From Ed Pease, High Country Editor…

The array of skills and talent exhibited by Philmont staff through the years is as broad and often as breathtaking as the skies of northern New Mexico.

Whether it’s tying a diamond hitch or scaling the rocks at Cito, convincing a burro to change its mind (or at least change direction), or snagging a brown trout in the Agua Fria, the abilities of Philstaff are varied – in many cases legendary. Many acquired their skills at Philmont itself, learning from veterans who hiked the trails before them. Others brought their skills, but took them to new heights (or is that elevation?) in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristos.

Understandably, the skills and talents most often observed in Philstaff are those that relate to the out of doors; camping and hiking and ranching and all the Scoutcraft skills that have made Philmont what it is.

But there is a whole tradition of other talents not so often recognized, though just as impressive. Scores of Philmont staff have proven themselves at amateur and, in many cases, professional singing and songwriting. Others have done the same with drawing and painting and other forms of visual arts. And still others have distinguished themselves as writers and photographers. When the Philmont Staff Association decided it would include a show of work in visual arts by former Philstaff as part of the 2005 reunion, the problem was not in finding enough quality work to show, but in finding enough space to do justice to the many outstanding entries we received.

View or download the full color special edition of the High Country to read the rest of Ed’s note and to see and read the contest winners’ works.