Chief Watchu communicates with all Patriots’ Path contingent crew advisors (adult members of the crew) by e-mail, using the Watchu Network. Each crew, in turn, should create its own Family network so that each crew member and his or her family can be kept informed with information about the Watchu Experience and Philmont, as well as crew-specific messages about meetings, shakedowns, or other crew activities.
Messages are either Watchu Grams (information about crew development, equipment, trek selection, May’s Watchu Mountain Adventure, and traveling with the contingent), Reminders of up-coming events, Alerts (changes to previously issued information), or of a general nature. Alerts require immediate attention from the crew advisors. Watchu Grams should be distributed to all crew members and their families by the Family Network – they will answer many of the questions that are asked year after year. Watchu Grams will also be posted on the Watchu Experience Web site (www.watchu.org) – to see all sent to date, go to the Quick Links and select Watchu Grams. In addition, there will be a limited number of general messages containing information that may be of interest to advisors and crew members though not necessarily related to Watchu or Philmont.
The Watchu Network has proved to be an efficient means of providing information. However, at times there are issues with Internet Service Providers (especially Comcast) either bouncing messages as suspected ‘spam’ or failing to deliver them in timely manner. It is suggested that each advisor provide a secondary e-mail address, using a different service, to assure that all Watchu Alerts and Watchu Grams are received.
The secondary address can be one you already have, or one created just for Watchu. Internet services like Yahoo, MSN’s Hotmail, or Google’s Gmail are good choices. Gmail has the added benefit that many e-mail programs, such as Outlook, can be configured to link to your account, and messages will be delivered to your regular Inbox exactly the same as those sent to your normal address. Instructions on how to do that are on the Google Web site, or e-mail the Watchu Webmaster (Webmaster@watchu.org) if you need help.
An advisor who regularly checks e-mail should be designated to forward all appropriate messages to all crew members and families via the Family Network. The responsibility for the various kinds of messages – equipment, crew development, etc. – should be shared among the crew members in order that no one person is overwhelmed by the wealth of information that will be sent.
Each crew should verify that every advisor is receiving messages sent by Chief Watchu – if not, please advise the Watchu Webmaster.
Family e-mail networks: The Watchu team can setup an e-mail list manager for your crew. Once created and e-mail addresses are subscribed, a message from any of your crew members sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will be delivered to all crew members. Contact the Watchu Webmaster (email@example.com) with your crew number to begin the process of creating an e-mail alias for your crew.
Advisor Guide is printed! Copies of the Advisor Guide for the Watchu Experience and Philmont Expeditions will be given to each crew’s Lead Advisor at the upcoming Lead Advisor Conference for distribution to the crew’s other adult advisors. That booklet (which is also available as a Quick Link from the Watchu Experience Web site, www.watchu.org) is jam-packed with information you will need throughout the Watchu Experience. Keep it handy and refer to it often.
Tip: All Watchu Grams will include an MS Word copy as an attachment. Printing the copy will provide cleaner reproduction for sharing and filing.
The Philmont spirit lives on!