2018 PSA Reunion at Tulsa – The Info You Need

Update 10/6: A few Basic slots newly available!!

After those are gone, we will take wait list orders for the Basic Program.


Your Philmont Staff Association invites you to the PSA Reunion at Tulsa October 19-20. You and your guests will enjoy a unique program that will expand your knowledge of the Phillips legacy in Oklahoma, and you will have the opportunity to connect with PSA friends, old and new.

The Reunion is open to 180 persons. The previous PSA Tulsa Reunion sold out; this Reunion will also sell out too. Immediately register for the Reunion and secure your hotel reservation, both as described below, or you may end up on the Reunion waiting list or at a less-favorable hotel.

The Reunion Program

Friday, October 19

Check in at the Courtyard Marriott lobby. This hotel is next door to the Philtower and is on the second floor of the Atlas Life Building.

Mixer in the restored early 20th century lobby of the Atlas Life Building. The PSA will provide finger food and hors’d’oeuvres, you will buy your own beverages at the cash bar, and the fun will begin.

Saturday, October 20

Guided visits to the fully restored Waite Phillips offices. You will enter through the meticulously maintained Philtower lobby—an attraction in its own right—ride the elevator up, and see Waite Phillips’ offices exactly as they were when he occupied them. Your visit will be 80 years to the day that the Boy Scouts of America phoned Waite Phillips to accept the donation of the land that became Philturn. Waite likely took the call in these offices.

Travel to Woolaroc, country retreat of Frank Phillips, Waite’s brother. Woolaroc is ranked by some as Oklahoma’s leading tourist attraction. Your program will include admission to Woolaroc, lunch in the Woolaroc Lodge dining room, guided tour of the Woolaroc Lodge, and access to the eclectic Museum, where the author’s favorite exhibit is the shrunken heads. (Kids like them too.) Others will prefer viewing the largest collection of Colt firearms in the world.

Evening program at the magnificent Philbrook Museum of Art, the Tulsa residence of Waite and Genevieve Phillips. You will be able to tour the galleries and gardens at your leisure, enjoy cocktails on the Veranda as Waite and Genevieve did (cash bar), dine in the elegant Philbrook Rotunda, and cap off the evening with a special program in the Philbrook auditorium.

Two Levels of Pricing

We are offering the Tulsa program at two price levels: basic and enhanced.

The cost per person for the basic program is $61 per person. You will enjoy everything described above, except for the Woolaroc program.

The cost of the enhanced program is $92 per person. This higher price gets you the Woolaroc program, including round trip chartered bus transportation to and from Woolaroc.

The enhanced program is limited to 112 persons. Participation is limited by the capacity of our chartered busses, the Woolaroc dining room and the Woolaroc Lodge.

Persons not purchasing the enhanced program are welcome to visit Woolaroc on their own, but we will be unable to provide lunch and the Lodge tour because of Woolaroc capacity limitations If you don’t go to Woolaroc, you can take in other superb Tulsa attractions described below. You can have a full day of outstanding activities, with or without the enhanced program.

Register for the basic or enhanced program by sending your monies directly to the PSA at 17 Deer Run Road, Cimarron, 87714, together with your name, the names of your guests, and your phone number and email address.

Wait Lists

In the event the enhanced program has sold out, you can get on the wait list for the enhanced program by registering for the basic program, and then let us know you want to be on the enhanced program wait list. Send notification to [email protected] Upgrades will be filled if cancellations for the enhanced program are received. Upgrades will be given in the chronological order the requests for upgrade are received. If you receive the upgrade, you will need to pay the additional fees.

In the event the basic program has sold out, go ahead and register. You will be given notice that the basic program is backordered. You will be put on a wait list. Slots will be filled in the chronological order the basic program back orders are received.

We do not expect cancellations in the immediate future. Do not be discouraged if your request for an upgrade to the enhanced level, or a back order for the basic program, does not come right away. Experience tells us there will be come cancellations, so please be patient.


You are encouraged to bring family members and friends with whom you want to share your passion for Philmont and the Phillips legacy.


We are pleased to offer preferred pricing for a block of rooms at the Tulsa Downtown Courtyard Marriott. The hotel is next door to the Philtower and directly above the Atlas Life lobby where you will enjoy the Friday night mixer.

This is the same hotel which we used for the previous Tulsa reunion. Every room in the hotel has been recently refurbished and the hotel will provide a comfortable base camp for reunion attendees. The rate for a standard king is $114 per night, the rate of a double queen is $119 per night, single or double occupancy. In addition, you are charged the local occupancy tax of 13.5%. Parking is available in the attached Philtower garage for $12 per night.

Reserve your hotel room by phoning the hotel direct at 918-508-7400 and ask for the Philmont Staff Association rate. The rate code is “PSAS $114 Standard King, $119 for Double Queen.”

Book with your Philmont Staff Association group rate now.

We currently have a hold on 50 rooms, 25 of each type. When those 50 rooms are sold out, we will ask for additional rooms. Additionally, there are 10 rooms, 5 rooms of each type, available on Thursday night, October 18, 2018, at the discounted rate.

Other Superb Attractions

For persons arriving early, or for those persons purchasing the basic package, there are superb attractions in Tulsa.

Woody Guthrie Center—this is the author’s favorite. The original, handwritten lyrics of “This Land is Your Land” are on display, and that alone is worth the price of admission to those familiar with how this song has been adapted to Philmont. Other artifacts include Guthrie’s fiddle, guitar and mandolin. You can listen to original recordings of Guthrie’s songs at the music bar. The Center is a doable long walk from the hotel, or a short cab ride.

Gilcrease Museum—this is the second most popular attraction in Tulsa. (Philbrook is number 1.) The museum houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of art of the American West. Artists on display include Frederick Remington, Charles Marion Russel and John James Audubon. The Helmerich Center at the Gilcrease is the depository of the Bob Dylan Archives. (At this time the date when the Dylan artifacts will be displayed is unknown but we will let you know if they go on display prior to October 19-20.) The Gilcrease is near downtown, but transportation will be required.

The Church Studio—this converted church was the recording studio of rocker Leon Russell and many of his friends. The studio is currently being restored and may be open to the public by the time of the Reunion. We will provide further information closer to the Reunion. Even if the studio is not open by Reunion time, you can drive by.

Further Information

Be watching future editions of High Country for more detailed information about program features, and see the October 2017 and December 2017 issues of High Country for detailed information about Waite Phillips restored offices and Woolaroc.

You can also obtain information from Lee Huckstep at 832-620- 2014, or using the form below.

Your Tulsa experience starts now with making registrations and reservations.

Questions about the PSA Reunion in Tulsa?

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Cancellation Policy

  1. All registrations are subject to a non-refundable $25 cancellation fee.
  2. Cancellations prior to the posted registration deadline (date below) will receive a full refund, subject to the $25 cancellation fee.
  3. Cancellation after the registration deadline will not receive a refund. Monies paid can be used for another PSA event prior to the end of the year following the scheduled event or can be contributed to the General Fund.
  4. In exceptional cases, the Executive Director AND Vice President of Service can authorize full refunds for cancellation after the registration deadline.

The PSA reserves the right to deny or revoke registration where appropriate.

The registration deadline for this event is September 30th, 2018.

Update 10/6: Extended to sell out newly available Basic slots.

2016 PSA Trek: Itinerary Planning

2016 PSA Trek: Itinerary Planning

It’s time to start planning your itinerary for the PSA Trek July 10 – 17, $515 per person. Whatever itinerary you come up with, you need to know the basics of itinerary planning at Philmont. Here they are.

The 9,000-foot Rule

Philmont requires that the first three nights at Philmont be slept under 9,000 feet elevation. You can hike as high as you want on any day. The reason for this rule is altitude sickness prevention. Your itinerary must comply with this requirement. The night before reporting to the Welcome Center, July 9, must be spent in the Philmont area and that counts as the first night. The night of July 10, spent in Camper Tent City, counts as the second night. In order to be compliant with the rule, the first night on the trail must be spent at an official Philmont starting camp, including Minette Meadows on the Cimarroncita tract, or one of the following staffed camps: Zastrow, Carson Meadows, Abreu, Urraca, Crater Lake, Miner’s Park, Clark’s Fork, Cito, Hunting Lodge, Harlan, Indian Writings, Ponil, Pueblano or Dean Cow. Trekkers providing their own transportation to the Valle can spend the first night at Ring Place or Whiteman Vega. No exceptions, even if a camp is below 9,000 feet. Note that if you spend the first night at Minette Meadows on the Cimarroncita tract, your gateway to the rest of Philmont is via Ute Park Pass.

Itinerary Length

Hikes on successive days should generally be in conformity with hikes found in approved Philmont itineraries. Itineraries with hikes substantially exceeding the length of those found in approved Philmont itineraries may be subject to disapproval by Logistics. Even though your itinerary may comply with 9,000-foot rule and be in conformity with hikes found in the approved itineraries, your itinerary should be appropriate for the hiking abilities of your crew. Not everyone can do a super-strenuous itinerary.


Itineraries shall include the opportunity for 3 hours of conservation work. Conservation can be done at the following locations:

  1. Whiteman Vega – new trail construction/trail maintenance, meet at Whiteman Vega
  2. Flume Canyon to Elkhorn – new trail construction, meet at Flume Canyon
  3. Indian Writings to Chase Canyon – new trail construction, meet at Indian Writings
  4. Harlan to Deer Lake – new trail construction, meet at ???
  5. Hidden Valley to Cathedral Rock Camp – new trail construction, meet in between Window Rock and Hidden Valley
  6. Whistle Punk Camp to Cyphers Mine – new trail construction, meet at Whistle Punk Camp
  7. Crater Lake – Trail construction
  8. Beaubien (backcountry staff/self-led)
  9. Apache Springs (backcountry staff/self-led)
  10. Clear Creek (backcountry staff/self-led)

With all these opportunities, meeting the conservation requirements in 2016 should be easy.

Bus drop-off/pick-up points

Your itinerary planning must take into account the established bus drop-off/pick-up points. These points are Cimarroncita (replacing Bear Canyon) 6 Mile Gate, 9 Mile Gate (Ponil Road), Chase Ranch, Cito, Lover’s Leap, Ponil, Rayado (Kit Carson Museum), Turkey Creek and Zastrow. In addition to the above, personal vehicles may be used to get you to and from the “parking lot” south of Whiteman Vega Camp in the Valle Vidal on Cerrososo Road east of McCrystal campground. Personal vehicles are not permitted at the Maxwell turnaround, and there is no bus service, either.

Food Pick-up Points

Your itinerary should provide for food pick-ups. You can pick up food at Ring Place, Rich Cabins, Baldy Town, Ponil, Ute Gulch, Phillips Junction, Miner’s Park and Apache Springs.


Your itinerary planning should include consideration of drop-off and pick-up points, hiking abilities of crew members, food pick-up, and compliance with the 9,000-foot rule. The rest is up to you. Get your Philmont maps out, start planning itineraries, share those itineraries with friends, and join in the fun of planning! Your Trek experience starts now.

2016 PSA Trek: Wilderness First Aid Certification

Photo courtesy of Michael R Perry.

2016 PSA Trek: Wilderness First Aid Certification

Philmont requires that all crews have at least two participants, (adult or youth) in each crew who are currently certified in Wilderness First Aid or the equivalent and CPR from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross or the equivalent.

Getting certified in Wilderness First Aid can be a challenge—it is sometimes hard to find an available course. Visit your council service center for more information about when your council will be offering Wilderness First Aid instruction. Do this soon because some councils do it early in the year and these classes fill quickly. If your council does not offer this instruction, call your local Red Cross to see if the course is being offered. firstaid_badge

If that does not work, equivalent training can be obtained from the following nationally-recognized organizations:

In lieu of Wilderness First Aid and CPR training, Philmont will accept the following advanced levels of training. A copy of the current license or certification must be shared with Philmont during the registration process:

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Outdoor Emergency Care
  • EMT Basic, Intermediate or Paramedic
  • Military Corpsman or Medic
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Nurse Practitioner
  • Licensed Physician’s Assistant
  • Licensed Physician, MD or DO

Questions about the PSA Summer Trek?

Cancellation Policy

  1. All registrations are subject to a non-refundable $25 cancellation fee.
  2. Cancellations prior to the posted registration deadline (date below) will receive a full refund, subject to the $25 cancellation fee.
  3. Cancellation after the registration deadline will not receive a refund. Monies paid can be used for another PSA event prior to the end of the year following the scheduled event or can be contributed to the General Fund.
  4. In exceptional cases, the Executive Director AND Vice President of Service can authorize full refunds for cancellation after the registration deadline.

The PSA reserves the right to deny or revoke registration where appropriate.

PSA Volunteer Vacation: The Trail to Cito Peak

PSA Volunteer Vacation: The Trail to Cito Peak

By Lee Huckstep and Phil Winegardner

For years you have requested an opportunity to get out to the Philmont backcountry, get dirty, and give back to Philmont in a lasting, meaningful way.

Your request has been granted.

VolunteerVacationPatch_tree_smallYour Philmont Staff Association and Philmont Scout Ranch are excited to announce the PSA Volunteer Vacation. This is your long awaited opportunity to get out, get dirty, give back and have a lot of fun.
The PSA Volunteer Vacation will be an annual event of your PSA, and in 2016, will be limited to twenty lucky persons. In the first year, we will be building a new spur trail off the Sawmill and Thunder Ridge trail connecting the brand new Whistle Punk trail camp to the top of Cito Peak – where no trail has gone before. Eventually this trail will go to Cypher’s Mine, providing a route through a seldom used part of Philmont. When the first campers summit Cito Peak, and when they later go on to Cypher’s Mine, you will have the honor of having helped to make this happen.

In recognition of your efforts, you will receive a distinctive official Philmont issued award patch. Take a look at the High Country cover to see your reward. This will be one of the most difficult to acquire official Philmont issued patches.

The dates are September 17 to 24, 2016. The cost is $210. This includes a $25 non-refundable cancellation fee. (If you cancel, you get back $185).

The full Philmont medical form will be required – the same 7 page form required for Trekkers. Just because your doctor certifies you that does not mean this program is for you. This program involves hard work, long hours, a good crew spirit, backpacking ability and a sense of humor. This program is not going to be leisurely and is not for those who are afraid of sore muscles, getting dirty, and who cannot laugh when the going gets tough. The PSA reserves the right to return the entire registration fee of any person who would be inappropriate for this program.

This program is available to PSA members and their eligible family members. The minimum age is 16 years by date of participation. Trek-eligible family members include your spouse, child or stepchild, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew or in-law of PSA member who meets the eligibility requirements above. Please do not register anyone who does not meet these requirements.

If females under the age of 21 years are registered, we will attempt to make accommodation for Youth Protection requirements. If we cannot meet Youth Protection requirements (having a female over 21 participate) we will return the entire registration fee.

Volunteer Vacation Schedule

Saturday, September 17
…you will arrive at Philmont after lunch. You will meet in the dining hall at 5 PM have dinner, and then do a shakedown.
Sunday, September 18
…you will have breakfast in Base Camp and then depart for your drop-off point, Sawmill. You will then hike to Whistle Punk trail camp, set up camp, and have lunch. Following lunch, you will receive Philmont tools and trail construction instruction, start trail construction work, and have fun.
Monday, September 19
…more trail construction work and fun.
Tuesday, September 20
…even more trail construction work and fun.
Wednesday, September 21
…even more trail construction work and fun. (The work gets easier after you get the hang of it.)
Thursday, September 22
…relief at last! You will tidy-up uncompleted trail construction work and clean-up the campsite, and then hike to another campsite of the crew’s choosing and spend the night.
Friday, September 23
…in the morning you will hike to the pick-up point and return to Base Camp. You will then have the option of climbing the Tooth of Time, and on Friday evening, you will enjoy a steak dinner and be recognized for what you have given back to Philmont.
Saturday, September 24
…depart Philmont, and when looking up towards Cito Peak, let your eyes mist over, and know that by your efforts, Cito Peak will soon be accessible to future generations of campers.

Anticipated Questions

What will we eat?
We will eat trail food supplemented by bulk food to insure sufficient calories. This will be a better menu than the standard trail food menu. The food will be prepared using the crew method.
Will we need to carry a full back pack?
No. You will carry a lighter pack. Philmont will pre-stage food, tools and crew equipment at Whistle Punk. The extra room in your pack can be filled with work clothes and warm clothes.
Will it be cold?
Probably. Whistle Punk is at 9,900 feet, and by the time of this event, autumn will be setting in. You will need warm clothes and a warm sleeping bag.
Where is Whistle Punk?
Whistle Punk is located south, and uphill, of the trail from Sawmill to Thunder Ridge. There is a newly discovered spring at Whistle Punk. This camp will be first used in 2016.


What does Whistle Punk mean?
A Whistle Punk is the lumberjack who operated the signal wire running to a donkey engine whistle. The camp was given this name because it is near an old logging camp.
What happens if twenty persons register before me?
We will put you on a wait list.








* The twenty slots will be filled in the order that registrations are received. The preferred method of registration is electronic by using the “Register Now..” button near the top of this page. The slots will be filled according to the date and time an electronic registration is received or, if registering by mail, the date and time of receipt by the PSA office, or if you call in your credit card information, the date and time of that call. Postmarks earlier than March 1, 2016, or dial-in registrations prior to noon Central Time on March 1, 2016, will not be accepted.