2020 PSA Summer Trek: Back to the Backcountry

2020 PSA Summer Trek: Back to the Backcountry

Hitting the trail in...








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.


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

Payments and Refunds

  • Register at the PSA website, but…
  • Payment is now made directly to Philmont (not the PSA)
  • Philmont accepts check only, no credit cards or PayPal
  • Make check payable to: “Philmont Scout Ranch”
  • In the memo, please write: “719-PSA 2020”
  • After completing your order, mail checks to: Philmont Scout Ranch, 17 Deer Run Road, Cimarron, NM 87714
  • 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 on an individual basis.

2019 Office Manager Position Opening

Philmont Staff Association Office Manager
Full time position
40 hours per week
8am-5pm year-round*
14 days paid vacation

*Summer months’ rotating weekends with other staff, pending on scheduled events

Office Manager responsibilities include, but are not limited to…

  1. In the office duties. Work with the PSA year-round to maintain office hours. Duties in the PSA office include: greeting visitors, selling merchandise, answering phone calls, membership data entry, handling and entering donations and assisting in putting together mailings. Learn how to use Raisers Edge database. This will allow you to access information for a member, update address and email, and query specific groups.
  2. Membership services. Oversee the administration of all membership services which include: membership queries, mail-merge and monthly renewal mail-outs, membership payments and collection of membership dues. Also, handles daily phone calls, answers membership questions and recruiting of new members for the PSA.
  3. Assist with events hosted by the PSA. Duties will include: assist with registration, coordinating weekend activities, and promoting reunion events to Philmont summer staff.
  4. Summer projects at Philmont. This position will have the opportunity to work five days per week in the office and occasionally out of the office, pending on the week’s events and scheduling of days off with seasonal staff. Examples of out of the office, are but not limited to – Staff Opening Banquet, Staff Activity events such as Bratwurst Day, Salsa Night, open mic music nights, Reunion activities, etc. Also help where needed on Ranch such as Ranch Committee or other special events that might need assistance.
  5. Out of the office. Assist with marketing and promoting the Philmont Staff Association (PSA) as a membership opportunity to Philmont summer staff and PTC faculty. This includes creating materials to be used for recruiting, maintaining a promotional presence at the Staff Activity Center, Staff Dining Hall, PTC Staff Dining Hall, and PTC Staff Lounge, Backcountry and visiting staff departments throughout Philmont.

Other job duties include, but are not limited to…

  1. Assistance with PSA treks check in, registration and administrative duties.
  2. Process all education scholarship applications, letters and notifications.
  3. Meeting with PSA Board and Executive Committee members.
  4. Other duties assigned by the Executive Director and must live within 45 miles of Philmont Scout Ranch.

Job Requirements

Graduation from an accredited high school/GED program required. Associate and/or Bachelor’s degree preferred. Ability to understand and follow written and verbal instructions, organize and process work and establish and maintain effective working relationship with other PSA and Philmont employees and the general public. Must be familiar with working on a computer/desktop with programs such as Word, Excel, Microsoft Office and data-entry skills. Must be able to operate a copy machine, phone lines, printers and other office equipment. May require prolonged walking, standing, sitting, climbing or bending, and ability to lift and carry up to 25 lbs. unassisted.

How to apply

Submit resume, proof of accreditation, or degree if applicable, letter of intent and three references with phone numbers of non-related individuals.

Email all job materials to Dollie O’Neill, Executive Director of the PSA, by January 2nd, 2020.

Subject line: PSA Office Manager Position ([email protected]).

Salary is negotiable based on experience and skills. No health benefits provided.

Cassandra Robinson Leaves the PSA Office

It is with mixed emotion that we announce that Cassandra Robinson, PSA Office Manager, will be leaving her position with the PSA effective November 22, 2019. Cassandra’s husband Ross has accepted a new position in Colorado Springs and they will be relocating there. Cassandra started her time with the PSA in the summer of 2017 and then became full-time with the us in 2018.

Cassandra began working at Philmont as a PTC Group Leader in 2007. She went on to work at Philmont for ten more years! 2008: PC Urraca; 2009: PC French Henry; 2010: PC Crooked Creek; 2011: CD Hunting Lodge; 2012: CD Miners Park, 2013: Assistant Logistics Communication Manager; 2014–2016: CHQ Registrar; 2017: PSA Office Summer Staff. Cassandra has been a great asset to the PSA and we wish Cassandra all the best as her family gets adjusted to life away from Philmont!

Join the PSA Office Team.

2019 PSA Giving Tuesday

4th Annual

All day December 3rd, 2019!


Please join us in the day of #unselfie and support our mission to unite the Philmont Staff—past, present and future—for the purpose of serving the adventure, heritage, and experience of Philmont and the Boy Scouts of America.

PSA and Giving Tuesday History

We started out in 2016 with 80-90 donors and raised over $7,000. Last year we had at around 220 donors and raised over $21,000!

How you can help?

Spread the word! Share and promote on social media and get all your Phil-friends to donate on Giving Tuesday. The average gift on this day is $25 but any amount helps.

Why Give?

Your gift helps the PSA with our mission and #ServingTheAdventure. The PSA is a 501(c3) non-profit supporting Philmont Scout Ranch with our Capital Campaign and fire recovery effort, and Philmont staff with our college scholarships and Individual Trek scholarships. Your gift helps continue that mission!

Post your #unselfie on why you give and support Philmont!.

Watch for our PSA Power hours! We have matching donors scheduled throughout the day who will match your donation during their hour.

Giving Tuesday isn’t just about fund-raising, it’s about our community coming together to give time, power, skill, expertise, and resources.

2020 PSA PhilBreak

2020 PSA PhilBreak

Registration is open!

2020 PhilBreak begins in...








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.


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