I was a Boy Scout in a hardcore backpacking troop. We had a few fat and/or soft kids in the troop. Those of us who made it to the base camp first would double back 2-3 miles to the slowest hikers and carry their packs for them. It's called teamwork.
We were pretty hard core as well. Our leaders were WWII and Korea vets. A Marine Sgt, a Navy fighter pilot, a corpsman, a GI who fought in Italy. The men of today remember the times as some of the best of their lives. We did 50 mile hikes in the Ouchita Mountains of SE Oklahoma. Walked the ridges from Clayton, Oklahoma to Mena, Arkansas. No water up on the ridges in the summer. Some springs that were mostly polluted by range cattle. We often had to walk 10 miles in the evening off the trail down to the valley to get water. We walked the ridges because the valleys were where the people are and the ridges are National Forest and some Weyerhauser property.
There were downpours, snakes, lots of blisters, broken packs, minor injuries. The strong helped the weak and we all got better for it.
We camped up at our little place on a mountain on weekends. It joined a big rancher who allowed us to use his mountain top fields. Intertwined with our advancement work we played capture the flag all weekend. Day and night. Each patrol would set up on the edge of a huge field scattered with pine trees. It was almost a mile across in any direction. Nobody ever got snake bit or sprayed by a skunk. It was amazing.
Our Philmont was the long trek, 115 miles or so. We paced a bunch from some big city in Texas the whole time and usually beat them to supply camps where we cleaned out the Hunt’s canned peaches that we chilled in the creeks. The last day we were ahead of them on Tooth of Time Ridge. They were trying to catch us and we could hear them all day. In the evening we climbed the rocks to watch the sunset, nobody wanted to leave, and watched them walk by while they wondered where we had gone. We hollered at them as they walked by, we let them win going into base camp and it was so sweet because they knew we let them win. We walked in after dark singing. We always got crapped out by staff for minor infractions and it happened again since we were hiking well after dark. We were a bunch of country boys and when we got home we went back to throwing hay and then two-a-day football practice.
We had a great childhood. I’m so sad it can’t be a shared experience.