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I have already been at Philmont for two months and it’s only just picked up speed.

Around this time at Philmont is a busy time. Friends are reunited since the last time they saw each other in August. Each meal in the base camp dining hall is another chance to see a familiar face or sit and get to know new ones. People get to experience the thrill of a new position in a different department than they’re used to, and suddenly topics on risk management, first aid and policies is fun and exciting simply with a change of scenery and new faces presenting the topics.

Within this amazing machine of “training,” which has been set in motion as early as May 15th, and will conclude shortly after June 8th – all Philmont staff will complete two weeks of training on a variety of topics from customer service to how to camp responsibly following Philmont procedures all while being inspired to be the best at their jobs for the next 90 days.

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Coincidentally, Philmont is the only place I have ever experienced a formal management training session.

By June 8th, these 1,130 staff members will all be ready to receive the summer’s first crews of participants ready to hit the trail the following day. Each summer the training sessions are similar: the running around in “free” time between meals or after office hours trying to ready the next day’s materials and presentations never take less time than the year before, but the feelings of pride and accomplishment build each passing day.

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Our group of Environmental Educators have been steadily filling their brains with lesson material about subjects such as ecology, astronomy, habitat management and Leave No Trace ethics. Our program is fortunate to have standing ties with professionals from the natural resource field who lecture and demonstrate hands-on lessons for us leading up to our first participants. Just the other day at “work” was the classroom pictured below.

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While I’ve been enjoying the mountain rains and chilly mountain air, the E/V Nautilus and Corps of Exploration has begun making a historic passage through the Panama Canal. Going through the canal was streamed live on Nautilus Live  as she enters the Pacific Ocean for the very first time. Check out a great time-lapse of the first lock here.

Two months from now I will be at sea.

Two hours from now I have to be finished packing and getting some sleep in a real bed, before 10 nights sleeping in a tent under the starry skies of God’s Country in the backcountry, continuing to teach others about trail building, place-based education and expedition protocol.

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