Their time at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico was hot, dusty and challenging, but members of Dublin Boy Scout Troop 299 wouldn't question returning.

Their time at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico was hot, dusty and challenging, but members of Dublin Boy Scout Troop 299 wouldn't question returning.

Six members of the troop based at Indian Run United Methodist Church and three parents recently spent 12 days at the largest Boy Scouts of America camp that boasts trails throughout parts of the Rocky Mountains.

The trip was a high adventure for the scouts and not like any other camping trip they've been on.

According to Jerome High School sophomore Pranav Kaza, the troop spent 12 days hiking between different camps.

"The only way to the next camp was hiking all day," said Michael Lee, who will be a sophomore at Jerome High School when classes resume next month.

Robby Vohlers, who will be a freshman at Jerome High School, said the group was supposed to hike about 80 miles, but ended up going further.

"We got lost a couple of times," Kaza said.

Trails had no shade, were steep and unmarked. Troops carried supplies and survived on dehydrated meals and snacks.

"It's mountainous there," Kaza said.

"At 12,441 feet, Mount Baldy is the highest peak in the ranch," he said.

"We climbed three mountains ... . It was tough. As you get up higher, there's less oxygen and you have to take frequent breaks," Kaza said.

The trip also included activities beyond hiking. The scouts tried rock climbing, pole climbing, burro racing and got to shoot a black-powder rifle.

Each troop also had different responsibilities. As crew leader, Kaza assigned duties and kept everyone together.

Jerome High School freshman Charlie Haufeld said his job was chaplain.

"I had to boost morale and get people in a good attitude," he said. "It was the hardest job."

Lee was wilderness guia, which is Spanish for "guide," and made sure troops left the areas they visited pristine.

"We could leave no trace," Lee said.

Despite the challenges, the scouts carry fond memories of the trip ranging from run-ins with a bear and rattlesnakes to a stubborn pack mule that helped carry supplies.

"We named him Eeyore," Kaza said of the mule.

"He was the biggest mule and he bullied all the other mules," Hausfeld said.

The hike up Mount Baldy made the biggest impression on most of the scouts.

"On a clear day they say you can see four states from Baldy," Kaza said, noting that reaching the top carried a great sense of accomplishment.

For Scioto High School sophomore Tim Sizemore, getting lost was memorable, as was the chuck wagon dinner that offered a night of respite from dehydrated meals.

Because Philmont is scouting's biggest high adventure camp, the Dublin troop also got to meet scouts from near and far, including Brussels.

"At the base camp at the end we saw another troop from Dublin," Vohlers said.

With no electricity, the adventure also offered a chance to get away from everyday life.

"It was nice to go camping and forget about your life here," Kaza said.

"It was tough, but worth it," Lee said.

Coffman High School sophomore Jacob Miller also participated in the high adventure along with adults Jim Hausfeld, Sridhar Kaza and Kent Miller.