February 23rd, 2008
Three great chances to win! Well not ‘win’, but still hang out with Phriends.
Banner Elk, NC
Weekend of relaxing, telling tall tales and maybe hiking.
Camp Bowers, White Oak, NC
Weekend of Service with the OA Conclave
Falls Lake, north of Raleigh
June 7, Saturday Only
Celebrate National Trail Days with your Philfriends.
February 19th, 2008
It was 11 years ago that Trey Jones bought his first kayak from Don Wright. Now Don is leading the way to honor Trey’s memory by sponsoring the Trey Jones Gearhead Expo on March 1 through his store: Village Outdoor, at Reynolda Village.
Trey was an outstanding young man, an Eagle Scout, a Director of ROCS, and a senior at N.C. State University when he died in an automobile accident near his home on Christmas Eve, 2005.
Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure base in New Mexico, was home to Trey. In 1997 he made his first trek to Philmont, which has 34 staffed camps and 55 trail camps in high country along hundreds of miles of rugged trails.
Over the years Trey completed two more treks, the Roving Outdoor Conservation School (ROCS) and a Philbreak session. He was a crew member in 2003, a trail crew chief in 2004 and Assistant Director of Conservation/Director of ROCS in the summer of 2005.
To honor Trey’s memory, his staff friends established a scholarship for the ROCS program. This summer the first scholarship was awarded. In addition, Trey’s family established the Trey Jones Philmont Scholarship to assist a deserving scout from the Old Hickory Council to have the same incredible adventure Trey experienced in the rugged New Mexico wilderness.
In order to increase the endowment of these scholarships, family and friends of Trey’s created the first Trey Jones Gearhead Expo, to be held on March 1, 2008, to truly honor the spirit of Trey, the ultimate Gearhead. Village Outdoor Shop at Reynolda Village, owned by Don and Glenna Wright, will bring in many of their vendors exhibiting their latest gear.
Exhibitors are also providing items for the raffles that will take place during the Expo, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on March 1st. at Reynolda Village’s former cow barn. Village Outdoor Shop is donating 25% of any sales at Village Outdoor that day to the two scholarships in Trey’s name.
Come see the latest in outdoor apparel, footwear, cooking equipment, camping gear and more. Information on Philmont and boy and girl scouting will be available. Take a chance on a raffle.
Admission is free.
Those unable to attend the Expo but wanting to contribute to endowing Trey’s Scholarship can do so at the PSA Memorials and Honorariums page.
June 14th, 2007
The PSA Annual Meeting and Reunion is shaping up for October 12-13 in Dallas, Texas. A committee is in place and plans are progressing. We intend to make this an exciting, fulfilling, and productive event. Plan to arrive Friday night or Saturday morning for a full day Saturday of events and activities
Saturday morning/early afternoon at the Solano Marriott Hotel: PSA committee meetings and informal fellowship in the morning. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend a committee meeting of your choice. Your input will be valued. Reunion activities in the early afternoon.
Saturday afternoon and evening at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas: Registration for the annual meeting and dinner at the National Scouting Museum opens at 3:30 p.m. From then until dinner, enjoy free self-guided tours of the museum. A buffet dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by the PSA Annual Meeting and presentations of the 2007 Silver Sage Awards honoring Dean Tooley and John Westfall.
Accommodations: The Solano Marriott has provided a special rate of $99 for PSA attendees on Friday night. The same rate may be available for Saturday night. Please make your reservations directly with the hotel, specifying that you are attending the PSA meetings.
Cost: $65 per person for the full day of fun (includes breakfast and lunch at the hotel and dinner at the museum). Fee to attend only the dinner, annual meeting and awards ceremony is $25 per person.
Registration: Registration for this big event is available on the PSA web site. We encourage (read that as plead) you to register as early as you can.
Photos Wanted: One of the activities we think will be fun, interesting, and informative is to review the changes in the camps, both staff and non-staff, over the years. To accomplish this, we need your help! We need your pictures of the camps, with or without campers/staff. They can be negatives, prints, slides, or CD images. We will prepare albums and a show that will be used during the Reunion events on Saturday afternoon and also during the pre-dinner touring of the National Scouting Museum. If you wish to retrieve the pictures you send to us, they will be available at the end of the business meeting on Saturday evening.
If you will not be able to participate but are willing to share your pictures, we would be very happy to receive them. If needed, we will mail them back to you after the event. Of course, you are encouraged to bring any and all pictures with you, especially ones with younger versions of you and friends. It is a good discussion
starter and we all enjoy the memories they spark.
Send your photos to Dave Romack, 2407 Villa Vera, Arlington, TX 76017
For more info, contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 8th, 2007
Date: Saturday, May 5th
Time: 8AM - 8PM
Where: National Capital Area Council’s Camp Snyder (Haymarket, Virginia)
Cost: $15 per person. No more than $20 for a family.
Includes: Lunch and supper
Watch for PSA signs entering the camp.
Entire Cub World day camp will be open for families.
Outdoor Leadership Skills (old show-and-do) also that day at the camp.
Will have travel maps to local sites: winery 2 miles up the road, Manassas battlefield, Old town Manassas, etc.
For more information contact Jack Person at email@example.com or 703-528-3464.
January 11th, 2007
Date: Thursday, 25 January
Location: Tortilla Coast at the corner of First and D streets, SE Washington, map
Comments: The restaurant is located at the corner of First and D streets, SE Washington. At the top of the Capital South Metro stop. Parking can be difficult to find a space but is otherwise free. Good texmex supper. A lively spot! See you there!
Tortilla Coast is at the top of the escalator coming out of the Capitol South Metro Station.
December 31st, 2006
Sorry this post is so late. I’ve been on the road in warmer climes myself.
We did get about a foot of snow last night and it is still coming down. They have extended the blizzard warning on the eastern plains to Sunday morning. We had 48 mph gusts of wind throughout the night. I will get my snow shoes on to take some pictures this morning from my yard. There is a 3.5 foot drift behind my car and then another few three foot drifts on our road—so I don’t think I can drive to the ranch this morning. We watched a truck get pulled out of one of them last night.
Michele Allen, PSA Director
http://www.nmroads.com/ or 1-800-432-4269
December 14th, 2006
The Valle Vidal Protection Act, which prohibits oil and gas drilling in the Valle Vidal, was signed into law yesterday by President Bush. The enactment of this legislation is a great victory for all of us who have worked to keep the Valle Vidal as a valued part of the Philmont experience.
Philmont and our organization (particularly its president) have played a significant role in getting this legislation passed. I hope that some day we’ll be able to share all of that story.
My thanks to each of you for your assistance in this endeavor. We’ll keep our task force in place to review and comment on the Forest Service’s forest plan amendment for the Valle Vidal, now due in early 2007, but we won’t have to deal any longer with the issue that would have caused the biggest change for the Philmont program there.
Congratulations to us all.
August 25th, 2006
Camp William B. Snyder
Friday, October 13 - Sunday, October 15, 2006
Buffalo BBQ Saturday evening 5:30 pm
Bring the whole family and enjoy a pirate ship, Indian village, Wild West fort, archaeological dig, “mine”, space port, Audubon bird watching, family hiking, flying model planes and more!
If interest dictates, a trip to local apple orchard and/or local vineyards.
- Updates on the Ranch and August Reunion
- News of the Ranger 50th Reunion
- Plans for 2007
- PSA happenings by President, Ed Pease
PSA Trading Post
Satisfy your hunger for those much sought after PSA items—at rock bottom “azure ski” prices.
July 26th, 2006
A recent Washington Post article on the Valle Vidal.
May require free registration.
July 26th, 2006
A preview of an article appearing in the PhilNews:
Opponents of coal bed methane gas drilling in the Valle Vidal got a huge boost July 24 when the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3817, “The Valle Vidal Protection Act of 2005.” The bill, introduced last September by Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), exempts the Valle Vidal from various provisions of federal law that would permit drilling and mining operations on that portion of the Carson National Forest. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration by that body.
The House Resources Committee approved the bill unanimously on June 21 after another friend of Philmont, Rep. Heather Wilson (R.-N.M.), agreed to cosponsor it. It was scheduled to come to the House floor for debate on the afternoon of July 24, with a recorded vote to be taken later that evening. However, after debate concluded, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), an Eagle Scout, moved that the rules be suspended and that the bill be passed by voice vote. It was!
The El Paso Corporation, which is currently drilling for coal bed methane gas on the Vermejo Park Ranch north of the Valle Vidal, has applied to the Forest Service to open the eastern 40,000 acres of the Valle for gas exploration. Before that request can be considered, Carson National Forest officials must amend their Forest Plan to include management objectives for the Valle, which was never formally added to the plan after being donated to the public in 1982. The Forest Service is expected to release its Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Forest Plan Amendment in September. Once the plan amendment is approved, the service will begin consideration of El Paso’s request, a process that will take a couple of years.
The Philmont Staff Association has adopted a formal position opposing the opening of the Valle Vidal to oil and gas drilling. Over the past two years, we have been working diligently (sometimes visibly, sometimes not) to preserve this beautiful resource as a vital part of the Philmont experience. Some of our efforts to date:
- The PSA submitted a formal position statement to the Forest Service endorsing most of the proposed forest plan amendment for the Valle, but opposing drilling activities there. We maintain contact with Carson officials and will continue to play a role in this process.
- The PSA initiated a campaign among its members and Scouters from around the country to submit comments to the Forest Service on the proposed forest plan amendment. A fair number of the more than 54,000 comments submitted came from PSA members and friends of Philmont.
- The PSA supported an initiative by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to have all of the waters in the Valle Vidal designated as “Outstanding Natural Resource Waters,” which would afford them protection from any degradation in water quality. When members of the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission sat down last December for their public hearing on this proposal, the top item on their stack of materials was a position statement from the PSA.
- The undersigned chair of the PSA’s Valle Vidal Task Force met in Washington with Congressman Udall and his legislative aide to express our support for his bill and make them aware of our position on the issue. Our endorsement has since been used to secure support from other House members for this bill. PSA members have also worked to let their own Congressional representatives know of our support for this measure.
- The association’s president, Ed Pease, a former Congressional representative, worked extensively behind the scenes last week with other members of the House to get Udall’s bill to a floor vote.
- The PSA has established its own Valle Vidal Task Force to work on several fronts to prevent coal bed methane drilling. Our task force members have expertise in law, government, environmental issues, energy, oil field engineering, and range management, as well as connections to local and national government and, importantly, current Philmont staff (one of our members is Randa Celley, current Philmont camp director). We have a team of experts ready to analyze and comment on the Forest Service’s Draft EIS for the forest plan amendment when it comes out this fall.
And our efforts are definitely being noticed and making a difference. The Washington Post reported in a front-page story on July 25, the day after the Valle Vidal bill’s passage, that “in the case of the Valle Vidal, two of the groups fighting hardest to preserve it are hunters, who vie for a once-in-a-lifetime permit to shoot elk here, and devotees of the Philmont Scout Ranch, which is next to the Valle Vidal and brings 3,000 Boy Scouts to hike there each year.”
Perhaps the most telling tribute to the value of our organization’s position comes in the statement Rep. Udall made on the House floor during debate on his bill: “The Valle Vidal is also a unique place for the Boy Scouts of America who have for decades come from all over the country to the adjacent Philmont Scout Ranch, the national high adventure base of the Boy Scouts of America. That is why the Philmont Staff Association, a non-profit organization of more than 2,200 current and former members of the staff of the Ranch, has publicly stated that the Valle Vidal should be maintained as a wilderness experience, free from the impact of coal bed methane development.”
The passage of Udall’s bill by the House of Representatives is a major step forward for preservation of the Valle Vidal, but it is only one step. The PSA’s Valle Vidal Task Force will continue at work in the weeks ahead to push for passage of the Udall bill in the Senate, and to review and respond to the Forest Service’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for its proposed forest plan amendment for the Valle Vidal, now expected in September.
—Mark Stinnett & Charles Bayless
PSA Valle Vidal Task Force Co-Chairs