Let the Philmont adventure begin! We left the Hammer's at 4:30am, and arrived at 7am on Saturday morning at Philmont. We were so happy to be here again! It felt like home. :)
The work started immediately, and everyone pitched in to get the registration room set up for our 300+ guests arriving in just a few hours. The board member wives have been fabulous to help, and are so wonderful to mingle with.
Our first faculty meeting was at noon. As you can see, we all sit around a table while Brother Gibson conducts. Such a powerful room to be in.
There are three celebrations at Philmont this year: 50 years of Priesthood Leadership Conferences, 75 Years of Philmont, 100 Years of Scouting in the Church. Mark had these banners made and hung in the Assembly Hall. (We came to Philmont in 1988 at the 50 year reunion!)
Mark conducted the opening campfire, and did a masterful job! I was so proud of him. BSA dignitaries were there, and they were very touched by the Centennial history skit we wrote for the board members to perform. The spirit was indescribable as we showed images on the screen and people shared historical tidbits.
Afterwards, we visited with Tom Harrington, new Western Region Director, and Tom Fitzgibbon, new Assistant Chief Scout Executive. I can't express the wonderful spirit these men felt as they learned about Scouting in the Church. After two days, we were all kindred spirits.
Sunday morning we were grateful for a day of relative rest, after our long 18 hour day on Saturday.
Philmont is beautiful!
Sunday School on the lawn is indescribable.
Sacrament meeting in the Assembly Hall.
Visiting with Wayne and Christine Perry. He is the National President, and they have become good friends during this whole membership/centennial year.
Elder Hillier, Area Seventy for the Denver area, is here this week. Mark stayed at his house in January for two weekends of Little Philmont. He is a humble and wonderful man. Next to him is Chuck Cutler, board member. Elder Hillier decided not to do a big encampment for the centennial. Instead, he is encouraging his councils to experience growth by inviting non-members to join Scouting. Powerful.
Mark and Larry up late preparing for their class the next day.
Monday morning flag ceremony. We are celebrating one anniversary each day.
Brother and Sister Wixom gave a wonderful talk on raising young men. We love them!
We suggested a Spouse Hospitality room this year. The sisters absolutely love it!!! They come in droves to quilt, visit, sit in rocking chairs, and eat chocolate. It has brought a lovely feeling to camp.
Mark teaching a class.
Mark's fourth-grade teacher, Brother Barker, is here this week. He still teaches at Bates Elementary.
We opened the Monday night family night with some songs and guitar-playing. Too fun!
We have become quite close to Larry and Paula Call. (Passing out rice krispie treats after FHE.) Brother Call was electrocuted at the 2005 National Jamboree. He was the only one of the five Scout leaders who survived. He shared his story at a Philmont Sacrament meeting. Very touching.
Sister Aburto from the Primary general board. She is amazing, and she is from Nicaragua! I spoke with her about Heidi and Joe. She was excited they are in Granada.
The books arrived!!! After wind, rain, fire, and a myriad of other last-minute printing hitches, the first 500 were delivered to Philmont! These great staffers unloaded 30 boxes!!! The others are in Salt Lake, and are being coordinated by Joe Francis. What a saint!
We had to open a box immediately!!! They are absolutely beautiful! Beautiful paper, beautiful ribbon, beautiful pages. Better than we imagined!
We opened the leather bound copies with Brother Gibson. We were all in tears.
They are absolutely beautiful!!!
We sat and shared some tender feelings and experiences for a few minutes.
Sister Wixom looking at the book for the first time.
President Newbold was the first Philmont participant to buy one. They are selling like hotcakes now!
Brother Beck asked me to share my testimony last night at the close of our faculty meeting. It was a touching and spiritual experience to speak. I know that if parents and Scout leaders will turn their hearts to their fathers, and study the history of Scouting in the Church, their hearts will also be turned to their children and the youth, and they will be better and more effective leaders and parents.
I pray that this history will have a powerful influence upon the next century of
Scouting in the Church.