2009 Summer and Fall Trek Details

2009 Summer and Fall Trek Details

Below you will find the 2009 Trek announcements originally sent via email. These notes are being provided to encourage you to join us and to help you be prepared for a fantastic experience.

For further information contact your Trek coordinators:

Example itineraries which comply with the 9,000 foot rule

Recession relief from your PSA

With the current economic recession expected to last through 2009, by mid-summer you will require relief from the economic gloom. This is where your Philmont Staff Association can provide the relief you need: The 2009 PSA Trek and Reunion. What better antidote to recession blues!

Your 2009 Trek is scheduled from July 26 – August 1. Trekkers will gather at the Welcome Center on Sunday morning, July 26, hit the trail on Monday, and come off the trail Saturday, August 1. The Trek will be preceded by the annual Reunion July 24-26 at Rayado.

You must be a PSA member and all participants must be registered with the BSA. Your Trek-eligible family members must be 14 years of age by January 1, 2009.You and your Trek-eligible family members will be required to present a completed Philmont Medical Form prior to hitting the trail.

Each crew will be required to have at least one member certified in the American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid Basic, or equivalent. (The equivalent must be a 16 hour course.) Additionally, each crew must have a member with CPR certification. Now is the time to start lining up these courses so you can meet this requirement for your crew. With these certifications you are guaranteed to not be voted off the island.

The cost of the Trek is $375. There is no additional charge for Trekkers to attend the Reunion. On-line registration at www.philstaff.com begins February 1, 2009, or you can send in your check via regular mail beginning now, using the form below.

Start your planning now. Get the boss to approve the time off. When late July comes around, put on your Microsoft Outlook “Out of Office Assistant” with the following message: I’m Trekking at Philmont Scout Ranch where you can’t bother me!

Trek First Aid Training Requirements

The PSA Trek was a fantastic opportunity to share my Philmont story with my son; we visited several of the back country camps where I had worked. It was a blast seeing the changes and remembering the days gone by.” Mark Furey, Philmont Staff 77-81, and 2008 PSA Trekker.

All my life I heard about Philmont, I never thought it would be as great as I heard. It was a lot of fun hearing all the old stories being told while I got to experience the camp where they all took place.” Reade Furey, 17, son of Mark Furey, and 2008 PSA Crew Leader.

Philmont requires that at least one person, preferably two, in each crew, including PSA Crews, be currently certified in the American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid Basics, or the equivalent, and in CPR from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross or the equivalent. Certification cards will be required upon check-in to verify that each PSA crew meets this requirement.

Wilderness First Aid Basics is not an easy certification to obtain so if you are doing the PSA Trek this summer, you need to get cracking now. This training is not a commonly offered course by many local Red Cross Chapters. In Houston, for instance, it is not offered directly by the Red Cross but instead is available only through a partnership with the Sam Houston Area Council. In Houston this training is only offered twice between now and Trek time. It is at least a 16 hour course, and can be longer. Philmont will accept equivalent training, provided it is at least 16 hours, from certain nationally recognized organizations. A list of those organizations is available upon request.

CPR certification is easier to get and is often available in the workplace. The American Red Cross certification program for Adult CPR is 3 3/4 hours. Check with your local American Heart Association or American Red Cross for training opportunities.

By starting your Trek preparation now and getting these certifications under your belt, you will have made a long stride towards making your Trek a reality, not only for yourself, but for your friends and family members!

The great things that come from Treks are—introducing your family to the wonders of Philmont – the joy of new and old Phil Friends – spending time in God’s Country. Good things come in three’s.” Jim MacGillivray, Philmont Staff 72-73, veteran of 4 PSA Treks.

Why should women join the Trek?

Ladies, have you always wanted to take a long (30-50 miles) romantic walk with your husband across mountains, through valleys, and over streams (lots of streams!)? Have you ever wanted a week off from planning, shopping, and cooking meals (the guys do it all!)? Do you think that you would enjoy sharing stories with other adults with similar experiences with PSA and SAA? Then the next PSA Hike is for you!

This past summer I had the opportunity to experience a PSA trek and enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve been on two treks with our troop and this beat them both hands down. Getting to know our brothers and sisters from SAA was great especially having a hiking partner like Sharon Wogaman (a really tough hiker!). We enjoyed swapping stories (usually about our husbands) along the way that helped making the steep trails easier to handle.” Mary Lankford, Philmont Staff 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005 and 2008 PSA Trekker.

Because the guys really do it all!

PSA crews have typically been overwhelmingly male. The reason for this is not clear. Women have been on the Philmont staff since the early 1970’s, and make up an increasingly large percentage of the PSA membership, but their participation in the Trek does not reflect this percentage.

This needs to change.

There is no better time than 2009 for all you ladies to come home to Philmont. Bring your Trek eligible family members, or come alone. Don’t be afraid to come alone. The guys won’t bite. You will be warmly welcomed into a crew which, by the time the Trek is over, will be your Phamily.

You presence will bring out the best in the guys. You will be amazed by how they fall over themselves to hang the bear bags, get the water, do the cooking and wash the dishes. All you have to do is relax and have a good time because the “guys do it all”.

What are you waiting for, ladies?

Itinerary planning—the basics you need to know

Planning is half the fun…

I have hiked at Philmont many times. Philmont is my own personal challenge. Philmont is friends. Philmont is getting away from the modern world for a while. Philmont is returning to the summers of my youth. In July 2009 it will be 40 years since I first hiked the trails at Philmont.” Richard Wertz, Camper Crew 721-D, 1969; Philmont Staff 1971, 72, 73, 74; PSA Trekker 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, Autumn Adventure 2006, PSA Canoe Voyage 2008.

It’s hard to tell which comes first—the crew or the itinerary. Sometimes crews form around a core of personalities who then come up with an itinerary. Sometimes it’s an attractive itinerary which attracts Trekkers who then become a crew. But regardless of which comes first, you gotta’ know the basics of itinerary planning at Philmont. Here they are. So get out your maps, start trail talking with Phriends and soon you will have both a crew (six person minimum) and an itinerary. And remember, planning is half the fun!

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. The reason for this rule is altitude sickness prevention.

Your itinerary must comply with this requirement. The good news is that Philmont allows Trekkers much flexibility in complying with the requirement. Your first night in base camp counts for 1 night below 9,000 feet. If you attend the Reunion, July 24-26, your nights at the Reunion also count towards the requirement. If you are present for Saturday night at the Reunion, that, plus the first night in base camp, satisfies 2 of the first 3 nights.

Since the starting camp on almost any itinerary would be below 9,000 feet, your presence at 1 or 2 nights of the Reunion plus the first night in base camp will satisfy the requirement for itinerary planning purposes. We strongly urge you and every member of your crew to be at Philmont by no later than Saturday, July 25. If you are not at Philmont by Saturday, July 25, you will be required to be part of a crew which spends the first two nights on the trail below 9,000 feet. Your Friday or Saturday arrival will not cost more money: the Reunion is included in your Trek fee.

Bus drop-off/pick-up points

Your itinerary planning must take into account the established bus drop-off/pick-up points. Those points are Zastrow, Turkey Creek, Cito Turnaround, Rayado, Six Mile Gate, Ponil Turnaround, Lovers Leap and Bear Canyon.

Personal vehicle drop off points

With two exceptions, personal vehicle drop-offs or pick-ups are not allowed.

The two exceptions are Maxwell Turnaround on the Baldy Road and the “parking lot” south of Whiteman Vega Camp in the Valle Vidal on Cerrososo Road east of McCrystal campground.

The Maxwell Turnaround availability will depend on Baldy Road conditions at the time. (The Maxwell Turnaround has been available the past two summers.) If you elect to use the “parking lot” south of Whiteman Vega, Philmont will issue a “parking pass” to alert the Forest Service that you are parking there legitimately. Cerrososo Road is a well maintained gravel road which does not require 4 wheel drive or high clearance.

Food pick up points

Napoleon said that an army travels on its stomach. The same is true for your crew. Your itinerary should provide for convenient food pick-ups. You can pick up food at Ring Place, Rich Cabins, Baldy Town, Ponil, Ute Gulch, Phillips Junction, and Apache Springs.

Consider this: a Valle itinerary beginning at Ponil could have three food pick ups: Ponil, Rich Cabins and Ring Place. Trail food in your pack would never be a significant burden!


Your itinerary planning should include consideration of drop-off and pick up points, food pick-up, and compliance with the 9,000 foot rule. The rest is up to you. Hike as far as you want, or as little as you want. You will get a Philmont Arrowhead Award whether you hike a little or hike a lot. Get your Philmont maps out, start planning itineraries, share those itineraries with your Phriends, and join in the fun of planning! Your Trek experience starts now.

Samples itineraries which comply with the 9,000 foot rule.  Maybe you will like one of these, or maybe they will inspire you to come up with an itinerary your own.

Crews and itineraries must be submitted by June 30.

On a PSA Trek you don’t have to make any decisions for 6 days. There are always plenty of other Trekkers to do that for you. You get to visit the St. James before and after the Trek, too!”  David Fromm, Philmont Staff 1977, PSA Trekker 2005 and 2006, PSA Canoe Voyage 2007, and Autumn Adventure 2008. (We hope that the renovations at the St. James are complete by Trek time so David can make his visits!)