Destruction and New Beginnings

On the night of Thursday, June 17, 1965, a mighty flood swept down the Agua Fria in Philmont’s South Country, battering the Fish Camp buildings standing in its way. As Phil Yunker, the Fish Camp Director, recalls it from the letters he sent home shortly afterwards:

The water had undermined the foundations of the kitchen enough that we moved what we could out of the kitchen and closed it off. As we waited by the fire in the living room the whole lodge seemed to groan, windows in the kitchen broke, and the kitchen and pantry washed away with a grinding, thunderous crash of concrete, logs and one large cast-iron stove. I went to the dining room door, opened it and faced – instead of the vestibule leading to the kitchen – a raging torrent of water washing by. The pantry and kitchen were gone, but the roof still hung on, intact, cantilevered over darkness.
Phil Yunker

Fish Camp Camp Director, 1965

The light of the next morning revealed the Agua Fria to still be a mighty force, and that other buildings, such as the servant’s lodge, had been swept away as well. The damage to buildings and campsites was so extensive that Fish Camp was closed to campers the remainder of the summer.

The closure of Fish Camp necessitated the establishment of another South Country camp. The site selected was Apache Springs, and so began a new Philmont staffed camp.

Fifty years later, Apache Springs is still there, and nature has done much to repair the scarred landscape of Fish Camp. You can enjoy these camps again by joining the 2015 PSA Trek.

The cost is $475 per person and you can register by sending your check to the PSA, 17 Deer Run Road, Cimarron, NM 87714, or you can register on-line.

The basic trek information:

  • Spend the night of Saturday, July 11 in the Philmont area
  • Report to the Welcome Center at 8AM on Sunday, July 12
  • Hit the trail on Monday, July 13
  • Come off the trail on Saturday, July 18
  • Depart Philmont Sunday, July 19
The trek eligibility requirements:

  • Be a member of the PSA or Trek-eligible family member,
  • Be a member of the BSA,
  • Have a completed Philmont medical form,
  • Be 14 years old OR completed 8th grade and be at least 13 years of age prior to participation.
  • Be in good physical condition.
We have 60 trekker slots to fill. We have had no trouble filling these slots (and more) in past years and in 2015 we will fill them all.

The Trek will be preceded by the PSA Annual Reunion July 10-12. You can do both these events. Details for Reunion will be published at a future time.



*Counters last updated on 3/30/2015.

For further information contact:

The PSA Cancellation Policy
Our standard terms and conditions apply.

  1. Cancellation prior to the registration deadline of June 1, 2015 will receive a full refund.
  2. Cancellation after the registration deadline will not receive a refund. Monies paid can be used for another PSA or Exchange Program event prior to the end of 2016 or can be contributed to the general fund of the cancelling participant’s association.
  3. In exceptional cases, the Executive Director AND Vice President of Service of the PSA can authorize full refunds for cancellation after the registration deadline.