Hello Troop 216 Parents!
I am writing to share information with Troop 216 parents about a high adventure base opportunity that will be coming up in the future.
In the summer of 2016, a group of Troop 216 ASM's will lead a backpacking trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch. Philmont is a Boy Scout high adventure base in northern New Mexico. It has been a part of the Boy Scouts for over 70 years and annually hosts thousands of scouts to backpack in the back country that exceeds 125,000 acres of land. 
Acquiring a reservation and preparing for a Philmont trip takes a long lead time, which is why I am reaching out to parents now. In early November the reservations for summer 2016 will open up, and I will submit a reservation request for the number of scouts who are interested in attending from Troop 216. The demographics of Troop 216 create a large number of boys who will be eligible for a Philmont trip in the summer of 2016.
The requirements to attend a Boy Scout high adventure base are to (1) be 13 and have completed the 8th grade OR (2) be 14 years old at the time of the trip. While specific details about the scope and length of the trip can't be determined at the present time, the best information we have is that the trip will be 10-14 days in length and take place in the first half of July 2016. The best ballpark cost is $1700-$2000 for the trip. This includes Philmont fees, airfare, ground transportation, and food, but does not include the cost of equipment such as backpacks and boots.
A Philmont visit requires several training exercises in the year leading up to the trip. At the present time the best estimate is that there will be 3 training activities to prepare for Philmont, two of which will be overnight trips.
If your son is interested in attending the summer 2016 Philmont trip, please respond to me at cdlowman@gmail.com. I am not seeking a firm commitment at the present  time, but am trying to gauge the overall interest level in the trip. I will pull together an initial list and refine it into the reservation that is submitted to Philmont in November of this year.
If you have any additional questions about the 2016 Philmont trip, please let me know at the aforementioned email address.
Campbell Lowman
ASM, Troop 216.