2020 Volunteer Vacation

2020 Volunteer Vacation

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The Trail to Cito peak—Year 5

We’re up on the side of the mountain now. The views are so spectacular – you won’t even notice the work. And, the price for an entire week at Philmont in the Backcountry has been cut in half! It can’t get much better.

The Philmont Staff Association and Philmont Scout Ranch are pleased to again offer this opportunity in 2020. This will be the 5th year for the very exciting and tremendously rewarding Volunteer Vacation. Past participants have experienced a fantastic week in the backcountry, hard physical work, and the ultimate satisfaction of giving back to Philmont.

The dates are September 12 to 19, 2020. The cost is only $105. Registration opens March 1, 2020 at noon, Mountain Time. Registration deadline is August 15th, 2020. Please see Registration, Payments, and Refunds at the end of this article.

Carrying On in 2020

The 2020 Volunteer Vacation continues the construction of a new spur trail to the top of Cimarroncito Peak. Completion is expected in 2021. There has never been a trail to Cito Peak. We’re almost to the summit. Your work will be instrumental in making this happen.

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 the PSA member. Please do not register anyone who does not meet these requirements. All participants must be members of the Boy Scouts of America.

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.

The full Philmont medical form is required – the same 7 page form required for summer Trekkers. Please note, just because your doctor certifies you, it does not mean this program is for you. Volunteer Vacation requires hard work, long hours, a good crew spirit, backpacking ability and a sense of humor. This program is not leisurely and is not for those who are afraid of sore muscles, getting dirty, and who cannot maintain a great attitude 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.

Here’s the tentative schedule for the 2020 PSA Volunteer Vacation. Please note, this entire schedule could change dramatically based on Philmont’s needs. We’ll keep everyone informed as the year progresses.

Volunteer Vacation Schedule

Saturday, September 12

Arrive at Philmont during the day. First meal will be dinner in the PTC Dining Hall. In the evening, the Conservation Department will begin the program with introductions and specific plans, gear & packing advice, and general Q&A.

Sunday, September 13

Breakfast at PTC and then depart for the drop-off point just above Sawmill. Next, a very short 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-Wednesday, September 14-16

Trail construction work (and more fun). There should be time to climb Cito Peak! We’re close to the summit.

Thursday, September 17

Final wrap-up of trail construction work, break camp, clean up the Whistle Punk campsite, and then hike or ride to another campsite. The final campsite will depend on the number of participants, availability of transportation vehicles, weather, etc. Volunteers will spend the night at this new location, relaxing and enjoying traditional Philmont camping.

Friday, September 18

In the morning, possible side-hikes based on the location. By midday or early afternoon, Volunteers will be transported back to Base Camp. Friday evening’s dinner will be a celebration of the week and recognition for what you have given back to Philmont. Participants will be awarded the coveted Volunteer Vacation patch.

Saturday, September 19

Depart Philmont after breakfast. Take a proud and satisfying look back at Cimarroncito Peak (and the Tooth, of course)!

Common Questions and Answers

What’s it like?

Download the detailed High Country article from 2016 providing a full explanation of everything that takes place.

What will we eat?

Both trail food and large quantities of FRESH food to insure sufficient calories. This will be a much better menu than the standard trail food menu. Cooking, cleanup, and water crews will be established.

Will we need to carry a full back pack?

Yes and no.

Philmont will pre-stage food, tools, and all crew equipment at Whistle Punk. However, the unused room in your pack will need to be filled with extra (and heavier) work clothes along with warm clothes (jackets, gloves, long underwear, headgear, etc). Extra gear can be shipped back to Base Camp after trail work is completed, but you will then be carrying traditional crew gear and food when hiking/riding to your campsite on Thursday.

Philmont backpacks are available at no charge if needed.

Do we need a tent?

Yes.

You will be sleeping in normal backpacking tents for 5 of your 7 nights at Philmont. You can bring your own tent or use the standard issue Philmont Thunder Ridge 2-person tent (no charge). Tent pairings and partners will be discussed as the participant list is completed.

Will it be cold?

Probably.

Whistle Punk is almost 10,032 feet, and by September 15th, 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 spring nearby. This camp was 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.

How many people can sign up?

Philmont would like to work with a group of 24 to 30 volunteers. If we exceed that number, a wait list will be established.

Do I need to join the BSA?

Yes.

Please provide your BSA# during check-out or within 30 days of purchase of this service project.

Email us if you have further questions

6 + 12 =


PSA Registration; Philmont Payment and Refunds

  1. Register here on the PSA website, but…
  2. Payment is made directly to Philmont, not the PSA (address below)
  3. Philmont accepts checks only, no credit cards or PayPal
  4. Make check payable to: “Philmont Scout Ranch”
  5. In the memo, please write: "719-PSA 2020", "PSA Autumn Adventure", “PSA Volunteer Vacation”, "PSA Cavalcade", "PSA PhilBreak", or whatever your event name is.
  6. Philmont’s refund policy: ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. THEY CANNOT BE APPLIED TO FUTURE PSA TREKS OR EVENTS. Emergency situations will be handled by Philmont (not the PSA) on an individual basis.

Send check to this address:
Philmont Scout Ranch
17 Deer Run Road
Cimarron, NM 87714

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

2020 Volunteer Vacation registration opens at noon Mountain Time on March 1, 2020. 30 slots will be available upon opening.

Registration deadline: August 15, 2020.

2020 PSA Summer Trek: Back to the Backcountry

2020 PSA Summer Trek: Back to the Backcountry

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After painfully sitting out the canceled 2018 season, PSA Trekkers triumphantly journeyed HOmE in 2019. PSA Crews returned to Philmont’s beloved Backcountry and also began exploring the new land being shared with Philmont by its ranching neighbors. The treks were fantastic. Weather was great. And countless new Philmont memories were created.

2020 will again be a full and busy summer for Philmont. Near record numbers are expected as Philmont continues to recover from the 2018 fire. The PSA has again been granted 60 slots for our trekkers. Thank you Philmont!

Start planning now.

Registration open until June 15th, 2020.

Registration and Cost

The trek dates are July 18th–July 26th, 2020, and the cost is $620 per person. Trek fees are paid directly to Philmont. There are no refunds except for emergency situations that must be approved by Philmont on an individual basis. Please see full details at the bottom of this article.

The PSA Trek is open to all PSA members and their eligible family members. Share first-hand with your loved ones the experience you have talked about for years and let them meet other people who helped make those memories so special. Reunite with past staff friends during your custom designed trek.

PSA Reunion

The annual PSA Reunion will be held Friday, July 17th through Sunday morning, July 19th. This, of course, is the weekend when the trek begins. Trekkers will be able to arrive a day early on Friday and participate in all the Reunion activities during the weekend. Complete registration information and the extra cost for housing and meals will be provided in the Reunion announcement.

Schedule

The trek dates are July 18th to July 26th, 2020.

The 2020 trek schedule is as follows:

  • Optional – Arrive on Friday, July 17 for the PSA Reunion (extra cost)
  • Normal trek arrival is on Saturday, July 18
  • Spend the night of Saturday, July 18 in the Philmont area (PTC or town)
  • Report to the Welcome Center at 8AM on Sunday, July 19 (meet Rangers)
  • Hit the trail on Monday, July 20
  • Come off the trail on Saturday, July 25
  • Depart Philmont Sunday, July 26

Lodging for the nights of July 18th and 19th will be in tents at the PTC. The first Philmont provided meal will be dinner on the 18th at the PTC Dining Hall. The last Philmont meal will be breakfast on July 26th.

Eligibility and Fitness

You must be a PSA member or an eligible family member. Your friends or simply friends of Philmont are not allowed on the PSA Summer Trek. Trek-eligible family members include your spouse, child or stepchild, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew or in-law of a PSA member who meets the eligibility requirements below.

The trek eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Be physically and mentally fit
  • Be a member of the PSA or a trek-eligible family member
  • Be a member of the BSA
  • Have a current completed Philmont medical form
  • Be 14 years old OR completed 8th grade and be at least 13 years of age prior to participation

Your doctor’s signature on your medical form, by itself, is not sufficient for Trek participation. Ask yourself several questions. Am I really ready to trek at Philmont? Am I really in shape? Am I really ready to work and be a team crew member? You’re not 21 years old anymore. If you are not physically and mentally fit and willing to be a team player, you will not enjoy the Trek. There will be negative impacts on your crew members, as well. Please take a moment and read this article: Are You Really Ready To Trek?

You are encouraged to bring your trek-eligible family members.

You and your family members should share Philmont and Scouting values. This includes dressing appropriately for a Scouting environment and behaving in such manner which does not have a negative impact on the experience of your crewmates and others with whom they come into contact. The PSA Trek is not the appropriate place to work out family issues: the issues will not likely be resolved and may impact negatively on your crewmates.

If this is the first trek for your family member, you should conduct shake-down overnight hikes at home before your trek – just like a regular Scout crew. Don’t delay and burden your other crew members as you teach basic camping skills.

Itinerary Planning

As always, your crew will be free to design its own itinerary, subject to Philmont’s itinerary planning guidelines. By registering early, you can form your own crew or join the crew you want and be a part of the itinerary planning fun. A crew will consist of up to 12 persons and open spaces in crews will be available to any registrant until the crew is filled. If you have a group with which you want to trek, get them to sign up early so there will be space for all of you in the same crew.

Space and Payment

There are 60 Trekker slots – approximately 5 crews. Sign up ASAP and begin the crew and itinerary planning process now.
Register on-line, beginning January 1st, by clicking here (available 1/1).

If you register for multiple spots (you + family member(s)), please be sure to includes the names, ages, and their relationship to you in the Notes section of the check-out screen.

Questions about the PSA Summer Trek?

Registration Deadline

June 15, 2020


PSA Registration; Philmont Payment and Refunds

  1. Register here on the PSA website, but…
  2. Payment is made directly to Philmont, not the PSA (address below)
  3. Philmont accepts checks only, no credit cards or PayPal
  4. Make check payable to: “Philmont Scout Ranch”
  5. In the memo, please write: "719-PSA 2020", "PSA Autumn Adventure", “PSA Volunteer Vacation”, "PSA Cavalcade", "PSA PhilBreak", or whatever your event name is.
  6. Philmont’s refund policy: ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. THEY CANNOT BE APPLIED TO FUTURE PSA TREKS OR EVENTS. Emergency situations will be handled by Philmont (not the PSA) on an individual basis.

Send check to this address:
Philmont Scout Ranch
17 Deer Run Road
Cimarron, NM 87714

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

2020 PSA PhilBreak

2020 PSA PhilBreak

Registration is open!

2020 PhilBreak begins in...

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PSA PhilBreak Expands For 2020

multiple sessions, lower cost, more activities, airport and Amtrak shuttles

The 2019 PhilBreak was an exciting, rewarding, exhausting, satisfying week of give-back and contribution to Philmont. Assisting with the 2018 Ute Park fire recovery efforts, PSA members returned to the Ranch this past March to perform timber stand improvement (TSI), slash pile burning, and general debris clearing.

In 2020, PSA members will have 4 Sessions to again help Philmont with the 2018 fire recovery.

Dates

The four weeks for PSA members are:

  • Session 1: February 29th–March 7th
  • Session 2: March 7th–March 14th
  • Session 3: March 14th–March 21st
  • Session 4: March 21st–March 28th

Registration opens on Friday, November 1st at noon Mountain Time.

Each session will consist of 6 to 12 PSA members and cost only $105. This ultra-low fee will cover all meals and roofed, nightly housing at the PTC. Participants will be driven to the worksite every day. During the week, evening educational lectures, Villa and Scouting Museum tours, and special hours at the Tooth of Time Traders will be offered. On Friday of each session, participants will relax and finish the week with a day hike to a Philmont backcountry location.

To help with transportation, the Raton Amtrak and Albuquerque Airport shuttles will be offered for each session. The cost will be $20 (Raton) and $100 (ABQ). This price covers both pickup and return.

Who Can Attend?

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 the PSA member. Please do not register anyone who does not meet these requirements.

BSA Membership Required

All participants are required to be currently registered with the BSA. You will need to include your BSA membership # at the time of registration. If you are not a BSA member, you can still register for PhilBreak, but you must provide your new BSA # to the PSA Office within 30 days or your registration will be canceled. Obtaining a BSA membership is becoming a little more complicated and time-consuming. If you’re not a member, start the process now to ensure you’re eligible for PhilBreak.

Medical Requirement

Only Parts A and B of the Philmont medical form are required for the 5 working days of PhilBreak. While a doctor’s signature is not required, please note that the PhilBreak program will require hard physical work, long hours, wide-ranging weather conditions, good crew spirit, and a sense of humor. This program is not leisurely. Philmont height and weight guidelines will be enforced. The PSA reserves the right to return the entire registration fee of any person who would be inappropriate for this program. PLEASE NOTE: the 6th day of PhilBreak is an optional organized hike into the Philmont Backcountry. Part C of the medical form will be needed for this activity. Part C requires a doctor’s signature.

Four Weeks to Choose From

You can register for any of the 4 weeks offered. Each week can accommodate 6 to 12 participants. If your chosen week does obtain the minimum number, we will contact you directly and see if you’re willing to switch to another week. If you can’t switch, a refund will be issued.

Tentative Schedule for Each Week

  • Saturday: Arrive at Philmont during the day. You must arrive by 5 PM MST. No late arrivals will be allowed. If you cannot arrive by 5 PM, then you should plan on arriving on the Friday before and stay in Cimarron, Taos, Raton, etc. The first Philmont provided meal will be Saturday dinner in the PTC Dining Hall. In the evening, the Conservation Department will begin the program with introductions and specific plans, gear info, advice, and general Q&A.
  • Sunday through Thursday: Daily transport to the fire area/worksite. Crews will work on various forestry projects. Breakfast and dinner at the PTC. Sack lunch in the field.
  • Friday Day: Day Off! Optional, organized day-hike in Philmont backcountry. Possible day of skiing in Red River (participants provide their own transportation and fees).
  • Friday Evening: Recognition Dinner and final gathering.
  • Saturday: Depart Philmont after breakfast

During the week, special tours (Villa, Scouting Museum) will be offered. In addition, the Conservation Department will be presenting seminars and the Tooth of Time Traders will schedule a special after-hours opening.

Questions and Answers

  1. Are we camping? No. We will spend all nights at the PTC and stay in roofed housing. You will share rooms with other Phil-breakers. We will be transported daily to the worksite.
  2. Do we need a pack? Yes. A good-sized day pack or weekend pack. Every day you will be driven to the worksite, but you’ll need to carry a sack lunch, lots of water (4-6 liters), rain gear, extra warm clothing, gloves, camera, etc.
  3. Will it be cold? Most likely. This is the Backcountry in March at 8,000–9,000 feet. Plan on layers for your clothing. We had significant snow and cold during the 2019 PhilBreak.
  4. Where will we be working? In the Backcountry–multiple locations. It’s too early right now for the Conservation Department to pinpoint exactly where we’ll be working.
  5. Are there multiple PhilBreak sessions? There are four(4) 1-week PSA PhilBreak sessions this year. In addition, there will be OA PhilBreak sessions running concurrently but separately.
  6. Can a spouse or other family member hang out at the PTC while I work every day? No.
  7. Can I arrive later in the week and still participate? No
  8. What are Albuquerque airport shuttle times? Participants must arrive in Albuquerque by 12 noon on the first Saturday and depart after 1PM on the final Saturday.
  9. What happens if the week I’ve chosen does not reach the minimum number of participants? We will contact you and provide the option to switch to another week. If you can’t switch, a refund will be issued.
  10. I’m having trouble obtaining my BSA membership. Can I still attend? No. You must be a registered BSA member. Start the registration process now! Your PhilBreak registration will be canceled if you cannot provide your BSA Membership # at the time of registration or within the following 30-day period.

Contact Us

If you have further questions, please contact us:

Payment Instructions and Refunds

  • Register here on the PSA website first, but then...
  • Payment is made directly to Philmont (address below), not the PSA
  • Philmont accepts checks only, no credit cards or PayPal
  • Make check payable to: "Philmont Scout Ranch"
  • In the memo, please write: "2020 PSA PhilBreak"
  • Philmont’s refund policy: ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. THEY CANNOT BE APPLIED TO FUTURE PSA TREKS OR EVENTS. Emergency situations will be handled by Philmont (not the PSA) on an individual basis.

Send check to this address:
Philmont Scout Ranch
17 Deer Run Road
Cimarron, NM 87714

2019 Silent Auction at the Reunion

2019 Silent Auction at the Reunion

Silent Auction Begins

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The Biggerer and Betterer Silent Auction

The Biggest & Best PSA Silent Auction at the PSA Annual Reunion will open Saturday morning, July 27 at 8:00 am and close in the afternoon at 4:30 pm.

To make it the biggerer and betterer silent auction, we really need your help. PSA members always come through, so let’s do it once more. We need auction items. Search your drawers, your closets, and your garage. What items would really be desired by PSA members? And remember, they don’t have to be Philmont or Scouting related—anything that might interest a PSAer is welcome.

100% of  funds generated by the Biggerer and Betterer Silent Auction go to the Staff Scholarship Fund. The more we raise, the more scholarships we can award.

Send in your small items now, but please contact the office before shipping those items so our staff knows what to expect. Larger items need to be held till July 1st since we don’t have any storage.

Don’t send staff shirts from the past 20 years, but if you have an old yellow “bumblebee” staff shirt, we’d like to have it—those have become collectors’ items!

For information or to make donations, contact:
Dollie O’Neill [email protected]

Ship items to:
Philmont Staff Association, 17 Deer Run Rd, Cimarron, NM 87714