Brandon Hay, a student at TR and South campuses, was in Troop 389 for about 10 years through elementary, junior high and high school. He wasn’t a big fan of Boy Scouts, but he did get a fun story out of it.
“One year, at Philmont, I got bit by a brown recluse,” he said.
Philmont is one of the biggest scouting events of the year and takes place in Cimarron, NM. The brown recluse, one of the most dangerous spiders in the world, bit him on his first day on the campground.
“It bit me, and I could just tell right away it was a brown recluse and that I needed help as soon as possible,” he said. “By the end of the day, my arm was the size of a football.”
Hay was flown out of Philmont on a helicopter to the nearest emergency room. After the evaluation, he was forced to stay at the hospital for nearly two weeks and missed the entire camp while nursing his injury.
“When they determined that my arm was as swollen as it could possibly get, they made a huge cut all the way down my arm and drained all the fluid. The cut was probably like six or eight inches long,” he said.
Now though, the scar is only about a few millimeters long because once his arm was back to normal size from the swelling, the size of the cut shrank too.
He said that even though it was a bad experience, he isn’t too upset about it because he got to miss two weeks of camp and he hated scouts.
“All I care about is that it got me out of Philmont,” he said.