Silver Sage Staff Activity Center… getting so close!

3SAC ExteriorAs July 4th approaches, the Silver Sage Staff Activity Center is nearing completion. Philmont management is optimistic that the 2008 seasonal staff will be able to watch a movie, play a game of pool, and enjoy ice cream in the new facility before the end of the summer.

Open AreaCounter TopsOver the past month the building has been painted that familiar color to match the rest of the base camp structures. The red pro-panel roof is in place. Sidewalks have been poured. The interior is nearing completion, too. Only the floor needs to be installed before furniture will be moved into the building.

Ranger FireplaceRanger FireplaceThe Ranger Legacy Fireplace is massive. The pavilion is equipped with lighting and a sound system. Many memorable Phil-activities will be housed at this beacon for shade in base camp.

Bathroom CountersBathroom StallsDon’t forget, the dedication ceremony for the Silver Sage Staff Activity Center will be on Saturday, August 16th. Dinner will be served under the pavilion at 5:30pm, and the ceremony will follow. It’s not too late to make plans to attend this event.

The 2008 Silver Sage awards will also be presented on August 16th to four people instrumental to making the Philmont experience what it is today. David Bates, Joe Clay, Jack Rhea, and Bill Spice will be recognized as the newest Silver Sage recipients with a wonderful ceremony following the dedication, at the Silver Sage Staff Activity Center.

San Diego Reunion Report

There were over 50 people in attendance. About 20 Philstaffers from the local area came out to the reception. The current and past OA National chiefs made an appearance, too. Four of our PSA board members were in attendance. Keith Gallaway, Brian Gray, and John Clark were at the reunion, representing Philmont. Of course, Janice was there, too. She kept everything organized.

Overall, a good time was had by all. Bill Cass was recognized with the Silver Antelope at the National Meeting. Dan Zaccara received the Silver Buffalo. Diane Cannon actually received the Silver Antelope and Silver Buffalo last week at the National Meeting.

The 2009 BSA National Meeting will be in Orlando, Florida.

BSA professionals

Ed Pease and Father Don

Keith Gallaway

Group shot in San Diego

Another group shot in San Diego

Silver on the Sage Vol. 3

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.

Silver on the Sage Vol. 2

A progress report from the PSA

What’s in a name? The new Staff Activity Center being built at Philmont’s Camping Headquarters will serve the needs of the seasonal staff for years to come. The Philmont Staff Association conducted a three-year capital campaign to raise one million dollars to fund this project. The actual name of the building will be the “Silver Sage Staff Activity Center”. Why this name?

The Silver Sage Award is a recognition presented by the PSA to those who have provided exceptional service to Philmont, its participants, the PSA, or any field of human endeavor that brings honor and credit to the legacy of the Philmont staff. The first awards were presented in 2005.

Past recipients of the Silver Sage Award:
Silver Sage Award2005

  • Joe Davis
  • Elliot “Chope” Phillips
  • Virginia Phillips
  • Lawrence “Boss” Sanchez


  • Glenn A. Fowler
  • Ned C. Gold, Jr.


  • Dean Tooley
  • John Westfall

The Silver Sage Award is a tribute to the Philmont staff. An anonymous donor provided the largest gift to the capital campaign, and requested to the Staff Activity Center in honor of the first Silver Sage class.

This honor is certainly appropriate for the new Staff Activity Center. These past recipients and those to come have been instrumental in making Philmont what it is today.

So there you have it, the “Silver Sage Staff Activity Center”

Donor Recognition

As it has been mentioned before, there are over 700 donors to the Silver Sage Staff Activity Center. Any donor that gave at least $100 will have their name engraved on a brick that will be placed on the front porch. There will be nearly 650 engraved bricks recognizing our donors!

There is, however, a group of donors that gave at levels that set the pace for the capital campaign. They will receive additional named recognition around the building.

The rooms in the Silver Sage Staff Activity Center will bear the names of these donors:

  • Hembree Hall is named for H.L. Hembree
  • Murphy T.V. Room is named for John Murphy
  • Hugh Brewer Family Computer Room is named for Hugh Brewer
  • The Stein Snack Zone is named for Dwight Stein
  • The Taylor Family Porch is named for the Taylor Family (John, Sally, Shelley, Holly, and David Taylor).

3sac Taylor Porch

Above is a picture of the donor brick area on the Taylor Family Porch.

More Donor Recognition

There were also several additional fund-raising efforts during the capital campaign in recognition of some special Phil-folk. The OA Trail Crew staff and alumni raised $25,588 in honor of Gene Schnell and Steve Willis. The Activities staff office will be named for them.

Friends, family, and community members from Austin, Texas raised $35,475 in memory of Bruce Walcutt, a man who made many valuable contributions to Philmont, the Order of the Arrow, and Boy Scouting in Austin. The Training/Conference room will be named for him.

The open-air pavilion will recognize Joe Davis, by his long-time friend Jim MacGillivray and the Baldy Mountain level donors. They are: Clarence J. Baldwin, David Cope, Lee Huckstep, Frank C. Koranda, the Lockwood Family Foundation, Edward A. Pease, Christopher A. Rautman, the Rolley Foundation, Jim Ryffel, Wink Sharpe, Robert F. Smith, and the Waite & Genevieve Phillips Foundation.

Again, a special thank you to all of our donors.

Construction Update

Mark Your Calendars

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. More details coming soon.