Concho Valley Council

Philmont Scout Ranch - 1976

By David Savage

Standing L to R: Greg Klein, Kelly Baker, Curtis Miller, David Savage, David Garcia, and Lonnie Perkins
Seated L to R: Jacob Primera, Ranger, Roy Armstrong, Gilbert Ramirez and Mike Steckbeck

Our itinerary included making arrowheads by flaking chert or flint with deer antlers as the Indians did as we sat straddling a long fallen tree at Apache Springs.  I recall attempting to trade mine as a genuine artifact in the pitched battles at the trading post back at base camp.  The patch trading was tremendous fun at Philmont and the following year at the Jamboree in 1977.  The new “shadow” patch for the Concho Valley Council was an extremely hot commodity at both venues in the patch trading pits since no one had any of them.  Looking back it seems that was an early indication of my career direction as I continue to love negotiating business deals as much as my early patch deals.  (I still have my complete collection.) 

The picture to the left was a group photo taken on top of Mount Phillips, 3rd highest peak in New Mexico.  This is a part of Philmont Scout Ranch.

Our most significant event was a visit from a bear cub and his mama bear named “Lulabelle” (600 lb black bear that had to be relocated) when we were at Cypher’s Mine.

Jacob’s camera had a tooth hole in the top and my pack had bear snot all over it where a side pocket got ripped off from a forgotten hot chocolate packet discovery.  We were all sleeping in a big three sided Adirondack shelter instead of tents and could hear some twigs and branches cracking as soon as our fire dimmed down.  The cub was up one of the trees we had hung our bear bag from and was trying to reach out to the bag.  We threw rocks at it and it half-slid, half-fell down the tree wimpering.  That’s when we saw Mama Lulabelle!  We beat the pots and pans with all our might and blew whistles to try to scare her off.  She reached up and slashed the bear bag after standing on her hind legs and half our stuff dropped to the ground.  She then drug and scattered it up the hill into the woods. 

What I recall as particularly funny was the fact that no one wanted to leave the perimeter of the fire any further than it would light up so we scoured the ground for tiny twigs for greater illumination and a greater diameter from the fire to search for more wood. 

We then donned the miner’s lamps on our heads and tried to recover as much of our stuff up the hillside as possible.  It did require a significant side hike to another commissary in the backcountry to reprovision but we all had quite a story to tell with tooth holes and bite mark souvenirs. 

The picture on your right is a trapping demostration put on for our crew at French Henry campsite.


We climbed Mount Phillips, the tallest peak within Philmont I think and shot black powder guns at Black Mountain.  We did rock climbing at Cimmaroncito.  Our crew worked well together as we camped and hiked the trails at Philmont. 

On your left is a picture of Roy Armstong, our leader, cresting Mount Phillips.  These three pictures are just a few of the many photos I took whle at Philmont.  They bring back some fond memories of my trip to Philmont in 1976.

David Savage 

Return to Philmont Page
Return to Home Page