One of the PSA’s most popular ways to stay connected with Philmont as it is today has been the Adopt-a-Staff program. I received some feedback last year that perhaps the term “Adopt” either belittled the heroic effort and sacrifice made by true adoptive parents or implied a higher level of commitment to this particular program than was actually envisioned. There were several alternative titles suggested or possible: Sponsor-a-Staff; Staff Buddies, Big Brother/Big Sister (Oops! Copyright infringement), Philstaff Patrons, Fairy Den Mothers (way too much trouble there!), Support-a-Staff (do we really want….never mind), and on and on! In an attempt to avoid the problems inherent in some of these while preserving the intent of the program and giving a bit of a Southwest resonance, let’s call it “Staff Amigos.” I tried to find a suitable Spanish equivalent for “Staff” but found the term as we use it really doesn’t translate well. The closest was “cuerpo” which means “corps” but also means “corpse or cadaver.” As you can see, the possibilities for giving offense or getting into trouble are legion!
So until somebody can suggest another title that provides adequate shorthand of the program without the semantic difficulties, Staff Amigos it is.
So what is (are?) Staff Amigos? We are PSA members who remember that Philstaff service does have its drawbacks. little in the way of local resources for reading material, recreation equipment, dietary variety, fashion accessories, or soft bathroom tissue! Plus, we’ve all thought that we could do a better job if only we could lay our hands on …… you name the item NOT part of your official supply issue! Staff Amigos understand these sacrifices and deprivations and want to help. All you have to do is (1) pick an identifiable part of the Philmont Seasonal Staff: Ranger Training Crew, Service Department, Backcountry Camp, Conservation Crew, HQ Service Department, PTC Tent City, etc.; (2) Think about ways you can make the life of these people a bit more pleasant or productive (go to the PSA website for some ideas); (3) send these items to your selected staff once, twice, or even three times over the course of the summer; (4) enclose a note telling them why they’ve been selected as the beneficiaries of your generosity, reminiscing about your days on staff, letting them know that the PSA appreciates and supports their service, and encouraging them to join the PSA. Ask them to drop you a note (most of them have email access nowadays, so be sure to give them that option) describing their staff experience and what they’re doing this summer. Some of them may actually respond!
Go to the PSA website for a list of camps and departments, a list of possible gift items, and other procedural info. To reserve a staff as your very own amigos, contact me using any of the methods below (email is usually the most reliable). All phones have voice mail.
Jan C. Gimar
(505)345-8603 ext 15 (office)
4524 Rockaway Loop
Rio Rancho, NM 87124