2018 Philmont Wrangler Reunion

Saturday, October 6th in Amarillo!

Former Philmont Wranglers are hosting a Philmont Wrangler Reunion on October 6, 2018. Guest of Honor: Ben Vargas, Rod Taylor, Bob Ricklefs, and Chuck Enloe. This reunion will be a “Once in a Lifetime” event!

Make plans now to attend. Any questions and R.S.V.P. by email to John Alexander at [email protected] or [email protected].

The gathering will be held in Amarillo, Texas, at the American Quarter Horse Association Museum Grand Hall at 2601 I-40 East, Amarillo. Event time 10am-9:30pm.

Attendees are encouraged to bring pictures and memorabilia from the ranch. Highlights of the reunion will be a ceremony to recognize the guests of honor and musical entertainment by Tish Hinojosa!

Hotel Block Information: Comfort Inn and Suites, 2101 E interstate 40, Amarillo. Call to reserve at 806-331-7829.

R.W. Hampton: 2018 Distinguished Staff Alumni Award Recipient



r w hamptonCimarron, N.Mex. – R.W. Hampton, nationally recognized Western singer, songwriter and entertainer, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Philmont Staff Association’s Distinguished Staff Alumni Award. Hampton, of Miami, NM, will receive the award and serve as the keynote speaker at the opening assembly for Philmont’s 1100 seasonal staff members on the evening of May 29 at Philmont.

Hampton, a 2011 inductee into the Western Music Association’s Hall of Fame, was named by American Cowboy magazine in 2013 as one of the “50 Greatest Country & Western Singers,” alongside performers like George Strait, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Gene Autry. He’s a four-time recipient of the Academy of Western Artists’ Male Vocalist of the Year award and the 2009 recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American Cowboy Culture Association.

Hampton got his performing start playing the guitar and singing at cowboy campfires at Philmont Scout Ranch, where he worked as a wrangler in backcountry camps during the summers from 1974 through 1976. He went on to work as a cowboy on ranches all over the West, in New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming, but all the while continued his singing and songwriting. In 1988, he made the career leap to full-time entertaining, and has earned “a wagonload of awards” for his work since then.

Thirteen albums, including a Christmas collection and two gospel albums, bear his name. Austin to Boston, released in 2010, ranked as the number one most played western album in 2011. A 2008 album, Oklahoma . . . Where the West Remains, recorded with the Enid Symphony Orchestra, earned Traditional Western Album of the Year awards from both the Western Music Association and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Hampton’s resume’ includes performances at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Hampton’s entertaining skills aren’t confined to singing and songwriting. R.W. has also appeared in more than a dozen movies alongside Western stars like Kenny Rogers, Ben Johnson, Richard Farnsworth and Kris Kristofferson, playing characters ranging from a quintessential frontier marshal to a hand known only as “Scar.” He also stars in a critically acclaimed one-man stage play, The Last Cowboy – His Journey, in which he plays an aging cowboy in 2025 recounting the history of the American cowboy through monologue and song.

The Distinguished Staff Alumni Award (DSAA) is presented annually by the Philmont Staff Association (PSA) to recognize “distinguished or exceptional personal success or achievement on a national or international level by a current or former Philmont staff member, in any field of human endeavor, that brings honor and credit to the legacy of the Philmont staff.”

Hampton is the seventh recipient of this award. Previous recipients include Wally Berg, internationally known mountaineer and explorer; the late Steve Fossett, world record aviator and adventurer, and Rick Searfoss, former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander.

The Philmont Staff Association is the alumni organization for current and former members of the staff of Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America’s national high adventure backpacking base in northern New Mexico and largest private camp in the world.

For more information, contact:
Mark Stinnett, PSA Awards & Recognition Chair, 719-244-3560, [email protected]
Dollie O’Neill, PSA Executive Director, 575-376-1138, [email protected]


Introducing Cassandra Robinson, PSA Office Manager

Join the PSA Board of Directors in welcoming Cassandra Robinson as our next PSA Office Manager!

Cassandra joins The Philmont Staff Association as the new full-time PSA Office Manager. She will be working with the Executive Director and be in charge of coordinating the day-to-day business of the PSA. She will take the lead with membership services and merchandise sales.

Cassandra started working at Philmont as a PTC Group Leader in 2007. She went on to work at Philmont for ten more years…2008: PC Urraca; 2009: PC French Henry; 2010: PC Crooked Creek; 2011: CD Hunting Lodge; 2012: CD Miners Park, 2013: Assistant Logistics Communication Manager; 2014–2016: CHQ Registrar; 2017: PSA Office Summer Staff.

Cassandra earned her bachelor’s degree in History in 2013 from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Most recently Cassandra worked for Cimarron High School as the Student Office Secretary from 2013–2018. Cassandra resides in Ute Park, NM with her husband Ross.

2017 Annual Fund – Mary Stuever

  • 2017 Annual Fund 107.76% 107.76%

In early summer and early fall, my guest room often has strangers staying there. They are generally good people—hikers on the Continental Divide Trail. My neighbors think I am nuts. Why do you let people you don’t know in your home? My answer: to pay off a karmic debt. Thirty-six years ago, while I was hiking the Divide, I was shown so much kindness by strangers that I’ll always keep paying it forward. It’s something I have learned about how I live in this world.

Most folks get that. They understand how walking across our country for months and months can be so transformative that you always want to honor where you came from.

I was thirteen when I first considered hiking the Divide. I was hiking in the mountains of northern New Mexico. It is no surprise that in the following years I discovered the nearby Philmont Scout Ranch as an excellent place to hone my backpacking skills to get me ready for this epic cross-country adventure. I spent two summers as a Rayado Woman and a summer as a Philmont Ranger before my hike. Those experiences served me well.

Yet a funny thing happened while I was hiking the Divide. I realized that, more than anything else, I wanted to go back to Philmont. It wasn’t so much that Philmont was my training ground to prepare me for a transformative adventure—Philmont was a transformative experience. Philmont had shaped who I was. Summers at Philmont were ever much as important to me as through-hiking long trails. After the divide hike, I spent two more summers at Philmont.

Today I live in northern New Mexico, about a three-hour drive west of Philmont in the San Juan Mountains. I work as a forester; I have great friends who share a love for the land; I play hard year around in the mountains I love. I have a good life.

I try to pay off my karmic debts to the mountain gods that fill my life with so many blessings. My guest room also hosts many Philmont folks but usually these are friends rather than strangers. I volunteer 6-10 days a year at Philmont to enrich forestry education there.

I also give the small amounts that I can afford to the Philmont Staff Association. I’m not a lucrative donor. My $25 bucks here and there isn’t buying me bricks and Yeti cups. Yet I do what I can because, in truth, if I have a karmic debt to the universe for experiences that have shaped me into who I am, it is first to Philmont. I’m sure I am not alone in this realization.

…or call Dollie in the PSA Office at 575-376-1138.

Mary Stuever, PSA Member and Forester

Note from the PSA: To echo Mary’s sentiments, you don’t have to give a lot to the PSA to be appreciated! Every donation helps, and the size of the donation isn’t as important as your continued support and involvement in the PSA. We just want to make sure you will always be able to go back to Philmont!

Annual Fund Stories So Far

Alex Ave | Sarah Burgess | Mariah Hughes | Denice Toney | Tom Munch | Tom Guigni | Mary Steuver | John Murphy

In 2017 we exceeded our $75,000 goal by $5,820.