2020 PSA PhilBreak

Service Projects

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. 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.

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 Volunteer Vacation

Service Projects

The Trail to Cito peak—Year 4

We didn’t make it to Cito Peak last September. Instead the Vacation Volunteers were redirected to a rush project – co-working with the Conservation Staff to punch through 3,300 feet of new trail to provide 2019 crews with more than one route into and out of Sawmill. Mission accomplished!

Barring any new unforeseen priorities, the 2019 Volunteer Vacation will return to work on the Cito Peak Trail.

The Philmont Staff Association and Philmont Scout Ranch are pleased to again offer this opportunity in 2019. This will be the 4th 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 14 to 21, 2019. The cost is only $225. Registration opens March 1, 2019 at noon, Mountain Time. Registration deadline is August 15th, 2019. Please see Registration, Payments, and Refunds at the end of this article.

Carrying On in 2019

The Volunteer Vacation in 2019 will continue with the construction of a new spur trail to the top of Cimarroncito Peak. Workers will push closer to the summit. This spur trail connects to the new Cyphers Mine / Thunder Ridge Trail, recently constructed in the area. These trails are helping to open a seldom used part of Philmont essential in the aftermath of the 2018 fire. There has never been a trail to Cito Peak. 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.

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 2019 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 14

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 and packing advice, and general Q&A.

Sunday, September 15

Breakfast at PTC and then depart for the drop-off point just above Sawmill. Next, a 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 16-18

Trail construction work (and more fun). There should be time to climb Cito Peak!

Thursday, September 19

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 20

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 21

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 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.

Email us if you have further questions

1 + 1 =


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 check only, no credit cards or PayPal
  4. Make check payable to: “Philmont Scout Ranch”
  5. In the memo, please write: "728-PSA 2019", “PSA Volunteer Vacation”, "PSA Autumn Adventure" 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.

2019 Volunteer Vacation registration opens at noon Mountain Time on March 1, 2019. 24 slots will be available upon opening.

Registration deadline: August 15, 2019.

2019 PSA PhilBreak

Service Projects

2019 PhilBreak begins in...

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Your Chance to Help Philmont after the Ute Park Fire

Even before the devastating Ute Park Fire was finally extinguished, PSA members began asking how they could help. Many contributed to the Fire Recovery Fund, but others wanted to provide hands-on assistance. They wanted to be on-site and help heal the land they love.

Philmont and the PSA are excited to offer PhilBreak 2019. This event will consist of a full week’s work restoring Philmont’s burned and unburned forests. Actual work will include slope stabilization projects, such as log erosion barrier and wattle installation, re-vegetation and forest thinning. By March 2019, the Conservation Department will have the exact details and locations ready to go. These are heavily dependent on the weather and road conditions. Only 30 slots will be open to registration.

Dates

The dates are March 2–9, 2019. The cost is only $210. Registration opens online December 5th, 2018 at noon, Mountain Time. The registration deadline is February 15th, 2019. Please see the Registration and Cancellation Policies at the end of this article. Lodging for the entire week will be roofed housing at the PTC. Participants will be transported to the worksite every day. Breakfast and dinner will be at the PTC dining hall with trail lunches provided at the worksite.

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.

Required

Participants are required to be registered with the BSA. The full Philmont medical form with your doctor’s approval is required. Please note, just because your doctor certifies you, it does not mean this program is for you. This PhilBreak program will require hard work, long hours, good crew spirit, and a sense of humor. This program is not leisurely. The PSA reserves the right to return the entire registration fee of any person who would be inappropriate for this program.

Tentative Schedule

  • Saturday, March 2: Arrive at Philmont during the day. You must arrive by 5 PM MST. No late arrivals will be allowed. If you cannot arrive by 5PM, then you should plan on arriving on Friday, March 1st and stay in Cimarron, Taos, Raton, etc. The first Philmont provided 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 info, advice, and general Q&A.
  • Sunday, March 3: Medical recheck, finalize plans, and eventual transport to the fire area / worksite to begin work. Approximately one-half day’s work. Breakfast and dinner at the PTC. Trail lunch in the field.
  • Monday, March 4 through Friday, March 8: Daily transport to the fire area / worksite (A shorter work-day on Friday). Breakfast and dinner at the PTC. Trail lunch in the field.
  • Friday evening, March 8: Recognition dinner and final gathering.
  • Saturday, March 9: Depart Philmont after breakfast.

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 small weekend pack. Every day you will be driven to the worksite, but you’ll need to carry a trail lunch, lots of water (4-6 liters), rain gear, extra warm clothing (think layers), camera, etc.
  3. Will it be cold? Probably. This is the Backcountry in early March at 8,000 – 9,000 feet. Plan on layers for your clothing.
  4. Where will we be working? In the Backcountry burn area. It’s too early right now for the Conservation to pinpoint exactly where we’ll be working.
  5. Are there multiple PhilBreak sessions? There is only one (1) PSA PhilBreak session this year. There will be three (3) OA PhilBreak sessions later in March.
  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 happens if 30 people register before me? We will put you on a wait list. Cancellations are inevitable.

For Further Questions

Phil Winegardner at [email protected]
Dollie O’Neill at [email protected] or 575-376-1138

Registration Policy

  • 30 slots will be filled in the order that registrations are received.
  • The preferred method of registration is electronic at https://www.philstaff.org/2018/12/2019-philbreak/
  • The slots will be filled according to the date and time an electronic registration is received. If registering by mail, the date and time of receipt by the PSA office. If you call in your registration, the date and time of that call.
  • Postmarks earlier than December 5, 2018, or dial-in registrations prior to noon Central Time on December 5, 2018, will not be accepted.

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.

Cancellation date: Friday, February 15, 2019.

2018 Volunteer Vacation

Service Projects

The Trail to Cito peak—Year 3

Simple Question—What’s the very best deal today that allows you to spend 7 days at Philmont and, at the same time, truly give back to Philmont?

Obvious Answer—The PSA Volunteer Vacation!

The Philmont Staff Association and Philmont Scout Ranch are pleased to again offer this opportunity in 2018. This will be the 3rd year for the very exciting and tremendously rewarding Volunteer Vacation. This program has sold out every year. 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 15 to 22, 2018. The cost is still only $210. Registration opens March 1, 2018 at noon, Central Time. Registration deadline is August 15th, 2018. Please see the registration and cancellation policies at the end of this article.

Carrying On in 2018

The Volunteer Vacation in 2018 will continue with the construction of a new spur trail to the top of Cimarroncito Peak. Workers will push closer to the summit. This spur trail connects to the new Cyphers Mine/Thunder Ridge Trail, also being constructed in the area. These trails are helping to open a little used part of Philmont and also aid the popular 7-day treks. There has never been a trail to Cito Peak. Your work will be instrumental in making this happen.

This year’s program will be very similar to 2016 and 2017. Here’s a detailed article from 2016 providing a full explanation of everything that takes place. Both years, participant feedback has been excellent. “Hard work” “Pride” “Satisfaction” “Best ever” “Very physical” “Will return” are continually repeated in the evaluations.

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.

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 seven 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.

Download the High Country article…

Volunteer Vacation Schedule

Saturday, September 15

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 and packing advice, and general Q&A.

Sunday, September 16

Breakfast at PTC and then depart for the drop-off point just above Sawmill. Next, a 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 17-19

Trail construction work (and more fun). There should be time to climb Cito Peak!

Thursday, September 20

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 21

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 22

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

Anticipated Questions

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 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.

What happens if 24 persons register before me?

We will put you on a wait list. We did have several cancellations last year.

Email us if you have further questions

4 + 3 =


Registration Policy

  1. Available slots (see below) will be filled in the order that registrations are received.
  2. The preferred method of registration is electronic at https://www.philstaff.org/.
  3. The slots will be filled according to the date and time an electronic registration is received. If registering by mail, the date and time of receipt by the PSA office. If you call in your credit card information, the date and time of that call.
  4. Postmarks or dial-in registrations prior to the opening date and time (see below) will not be accepted.

2019 Volunteer Vacation registration opens at noon Mountain Time on March 1, 2019. 24 slots will be available upon opening.


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.

Registration deadline: August 15, 2019.