The Silver Sage Awards are presented annually by the Philmont Staff Association to recognize “distinguished and exceptional personal service or contributions of an important and lasting nature, by any individual or organization, for the benefit of Philmont Scout Ranch, Philmont program participants, and/or the Philmont staff.” The PSA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2015 recipients:
Kenn Goertz, M.D.
Dr. Goertz is a pediatric cardiologist and faculty member at the Kansas University Medical School. He is now in his 28th year of service as Philmont’s Chief Medical Officer and as course director of the KUSM pediatric rotation program through which fourth-year medical students serve as Philmont medics. He is responsible for recruitment of all of the volunteer staff physicians who serve one or two-week shifts at Philmont each summer, and has served as chairman of the Philmont Health Lodge Task Force since it was created in the late 1990s. Kenn has had the principal leadership role in several important and lasting innovations in Philmont operations and health care, including changes to the itinerary system to provide that the first three days of each trek will be spent at altitudes below 9,000 feet to allow better acclimation, implementation of mandatory height-weight guidelines for backcountry participation (that have since been adopted by the entire BSA), and development of detailed risk advisories for participants and physicians. This summer marks his 30th as a Philmont staff physician.
The Order of the Arrow
For twenty years, the Order of the Arrow has partnered with Philmont to sponsor the OA Trail Crew Treks, in which OA members spend a week building trails at Philmont before embarking on seven-day treks. To date, nearly 3,000 Arrowmen have spent almost 100,000 work hours building miles of Philmont trails, including the new route to Baldy from Copper Park and the still-in-progress trail from Clear Creek to Mt. Phillips that will be totally within Philmont’s boundaries. Other Phil-trails constructed by OA teams include Vaca, Tooth of Time, Lovers Leap, Black Horse, Lower Bonito, Chandler Canyon and Flume Canyon. As the Order of the Arrow celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, it is fitting to honor it as the second organizational recipient of the Silver Sage Award (the U.S. Air Force Academy was the first).