Issue 10.indd - Philmont Scout Ranch

Aug 11, 2017 - Richard Blair from Orlando, FL, and Doug Adams from Fort Myers, FL, look .... Casey Myers for directing me in ... school this fall “I WANT TO GO.
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AUGUST 11TH, 2017


Madelynne Scales/PhilNews

PSA Trek 2017

The God Squad

Roses, Thorns, and Buds

Elizabeth Harper Staff Writer When a Suburban with a Chaplain sticker on the back window pulls up to a camp, many people can breathe a sigh of relief. The Philmont Chaplains, affectionately nicknamed ‘The God Squad’ by the staff, are an integral force that help out wherever needed to keep Philmont running smoothly. When they appear at a camp, it means help has arrived. The Philmont Chaplains are a group made up of men from four different faith groups. This summer, they are Protestant pastors, Catholic priests, a Catholic seminarian, a Jewish rabbi and an Elder from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). The Chaplains fulfill a unique role at Philmont. Though they’re mostly known for seeming to be everywhere at once, they have a schedule that allows them to be as useful as possible. In addition to holding services for their faith each night at 7 p.m., the Chaplains are part of a eight-week rotation that has them driving all over and doing various jobs to support the Ranch. Continued on page 5


Andrew Kliewer Staff Writer

Richard Blair from Orlando, FL, and Doug Adams from Fort Myers, FL, look on their map with a headlight while Brad Rosser from Columbus, OH, and Patrick English from Big Rapids, MI, look on from a distance to see which trail to take on. English spent the years 1992-98 at Philmont in the Backcountry. “Its great to be back, PSA is great for not losing the connection,” English said. Evan Mattingly/PhilNews

Andrew Kliewer Staff Writer

As PSA Trek Four waved goodbye to their bus and began their hike up the fog-shrouded canyon to Turkey Creek Camp, the group could be mistaken for any typical Philmont crew from a distance. Besides the red polo shirts reading “Philmont Staff Association” in small letters, the trek had all the typical markings of a crew: a navigator leading

the way, a crew leader providing encouragement and a Ranger following behind. At a closer glance, one might notice that the members all appeared to be the same age as Advisors, rather than the typical mix of teenagers and adults seen in the Backcountry. That was no planning mistake, but rather a central feature of the trek. Every participant was either a former Philmont staffer or their family member, coming to

a place deeply ingrained in their hearts and minds for a five-day Staff Association trek through the Backcountry. The fog soon burned off and storm clouds begin to bubble up as the group hiked into Turkey Creek. Amid rumbles of thunder, Ranger Vincent Moreschi explained bear bag procedures and Leave No Trace principles to the former staffers gathered around. Continued on page 8

As Scouts take one final step and propel themselves over the ridgeline to the top of Baldy Mountain, it’s difficult not to be struck by awe. Behind them, light gleams off of the snowcapped peaks of Wheeler and Little Costilla, with the dark shapes of further mountains framing the horizon. Ahead, the verdant green of aspen trees are visible in the valley below, and grassy plains stretch seemingly forever into the distance behind the faint outline of the Tooth of Time. For most crews, this is a triumphant yet serious moment, a time for both celebration and reflection. With views of both what they have already accomplished and what is yet to come unraveled like a map below them, it is an ideal time to recount Roses, Thorns and Buds from their trek. A Rose, like the vibrant red flower contrasted against its bush, is a particular moment or experience that stands out from during a trek. For Cole Dunton, in Continued on page 6

Friday, August 11, 2017

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