The Watchu Experience is a comprehensive Philmont preparation and training program for Patriots’ Path Council crews. Mr. David Setzer officially founded Watchu in 1996 and based his program off of the volunteer work of Mr. Richard Olmstead, who had helped organize Colorado tours and send crews to Philmont before retiring in 1994.
Crews from Patriots’ Path Council get guidance leading up to their Philmont expeditions, including a weekend of practical, hands-on training held at Camp Wheeler at Mount Allamuchy Scout Reservation a few months prior to the crews’ departure. Then, crews spend two days acclimating and on tour in Colorado Springs with Blue Sky Adventures, seeing sights such as the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak and more.
Up until 2016, the crew stayed at state university dorms in Colorado Springs where they had access to an extravagant recreational facility complete with a basketball court, pool, hot tub, and water slide. This is in contrast to the gymnasium the crews used to sleep in with their sleeping bags. Today, crews stay in a Marriott instead.
Mr. Wills transitioned from a leader in Troop 236 to the Patriots’ Path Council High Adventure Committee in 1999 and worked with Mr. Setzer and Mr. Thomson at Watchu until 2013. Mr. Wills attests that in all his time working at Watchu, the program never changed—a testament to the effectiveness of the program. Mr. Thomson still handles various media for Watchu, including the website.[contact-form-7 id=”1479″ title=”Upload Campout Pictures”]