The Crew Chief (Crew Leader) selection is the responsibility of the youth members of the crew. And what an important responsibility it is! They need time to see all their crew mates in action before making their choice. Every youth member of the crew should get a chance to lead. During your crew training you will find that very new criteria come into play in the selection of the right person to be your Philmont Crew Chief. So even if all your crew members come from the same troop, it will not be clear who should lead until all are given a chance. Often the Scout that looked to be the best selection in January is not seen as having the right stuff in May.
So go slow with this Crew Chief selection process. It is very important. Let all the Scouts, young and old, try their hand at leading the crew. All, especially the advisors, will be surprised at the leadership qualities that surface, or don’t surface. Selecting the right Crew Chief will be your crew’s most important decision. And that decision will be with you and your crew, for good or not so good, the entire trek.
A successful Philmont experience is absolutely dependent on finding the right youth leader. We strongly recommend your crew hold off on final selection until just before the Watchu Mountain Adventure in May. As crew advisor you should provide coaching as the crew works to find their leader. However, in the end it is the youth members of the crew, not the advisors, who select the Crew Chief.
Note from Chief Watchu – Crew Leader vs. Crew Chief: “Crew Chief” is early Philmont language for the position that is now called Crew Leader. In either case the reference is to the youth leader of the crew, who will lead you in the great mountains of New Mexico. Newcomers to this terminology often confuse the term “Crew Leader” with “Advisor.” Chief Watchu will use the “Crew Chief” terminology when he wants to be certain all understand him to mean the youth member who leads.
Advisor Note: I am about half way through reading the Philmanac that was passed out to each crew at the January Advisor Briefing. I am in awe of the size, scope and history of the Philmont backcountry – can’t wait to get out there with my son and the rest of our crew.
Aerial Views of Philmont: Check out http://vimeo.com/20630196 for some great views of Lovers Leap, the Cimarron Reservoir and Cathedral Rock (that smart-looking crew is Patriots’ Path’s own 2009 630E4), Crater Lake, and the Buffalo Pasture. Note that even with high-speed broadband connections viewing it in HD can be somewhat choppy – try turning HD off for a smoother presentation.
Phil Fact: Norton Clapp’s 1963 donation of the Baldy Territory brought Philmont Scout Ranch to its pre-2015 size of 137,493 acres, or almost 215 square miles (this year the purchase of the adjoining Cimarroncita Camp will add 2,678 more acres). Clapp was a former president of the Boy Scouts of America, chairman of Weyerhaeuser Corporation, and one of the owners of the 1962 World’s Fair Space Needle in Seattle. Baldy Mountain was once known as Elizabeth Peak, after the four-year old daughter of John W. Moore who built the first house and store in Elizabethtown on the western side of the mountain. She grew up to be the first schoolteacher in Elizabethtown and lived her entire life there. The present-day ghost town is estimated to have had as many as 7,000 residents in its heyday.
Hike on, furry Conejo!
What’s a Conejo?