets, the less expensive the
rates were. Philmont provided the five-hour bus transportation from the airport
to the base for a fee which included my return trip.
In order to make sure I was fit to attend the program, I went to the doctors
about one month before
trip. After my doctor signed my medical form provided in my informational packet,
I made two copies. I took one copy with me to give to Philmont upon check-in
and kept the other copy for my records. I saved a copy of my medical form because
knowing my luck, if I were to lose my medical form on the way to the base, I
could just have my parents fax over the copy from home.
Time to Leave
After months of anticipation, it was time to leave for Philmont. I got all
my things together and spoke with some people who went down to Philmont before.
They all told me to get a good rest on the plane. Before I left for New Mexico
on Monday, July 21, I was in Pennsylvania where I was re-elected as Section
Chief from my Section Conclave. I drove directly from the conclave to the airport
after a long weekend. During check-in with my airline, they gave me a large
plastic bag to wrap my huge backpack in so it would stay in one piece on the
plane. I made it though the airline security and took a long nap on the plane.
It was only a few hours until I would find myself in Philmont's beauty
for the first time in my life.
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