A progress report from the PSA

April 28, 2008: As winter is turning into spring, the Silver Sage Staff Activity Center construction is progressing along. Windows and doors have been installed, electricity and air ductwork is being completed, and drywall will be going up soon.

The familiar red pro-panel metal roof is being placed. Before too long, the adobe will be applied to the exterior walls and, then they’ll be painted to blend in with the rest of the Camping HQ buildings. After that, there are sidewalks to be poured and landscaping to be done. In other words… progress is being made.

Ranger Legacy Fireplace

The focal piece of the Baldy Mountain pavilion will be the Ranger Legacy Fireplace. At the 2007 PSA Summer reunion, which celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Philmont Rangers, a challenge was issued to participants to raise $50,000 for construction of the Ranger Legacy Fireplace. 110 people have made contributions to this appeal since August. The fireplace will have a natural façade, including rocks from Baldy Mountain, and a mantle made from a log found in the backcountry at Philmont. The fireplace will serve as a beautiful backdrop for indoor campfires held on rainy nights during the summer season.

New Building Features

The Silver Sage Staff Activity Center will serve the needs of the seasonal staff for years to come. The enclosed portion of the new staff activity center covers nearly 7,000 squared feet. Hembree Hall, the largest room in the building, will feature a pool table, foosball table, other game tables, and couches. There will also be two 42” televisions hanging in either corner.

There are two restrooms (both handicap accessible) that open into Hembree Hall and the open-air pavilion. The Stein Snack Zone will be able to handle snack and light food needs for events and casual staff activities. The Stein Snack Zone will have a service counter, microwave ovens, conventional ovens, and cold drink cases. There will also be drinking fountains located on the wall between the restrooms in Hembree Hall and at the open-air pavilion.

More Building Features

The Brewer Family Computer Room will be equipped with 20 computers. There will also be a counter where staff can use their laptops. There will also be wireless internet access for the computer stations, and for those using their own laptops. There will be access to a printer, which will be located in the Activities office.

The Murphy T.V. Room will have a partition in the middle, making two rooms for training and other events. There will be two 50” televisions hanging on the wall. The Walcutt Training Room will feature furniture and A/V equipment necessary for the many training needs of the seasonal staff.

Unique to the new staff activity center will be ample space to display art. Paintings, pictures, and such donated by PSA members will be on display in the rooms and hallways. Artwork done by former Philstaff will also be a welcome addition to the collection. Finally, current seasonal staff will have a place to display their creations in the new building. As you know, many amongst us have made some fabulous pieces of art while hiking and experiencing the backcountry.

This is just a taste of the features and opportunities coming with the new Silver Sage Staff Activity Center.

Shade, Shade, and More Shade

The Silver Sage Staff Activity Center will have one outstanding feature that will distinguish it from other base camp locations: SHADE from the sun. The Baldy Mountain pavilion offers over 5,000 sq. feet of shade. There will be tables, benches, and lots of shade under its roof. The pavilion will also serve campers as the location for campfires and chapel services during rain-drenched evenings. There will also be a large projection screen for showing movies under the pavilion. A state-of-the-art sound system will also be installed at the pavilion. As you can imagine, the Baldy Mountain pavilion will be a place for large gatherings, cookouts, dances, and, during the day a place to get out of the radiant beams of the New Mexico sun for reading, writing letters, and more.

The Silver Sage Staff Activity Center will also have a porch that completely wraps around the building. The porch is eight feet deep around three sides and sixteen feet deep at the front of the building. There will be rocking chairs, tables, and plenty of space to get out of the sun under this porch. The porch, named after the Taylor Family, will also be a place to get out of the rain while standing in line for meals at the PSA Dining Hall.

Mark Your Calendars

The Silver Sage Staff Activity Center will be dedicated with a ceremony on Saturday evening, August 16, 2008. This is the opening event of our annual PSA Summer reunion at Philmont. The PSA’s annual Silver Sage awards will be presented at this special evening, too. This promises to be one of the largest events in the PSA’s 35 year history. Dinner will be served at 5:00pm and the festivities will follow. Be sure to make plans to attend. More information is coming to you soon.