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Philmont Report #2

Greeting from Philmont Scout Ranch, and a somewhat wet north east New Mexico.

Rain is the order-of-the-day, and every drop is being welcomed and appreciated.  The area around Philmont in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is still in a severe drought.  However several inches of rain have fallen in the past 3-4 days, and things are greening up a bit, as the ground is finally able to soak up some needed moisture.  At this elevation, lightening is always a threat, and I've driven through two hailstorms in the past week.   Mornings are bright and beautiful, but afternoon rains are now a regular occurrence, and muchly needed.

My assignment this week is serving as the Camping Headquarters Chaplain.  After breakfast, I take off on foot and try to visit as many staff members as I can, and also hang around the Welcome Center to greet arriving trail bound crews, as well as home bound crews.  During lunch time, I head over to the Dining Hall and speak to as many crews as I have time for, finding out where they are from, inviting them to Chapel services, and offering to help however I can.

FYI - Philmont averages 300+ campers arriving daily, and 300+ campers departing daily, with several thousand campers on the property every day.  I am amazed at how many staff people it takes to support all the crews who are here for their trek.  I am also amazed at how logistics here runs so smoothly.  There is a sense of expected efficiency here . . . and I am taking lots of notes.

I am also blown away by the servant spirits among all the staff here.  Much effort goes into training all the staff in the principles of servant leadership.  I cannot remember a time when I was surrounded with a large a number of people whose first response to advisors and campers is "how can I help you?"

In the afternoons, I visit the Staff Activities Center, as well as hanging out around the courtyard next to the Tooth of Time Traders Store here on site.   At 5:45 PM, I meet with all the Chaplain Aides from every incoming trek crew, and train them on their responsibilities. Afterward, I step into the Crew Advisor meetings, and share with them the role of the Chaplain, and explain all the worship service opportunities.

This past Sunday, I led the 9 AM morning Protestant Worship for staff members, and both preached and led worship (with guitar) for the 7PM Protestant Chapel Service.   My first day off is this coming Thursday, and I am looking forward to it.  I hope to head into either Raton or over to Taos.  The weather that day will determine which direction I go. 

Tomorrow I have the honor of leading a short interfaith service for a group of Scouts and leaders who are members of the Order of the Arrow, before they depart Philmont.  Since I have not been invited into this order as a member (which I hope happens one day) . . . I am taking it as an honor to be invited to be the Chaplain for the service.

I believe I am averaging about 14,000 steps a day this week.  I believe 18.000+ steps has been my record so far.  The exercise is needed. Now that I seem better acclimated to the elevation (6,500 feet here at Camping Headquarters), walking is not tiring me out near as much.  I have hiked up to crew camps at altitudes near 9,000 - 10,000 feet . . . and SURVIVED!

More to come in the next few days.  Prayers being sent my way are appreciated!

God's graces still amazes me . . . ><>


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Would you life to share share about your favorite musical instrument?

What is your favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Please let me know.  I'd like to interview you about your relationship with your favorite instrument.

I am interested in talking with, and getting to know, everyday people who make music.  That's the kind of person I am.  I'm an everyday kind of guy, and I love to sing and play guitar for everyday people. 

Although I have too many guitars, several ukes, a couple of old banjo's, a bunch of harmonicas and several Native American flutes, I am interested in stories about other instruments as well.  I have it in my mind that this blog will probably feature more stories about guitars and singer-songwriters.  However, I am open to stories about people and their love for other instruments.  So, if you play the accordion, piano, pennywhistle, drums . . . or can crack your knuckles in time to music . . . I want to hear your story.

All inquiries from interested, or from the curious as well, can be sent to revrickmang@gm…