This picture is from the summer of 1995. I was a Backcountry Program Counselor at Beaubien, one of (if not the) largest camps at Philmont Scout Ranch. I made some lifelong friends and had an amazing time while living the dream at the ultimate Scouting experience.
I still have that hat. It cost me a significant chunk of my first paycheck. The real cowboys were shocked, dismayed, and disappointed in me because I bought a black hat. Apparently white’s the way to go. You don’t get as hot. I didn’t care. I still don’t, actually. I might still have those boots.
In 1996, I had the honor of returning to Scouting Paradise for one last hurrah. This time, I was a logger from the early 20th century at Crater Lake. I bought myself a bowler this time. It didn’t cost nearly as much as the cowboy hat did in ’95. And there was no astonishment at my color choice. Black bowlers are always in style. I just need to convince some fashion blogger that I’m right.
Again, I made some lifelong friends there. We also recorded a live album that was phenomenal. Would’ve gone multi-platinum. If we’d sold it, that is. Man…I can’t believe we missed out on that world tour. I think we would’ve called the tour EuroPhilWorld because of the story we would tell at campfire of how we were part of a top-secret plan of the Boy Scouts of America to eventually take over the planet and we would wind up renaming the planet EuroPhilWorld.
But I digress…
Serving on the Crater Lake staff in 1996 was probably the most memorable summer of my life, even though I missed out on watching the Magnificent Seven gymnastics team. And I knew this summer was one for the record books.
I have some pretty amazing photos from my Philmont staff experience. Many of those photos include one of the two hats. Those hats are full of some pretty amazing memories. In fact, memories seem to ooze out of them (all over the place. And yes, it’s a slooooow ooooze).
Mihret discovered my hats last night. She insisted on wearing one.