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A Tale of Two Hats

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.

Part of the 1995 staff at at Beaubien Camp at Philmont Scout RanchI 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.

Self-Portrait. Crater Lake Camp at Philmont, New Mexico. 1996I 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.

Me in my cowboy hat and Mihret in my bowler. Both hats were from my time working at PhilmontSorry, Philmont.

This wins.

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About

My name is Matt Todd. My wife and I have three kids, a dog, and a guinea pig. We adopted our youngest daughter is from Ethiopia. We're definitely not opposed to adopting again. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces and the Indiana Hoosiers.

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  1. El Chris says:

    I still cherish my camp staff memories and consider them the pivotal moments of my life. The 2 summers I spent working at council camp we phenominal and really started my journey into growing up, but my two summers working at Philmont were just out of this world. I was a ranger in 2003 and News and Photo in 2009.

  2. [...] near and dear to my heart because it became a staple at our post-campfire gatherings the year I was on staff at Beaubien at Philmont Scout Ranch. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a cowboy sing this song [...]

  3. […] turned out that this event was not my last hurrah at Philmont. I returned the next two Summers as a staff […]

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