Creating Experiences Lasting Lifetimes

There was someone who said “I love watching people do great things.” This man was correct, as there is perhaps nothing more rewarding than looking back – from two years ago – than to see a group of individuals working together toward a common goal that is: to create experiences or an experience that last(s) for the rest of their lives.
Those people I am talking about are me, my father, the two other “dads” (scoutmasters), and the friends who I grew up with for over 13 years.
In this case, I am talking about the lifelong experience I had at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, completing over 220 miles over the course of 12 days in the wilderness.
Of course, in later posts I am going to talk about the experiences I had and my journey accomplishing this, but for now I am speaking generally. I keep telling myself “Drew, you have your whole life to say everything you want to say; take it easy!” Over 12,000 boy scouts each summer come to the ranch to take part in this experience. The preparation that went in before going on the trek (there were over 120 treks to choose from), making sure you passed the physical and health tests, raising money to go on the trip, meeting new people from across the United States and even the world, is done for one purpose: creating an experience that WE will remember for a lifetime.
The world we live in is one of selfishness. We are products of a society whose mantra is “What is in it for me?” This is a narrow and shallow life view. Social interaction is the newest phobia. Yet today, I decided to look back at the pictures from the trip, and I watched each other go out of our way for each other as we went beyond and above the call of duty for thousands of people who like to think they know each other, but really do not.
All of us, including the 12,000 scouts from across the world were in “our house.” I am referring to the outdoors. They brought their parents, “second parents,” friends, and people from their own boy scout troops. Thousands of people, including us passed through the treks of New Mexico’s Philmont Scout Ranch and spent each moment relishing the talents and good times – who gave their all in the spirit of competition, education, and growth.
Each day began at 6:00 and ended around 7-8 P.M. or when we finished each trek. We did trek 127, and YES, we grabbed everyone by the throat and said to each other: “You WILL love me.” …. and we did.
I could write for the rest of my life about the incredible moments woven within the fabric of those two weeks we had together two years ago. However, I will simply say in print what my heart thought about the people I spent this journey with, looking back at this incredible experience:
I have never been more proud to be able to understand life with the people I did for those two weeks – two summers ago. We only live once – but, since we are doing it right – once might be enough.
We had the chance to create an experience that will last us for the rest of our lives. We did it together – and we did.

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