Cheerful Service. I think about that term often when I think about Scouting and the impact that it has on the lives of so many of our youth. I think of how willingly we got on the bus, plane, train or car many summers ago and to work at Philmont for the summer. It didn’t seem like work, nor service at the time, but a grand adventure. Right now, young men and women all over the country are getting ready to embark on that adventure. They are excited and no doubt a little wary of what awaits them.
Our methods of serving change over time, depending on our resources, needs and inclinations. We donate time, energy, ideas and money. Today I am inviting you to consider serving this summer’s staff through the Staff Amigo Program. Our goal is to give each staff group some attention, letters, treats and sometimes, necessities. I will be taking requests for staff groups starting on April 1, 2017 and will continue until all staff has an Amigo. Staff groups can be as small as a six member backcountry camp to a larger department such as Food Service. The intent is to connect with the staff through letters and boxes. If you do this, please be aware that you may not receive anything in return…but that is service for you.
Last year, we were able to serve every staff member and I am hoping to do so again this summer. There are three ways to participate:
- Take a staff group and be responsible for tending to them throughout the summer. I ask that you send a letter of introduction and then connect with them several times during the summer.
- Send a monetary donation to the PSA office to be used to for staff groups not chosen. We have particular difficulty serving ranger groups.
- Bring donations and treats to the week long PSA Reunion in July. We will package them up and distribute them to staff groups during the course of the week. That was done for the first time last summer and it was a very fun time for the PSA members and the staff.
I encourage you to consider participating in this very fun and worthy project in any way you can, and look forward to serving our staff that will be doing so much for youth this coming summer.
I can be reached using the form at the bottom of this page.
At a loss for words? Here’s a suggested format for a letter to accompany your Amigo Care Package:
Dear [insert name of staff or department], Greetings from a [year(s) on staff] Philstaffer!
I treasure the time I was able to spend in God’s Country working with some of the best people imaginable. But I also remember hitting a point each summer when I really missed some of the stuff I left behind in the civilized world. I hope this package helps you through those doldrums.
Those of us who have had the privilege of working at Philmont share an unusual experience and outlook. We have had opportunities to develop skills and friendships in an unusual setting. Someday your non-Philmont friends will wonder what planet you came from when you share some of these experiences. Tell them a story about [drop in an appropriate anecdote or reference here] and watch their jaws drop or their eyes roll! Only those of us who have shared the frustrations and exhilarations of serving on the Philmont Staff can appreciate fully what these experiences have meant in the shaping of our lives.
That’s why the Philmont Staff Association was formed: to allow current and former staff to maintain their links to each other and the unique place that is Philmont. Stop by the PSA office in the Beaubien-Miranda building at PTC to learn about the Staff Association and how you can be a part of us.
Down the road, when you begin to yearn for the smell of Ponderosa and the bear in your adventures has grown from a 150-pound cinnamon to a 500-pound Grizzly, you will appreciate the ability to reconnect with others who share those memories. Enjoy the Care Package. Enjoy your summer. If you can find the time, let me hear from you. I’d love to hear about the challenges, frustrations, and successes that mark the lives of today’s Philstaffers.
IWGBTP, [Your Name Here]
Share any memorable moments from your days on staff. Who knows, you may inspire some of them to recreate your “achievements.” Be sure to include your contact information (legibly printed name, address, etc.) inside your package.
Care Package Suggestions
Keep the amenities already available to your befriended staff in mind. Basecamp Staffers have access to electricity; the Cypher’s Mine staff doesn’t. But the Basecamp Staffers aren’t able to do their own cooking. Rangers will appreciate stuff that can make their HQ time more pleasant as well as “trail aids,” but Rangers are also harder to get stuff to as a group.
From the responses of former adopted staffers…
Upgraded staples: decent toilet paper; gourmet coffee, tea, hot chocolate, drink mix (variety flavors and better than the standard bug juice), spices and seasonings, tobasco sauce, etc.
Diet Enhancements: cake or cookie mixes, nuts, beef log/summer sausage, different pastas, dried fruit (something other than banana chips and pineapple), quality canned goods, etc.
Snacks and goodies: chocolates, gourmet potato chips (packing challenge), cookies, candy, snack cakes, popcorn (stovetop for the backcountry—microwave for HQ), etc.
Reading material: Anything! Magazines related to the camp or department (photo mags for NPS, Guns & Ammo for Sawmill, REI Catalog for the Rangers), paperbacks, comics, Uncle John’s, Darwin Awards, stuff that can be passed around. Games, puzzles, SODOKU, crosswords, cards.
Other diversions: squirt guns, rubber band guns, Nerf-anything, Indoor Basketball, disposable cameras, harmonicas or other small instruments, Playdoh, coloring books, paint-by-number, hand-held electronics.
Personal comfort: moleskin, lotion, sunscreen, Chapstick, foot powder, wet-wipes/towelettes, Rolaids, Airborne Cold, eye drops, etc.
Remember, most staff say they appreciate a series of small packages instead of one big one (they get more mail), so start off small and ask what they’d find most helpful in a future delivery. That will help you get a response from your staffs and give you some ideas for what they’d appreciate most later in the summer.
Please use the form below to contact the coordinator with general questions. Use the “Find an available staff” button to make an Amigo request.