Colfax County– On Saturday, June 27, 2015 at approximately 4:30 a.m. a flash flood occurred in North Ponil Canyon which is located on the Philmont Scout Ranch, fifteen miles northeast of the main Philmont Scout Ranch Training Center. At the time this occurred there were twelve Scout participants in the canyon on a twelve day trek across the ranch. The twelve participants consisted of, eight Boy Scouts, (ranging in age from approximately thirteen to seventeen), one adult Philmont Scout Ranger (Guide/Instructor), and three adult Crew Leaders. As the flood water swept through the canyon, it over ran the Scouts camp site resulting in four Boy Scouts being swept away.
The Scouts Camp site was situated in the canyon, approximately eighteen to twenty feet, above a small creek that runs through the bottom of Ponil Canyon. This creek is normally two to three feet wide and ten to twelve inches deep. At the time the Flash Flood occurred, the surge of water that swept through the canyon was approximately twenty to twenty three feet deep and approximately one hundred yards wide.
Philmont Staff members immediately responded and located three of the four Boy Scouts, which were swept away by the water, down the canyon. At approximately 9:35 a.m. the New Mexico State Police was contacted and a Search and Rescue mission was initiated, at approximately 11:00 a.m. the missing Boy Scout, identified as Alden Brock, 13, from Sacramento, California, was located, deceased, approximately 3/4 of a mile to 1 mile from where the water swept him away.
News Article from the Sacramento Bee about the boy scout troop that lost a member of their crew in the flash flood.