The Silver Trek: Setting a Record

The Silver Trek: Setting a Record
By Lee Huckstep, National Director

silver trek patchThe largest number of Trekkers in the history of the PSA Trek—ninety two—hit the Philmont trails August 8, 2011 for the 25th Annual PSA Trek, the Silver Trek. After six days and five nights on the trail, the Trekkers returned to base camp where each was awarded the Philmont Arrowhead and the special Silver Trek award patch—an award patch which could only be earned by participating in the Silver Trek or rendering special service to the Trek. To protect the integrity of the award patch, the extra award patch inventory was destroyed following the Trek. This award patch is now possessed only by an elite few.

old car at baldyFounded in 1986, the Trek has taken place every year since, except one year, and has grown increasingly popular in recent years. In recent years the Trek has grown from 36 Trekkers in 2008 to the current record setting number. This growth is due in part to the transformation of the Trek into an event where Trek-eligible family members are encouraged to participate. And increasingly, PSA members and their “trail family” do the Trek together year after year—a testimony to the depth of their friendship and their shared reverence for the blessed plot we call Philmont.

The 92 Trekkers were divided into eight crews and went to all parts of the ranch. All crews were encouraged to participate in service projects. The service projects often included trail building, but this year Trekkers staying at Ponil were offered the opportunity to build trout dams on Ponil creek. These trout dams are part of a six-entity effort to help with the re-introduction of the native Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout when the Ponil again runs with water. Because of the drought this year, vast sections of the Ponil are dry. However, the South Fork of the Ponil from French Henry to Pueblano is running, and trout anxious to return to the lower Ponil were spotted by Trekkers. Also, isolated pools in the otherwise dry lower Ponil are teeming with trout fry eagerly awaiting the return of running water.

former baldy mayors

If you are a revved-up Silver Trekker who is anxious to Trek again, or you are keen to catch up on the fun you missed, start planning now for the 2012 PSA Trek. The cost will be $420 and the date will be determined soon. You’ll wanna go back to Philmont!

More Slots Added to 2011 PSA Silver Trek

In response to the unprecedented popularity of the Twenty Fifth Annual PSA Trek – the Silver Trek – Philmont has again made additional Trek slots available. These are not standby slots – these are fully confirmed slots. Ninety-three persons have already claimed a slot. You and your Trek-eligible family members likewise need to claim your slots and be a part of the biggest Trek in the history of the PSA.

In addition to having bragging rights for Trekking the “Big One”, you and your Trek-eligible family members will earn, in addition to the Philmont arrowhead, a special Silver Trek award patch. This is a patch that must be earned – it will not be available for sale. This award patch will make you the envy of your non-Trekking friends and the new best friend of patch collectors everywhere.

If you do not have Trek-eligible family members or don’t know anyone who has registered for the Trek, come alone. The Phacilitators will get you into the right crew and by the end of the Trek, you will have a new trail family with whom you can return with to Philmont for future PSA Treks.

The Silver Trek is August 7-14. The cost is $400. Your payment also entitles you to attend the annual Reunion, August 5 – 7, at no additional charge. This is a $100 value. Deals like this from your PSA don’t come around very often!

Have questions about the Silver Trek?
Contact:
Dave Romack at dromack@tx.rr.com
Doug Latimer at latimerdk@verizon.net
Chris Manheim at cmanheim@comcast.net

Printable form or purchase online.

The main 2011 PSA Trek Page.
All 2011 PSA Trek posts.

The Silver Trek – From the Northwoods

“we still talk about the memories”

From the Northwoods

Dear Philmont Staff Association Members:

Northern Tier and the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association are excited to be teaming up with the Philmont Staff Association and the Sea Base and Friends Association to promote the 25th Annual PSA Trek – the Silver Trek – at Philmont August 7 through 13, 2011.

This High Adventure experience is a true benefit to the whole family. A real challenge in today’s society is passing the beauty of the outdoors to the next generation. We all, in some way, have benefited from our experiences at one of the BSA High Adventure Bases as a youth or in our adult lives.

As the General Manager of Northern Tier, I cherish the days crews arrive in anticipation of an experience that they have planned for 18 months. It is even more rewarding to watch these same crew members return from a 5 – 10 day experience in the wilderness. The expressions of confidence seen on the faces of young people right off the trail who are tired, dirty and longing for a shower and sauna portray the real benefit of a Trek.

I personally recall these same experiences as I hiked the Philmont trails on the 2009 PSA Trek with two of my four children. It is hard to say if the Trek was more beneficial to them or to me, but we still talk today about the memories we share. Better yet, the interest the other crew members, adult and youth, took ensuring everyone had a great experience is what clings to my memories to this day. Two years later, that Rick, Jeff, Steve, Lee, Doug, Sharon, Alex, Glenn and Joe still ask about my children and what they are doing is amazing.

Take the time now to bring your family on the 25th Annual PSA Trek in 2011.Time doesn’t slow down and we all have the responsibility to engage youth and adults in enjoying and protecting the great outdoors. It also counts as a trail experience for the Triple Crown Award, a real bonus!

Kevin Dowling
General Manager
Northern Tier Programs

Still have questions about the Silver Trek?
Contact:
Dave Romack at dromack@tx.rr.com
Doug Latimer at latimerdk@verizon.net
Chris Manheim at cmanheim@comcast.net

Printable form or purchase online.

The main 2011 PSA Trek Page.
All 2011 PSA Trek posts.

Silver Trek: From the Keys

The PSA Trek — “And I never fail to return.”

(The following is a message sent by Florida Sea Base General Manager Paul Beal to the Sea Base Friends and Alumni Association encouraging their participation in the PSA Trek as part of the Exchange Program. Paul’s poignant words in the last paragraph are an inspiration to PSA members to return to Philmont for the 25th Annual PSA Trek – the Silver Trek.)

From the Florida Keys

Dear Sea Base Alumni and Friends:

We all know the beauty of the sun setting over Florida Bay – the colors, the clouds and the sheer majesty of another day coming to a close. Have you ever seen the same sun set over the Sangre de Cristo mountains? If you’ve been there you know, and if you haven’t, it’s something to experience. This summer you’ll have the opportunity not only for the sunsets, but the sunrises and all of the magic of Philmont Scout Ranch as a part of the Exchange Program Trek with the Philmont Staff Association August 7 to 13.

This February we got to show the Philmont Staff Association and Summers Alumni Association (Northern Tier) the joy, fun and adventure of a Sea Base experience as a part of the Exchange Program and I would like to encourage you and your eligible family members to be a part of the Exchange ProgramTrek at Philmont this summer. You’ll have the opportunity to hike the trails trekked by untold thousands of Scouts since Philmont’s inception in 1938 and to spend time with others who have had the experience of serving on a High Adventure staff. It is a beautiful and wonderful place that will test your abilities and steal your heart.

Please go to the main 2011 PSA Trek Page to read how you can be a part of this great opportunity. It’s not often that we have the chance to experience the same program that has meant so much to so many. You now have that chance. I had this experience twice as a youth (back in “the day”) and those memories and lessons have stayed with me now for over 40 years. Now is your chance to relive and strengthen memories from when you went to Philmont or to make new ones if you’ve never been there.

Legend has it that if you look over your shoulder at the Tooth of Time as you leave Philmont, you’ll return someday. In the many times I’ve been there, I never fail to do this. And I never fail to return.

Capt. Paul Beal
General Manager
Florida Sea Base

Still have questions about the Silver Trek?
Contact:
Lee Huckstep at hstp1@aol.com
Doug Latimer at latimerdk@verizon.net
Chris Manheim at cmanheim@comcast.net

Printable form or purchase online.

The main 2011 PSA Trek Page.
All 2011 PSA Trek posts.

Silver Trek: First Aid Requirements

Because Silver Trekkers – whether they are PSA or Exchange Program participants from the SAA or SBAFA — are so capable and experienced, first aid emergencies on the PSA Silver Trek — August 7-14, 2011— are unlikely. However, a first aid emergency could happen – you might be required to help another crew — and it is a possibility for which training is required.

To deal with the possibility of a first aid emergency, Philmont requires that at least one person, preferably two, (either an adult or youth participant) in each crew be currently certified in Wilderness and Remote First Aid or the equivalent, and CPR from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross or the equivalent. Certification cards will be required upon check-in to verify that each PSA crew meets this requirement.

Wilderness and Remote First Aid (WRFA)
This is not an easy certification to obtain so you need to line this training up now. This is not a commonly offered course by many local Red Cross Chapters. In Houston, for instance, it is available only through the Sam Houston Area Council and course offerings are limited and quickly fill with Philmont-bound youth and leaders.

Wilderness and Remote First Aid is at least a 16 hour course, and can be longer. The course is specifically tailored to help in situations where help is not readily available. Philmont will accept equivalent training, provided it is at least 16 hours, from certain nationally recognized organizations. Those organizations are:

American Red Cross: http://redcross.org
American Safety and Health Institute: http://ashinstitue.org
Emergency Care and Safety Institute: http://ESCInstitute.org
National Outdoor Leadership School (Wilderness Medicine Institute): http://nols.edu/wmi/
National Safety Council: http://nsc.org
National Ski Patrol – Outdoor Emergency Care:  http://nsp.org
Stonehealth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO): http://soloschools.com
The Mountaineers: http://mountaineers.org
Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA): http://wildmed.com
Wilderness Medical Society (WMS): http://wms.org
Wilderness Medicine Outfitters: http://wildernessmedicine.com
Wilderness Medicine Training Center: http://wildmedcenter.com
Wilderness Safety Council: http://wfa.net
Wilderness Safety & Emergency Response (W.I.S.E.R.): http://wiser-wfr.com

Note that the name of this training has changed from Wilderness First Aid Basics to Wilderness and Remote First Aid. If you have previously taken Wilderness First Aid Basics, your certification will be good provided that your card has not expired (see date on card) by the beginning of the Silver Trek.

CPR
This certification is easier to get and is often available in the workplace. It can be obtained from The American Red Cross or American Heart Association.

Doctors, nurses, etc.
Philmont will accept the following advance levels of training in lieu of WRFA and CPR training; a copy of the license or certification must be shared with Philmont during the registration process:

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Outdoor Emergency Care
  • EMT Basic, Intermediate, or Paramedic
  • Military Corpsman or Medic
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Nurse Practitioner
  • Licensed Physician’s Assistant
  • Licensed Physician, MD or DO

Still have questions about the Silver Trek?
Contact:
Lee Huckstep at hstp1@aol.com
Doug Latimer at latimerdk@verizon.net
Chris Manheim at cmanheim@comcast.net

Printable form or purchase online.

The main 2011 PSA Trek Page.
All 2011 PSA Trek posts.