Tag Archive | "Philmont"

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Tale of Two Philmonts

Posted on 08 May 2012 by MikeD

The following is a Guest Article by Mike Dubrall. Mike “Dub Zero” Blogs and writes informative articles on backpacking and snow camping at 50Miler.com.

Philmont sits at the apex of the Scout backpacking experience. For skilled backpackers the Philmont routes are not difficult. However, most Scouts are not accomplished backpackers and the challenge of being on the trail for almost two weeks makes any trip to Philmont incredibly worthwhile. In addition, the fun activities and camaraderie with hikers from every state makes Philmont a kind of “Scouting Disneyland.”

Philmont is much more than backpacking. There are months of prep meetings, practice hikes, and shopping sprees. Commemorative shirts have to be designed and ordered and new equipment purchased. There is often an exciting cross county trip by train, plane, or automobile and groups stop at popular attractions along the way. Nearby cities like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos are teeming eager Scouts (in uniform) during the summer months. Afterwards, reunion parties, slide shows, and campfire discussions keep the Philmont experience alive for a long time.

Philmont sits at the apex of Scout wilderness experiences

My first trip to Philmont was a disaster. We trained hard for a difficult backpacking trip and that is not what we got at all. A forest fire broke out before our arrival and a large part of the Ranch was closed to hikers. Everyone got crowded into the southern section of the Ranch, where campsites and trails were overflowing with Scouts. There were lines at every Red Roof Inn and our assigned Ranger was an idiot incompetent. Stringent rules put everyone on edge. Programs were impacted and long wait times or even oversubscribed activities were daily occurrences. A lingering drought meant no swimming or showers for the entire trek. (Ten days on the trail days without anyone bathing even once!)

Our difficult 80 mile planned backpacking trip turned into a 35 mile romp with nothing to do most afternoons. The Scouts got bored and turned on each other and then on the adults. Eventually the adults started taking out their frustrations on the Scouts. It was, by all measures, a miserable trip.

Almost a decade passed before my new Troop became serious about backpacking and started talking about Philmont. It was with mixed feelings that I was swept up in their collective enthusiasm and put my name on a list to go again. The goal was to make my second trip a different experience altogether.

This time we focused on the overall Philmont experience and not just the backpacking. Practice hikes were important of course, but the hikes were filled with stories about Philmont history, camps, activities, and potential service projects. Along the way everyone learned the Philmont Grace and Philmont Hymn, which we all sang with increasing fervor every day we were on the trail together. The song became a unifying force of surprising power. (Even now, one year later, they sing the Philmont Hymn at the drop of a hat!)

Philmont is more than a hike - it is a lifetime memory

Arriving at Philmont base camp in the middle of the night, we tried to slip quietly into our tents so as not to wake the backpackers in our assigned area. Morning soon arrived, with the staff welcome at breakfast, paperwork processing, review of the routes, and introduction to our Ranger, who would be with us for a couple of days. The boys swarmed into the Philmont Trading Post to stock up on candy, belts, hats, shirts, and assorted mementos, some of which might be valuable on the trail. We finished the pack check, stored our extra stuff in the lockers, attended an inspirational Scout’s Own, and were ready to leave the next morning.

The first morning on the trail, our Ranger woke us up before dawn, and in the dark, we scrambled to the top of a mountain to experience the sunrise. Sitting together in the gathering light, we watched the valley come into focus under an azure sky. When he had our attention, the Ranger said, “Before you is a unique opportunity to have an incredible experience at Philmont. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do things you don’t think are possible. Create memories for your lifetime. No one can do it but you.”

For the next ten days we had a glorious time together, punctuated by burrow racing, lumber jacking, black bears, beautiful sunrises & sunsets, cantinas, campfires, horseback riding, singing songs, petroglyphs, porch talks, rock climbing, shotgun shooting, card games, storytelling, challenge courses, and, of course, backpacking. Everyone had a fantastic time.

Some trips are good and some are not so good, but every visit to Philmont is transformative in its own way. Boys become men and men become better. For that reason, every serious Scout and Adult Leader should hike there at least once.

…………………….

Mike Dubrall writes about backpacking, snow camping, and other high adventure outings at 50Miler.com.. His email is miked@50miler.com or you can be connected through the “50miler.com Outing Resource Center” on Facebook.

 

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Reach Out and Philmont Someone on December 3rd, 2011

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Reach Out and Philmont Someone on December 3rd, 2011

Posted on 29 November 2011 by admin

Over 3,040 people have committed to “Reach out and Philmont someone!” on Saturday December 3rd, 2011.  Advertised on Facebook as an Event, over 4,200 individuals have been invited.  The Facebook event page states that it “is a social experiment to see how many Philmonters are lurking around in our every day lives.”   The event organizer is crowning the first Saturday in December to be “Find a Philmonter Day!”.

The idea is that everyone who has been to Philmont, worked at Philmont, gone on a trek, gone on Rayado, worked on Trail Crew, wears their Philmont staff shirt, trek shirt, hat, or other prominent Philmont gear on December 3rd, 2011.  Then as you spend time out at about, going about your daily life business, see who you might connect with.  The goal of the event is to see how many other invisible Philmonters there are in your area/life that you always pass that you would never know have a Philmont connection.

The Facebook event, says an important part of the experiement is to come back to the Facebook event and post who you saw, what you talked abou, and tell a story.

Some members of the group are asking members to not just be seen, but to be heard as well.  The Philmont Staff Association (PSA) has the Philmont Hymn ringtone available for purchase at http://www.philstaff.com/?p=2970.  The ringtone is in “chime” form and can be downloaded to your personal electronic device. It’s a great way to let people know you are a part Philmont.  The cost is only $2.oo and 100% of the proceeds go to the PSA Staff Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund endows seasonal staff members with up to $1,500.oo to help with their higher education.

Will you Reach Out and Philmont someone on December 3rd, 2011?

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Philmont Hiring a Museum Director

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Philmont Hiring a Museum Director

Posted on 13 November 2011 by admin

Philmont is currently looking to hire a Museum Director.  The Philmont Museum Director is responsible for the management, operation and programs of the Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library, Kit Carson Museum and Rayado Historical District and the Villa Philmonte. The position also provides support to Philmont’s living history backcountry programs, backcountry program museums and the archeology efforts on the Ranch.

Individuals interested in being considered for the Philmont Museum Director position are requested to submit a current resume by November 28, 2011 to the address listed on the Philmont Museum Director job description.  Interested individuals are also asked to provide a statement expressing their vision for the Philmont Museums.

You can find a complete position description on the Philmont Museum Director job description.

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