Gone Home: Scout Collapses While Hiking at Philmont Scout Ranch

The Northern Star Council and Philmont Scout Ranch Scouting Communities are morning the death of a member of our Scouting family. Timothy Nunn, a fourteen-year-old Scout from Troop 123 in Northern Star Council collapsed while hiking at Philmont Scout Ranch on Friday, July 24, 2009.

According to a statement by the Boy Scouts, the health and safety of participants is a top priority. His group immediately performed CPR until emergency medical personnel from Philmont Scout Ranch and Cimarron, New Mexico, arrived. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, they were unable to resuscitate him.

After being notified of their son’s death, Timmy’s parents flew to New Mexico; they later released the following statement:

Timmy loved Boy Scouts. All preliminary indications are that there is nothing anyone could have done, whether he would have been at home or out on a hike, to save him. God blessed us as parents to have given us Timmy, and God blessed Timmy to have given him Boy Scouts and the opportunity to go to Philmont. He loved Boy Scouts, baseball and his family and he died doing something he loved.

The family encouraged the Scouts in Timmy’s Troop to continue their trek at Philmont, and is postponing their son’s funeral until early August, after the group returns from New Mexico.

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I was out on the trail doing a conservation project the day before this happened one of our crew mates fell and hit his head and arm he got stitches in his head i thought we had it bad but when we hiked in to base camp and saw the flags at half mass and heard the story at service that night we all just thought to ourselves wow we thought our crew mate was unlucky but timmy i just cant imagine what his crew mates and his family are going through im sorry for your loss i can say he went out doing something amazing.

By Josh Tull on August 2nd, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Thank God for the Boy Scouts. To be surrounded by so many that hold the same things in reverence as you would be a pretty good way to go. Many prayers for the family, troop and staff that will suffer over the loss.

By Charlie on August 2nd, 2009 at 2:36 pm

my crew was picking up food when we found out. I rember we were sitting there eating lunch and a truck pulled up and we herd every thing on their radio, and when they said they needed a chaplin I knew some one died because my dad was a chaplion so I knew what a chaplins job was. And our crew was really fraeked out to just know that someone has just died, espicly knowing that we dont know how he died and it was really scary.

By Paul on August 3rd, 2009 at 8:24 am

As a three time Philmonter and father of a current staffer ( who is at Ponil, one of the camps summoned to render aid), I am saddened by this terrible event. May his family take comfort in knowing that Tim finished his trek with the Lord by his side.

By Frederick Coombs on August 3rd, 2009 at 8:38 am

I was lucky enough to be able to take part in a Philmont Trek last year before my national guard unit deployed to Iraq. It is truly a beautiful place and place every scout should strive to go to. I look forward to going back next year when I am home. This was a terrible tragedy that occurred, to Timmy, his family, and his scouting family. Stay close to each other. God bless all affected by this tragedy.

By Jim Newman on August 4th, 2009 at 11:45 am

At the time of Timmy’s collapse, my son was and fellow scouters from Troop 965 Webster, Md. were at Philmont out on the trail. We got the call that told us that although our scouts and adults were safe, we had lost a fellow scout. My prayers went out immediately to him, his family, his troop members and the Philmont crew that was with him.
As a mother, I couldn’t shake the feeling of shock and sadness that his parents must be going through to send their boy off on yet another scouting adventure,to have it come to such an unexpected tragic end. tragic end. However, the scouter in me knows that he left this world doing something he loved, and in such a beautiful place.
May we always remember him in our prayers, God Bless.

By Christine Kertis on August 4th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Having just arrived in Philmont base camp on August 27 to go on a trek, the news of a loss of a life shocked my entire crew. Every staff camp, every Philmont flag, the entire Philmont Staff membership(that totals in the thousands) in-country morn Timmy’s loss. Crew 728-S2 G.N.Y.C. contingent sends our prayers to Timmy’s family and crew. God Bless

By Alan on August 9th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

My condolences to the family and his troop members. My trek to Philmont was during the summer of 1966. I will never forget my personal experiences gained by doing something that has helped shape my life. Take comfort in the knowledge that your son was doing something he truly enjoyed. May he rest in peace.

By Alex Adams on August 20th, 2009 at 7:37 am

My condolences to your family and his family of fellow troop members. I had a great experience treking Philmont Summer 1983. The experience and friendship was a lifetime of memories, I am sure your son had some great ones. I know as a father words can never replace him, but always remember the hugs and smiles from him.

Michael Fullerton
Eagle Scout Spring 83

By Micahel Fullerton on November 9th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

i remember hearing a few hours after we got off the mountain at church service about this…it was the same day it happened

By Nicholas Drake Troop 664 on July 12th, 2010 at 9:20 pm


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