We had wonderful weather the whole week, with rain only on Sunday. Yet the only time I saw classes moving outdoors was on Friday morning. I don't understand that, unless there was a lot of need for the media for presentations such as the white boards and projectors. Obviously the "wonderful" is subjective, since no rain in a drought is not good.
The faculty in my class, and the other faculty I spoke with were great. They had a great attitude and really seemed to enjoy teaching the classes. Everyone I talked to that attended classes said they got a lot out of them. Since I am an estate planning attorney, I didn't really expect to get much out of my classes, but even I felt a lot of information was conveyed in that short amount of lecture.
Those who attend the classes still (for the most part) get Wednesday off to "do Philmont" and many hiked the Urraca trail. A lot of people drove into Cimmarron or Raton on the off day. Everyone can take advantage of the evening activities such as movie night, western night, the Koshare dancers (too bad they can't be there every week), cobbler nights at the tent cities, closing campfire, etc.
There is plenty of time between sessions for a walk over to TOTT or the Philmont Museum, or just walking around CHQ. There is also lots of time for tours of VIlla Philmonte (open house on Monday evening, too). Just talking to other folks was quite enjoyable (the kids didn't care for that too much).
Brian (the guy in charge of PTC) was all over the place during the week, so you had someone in a decision making position nearby for any issues that come up. The scheduling was smooth and well put together, and there were no problems keeping things within time bounds. I wasn't aware of anyone having a problem picking up their kids.
Our class went out and about every afternoon. We went to Hunters Lodge, T Rex, Pueblito, Ponil (to survey the fire damage), went to see the bison, toured CHQ with Mark (who is in charge of CHQ), went to Rayado for an evening BBQ of Bison steaks with Keith Calloway, the guy in charge of all the BSA high adventure camps. We drove all over the north country in Philmont Suburbans, surveying the fire damage and visiting the northern staffed camps. Our faculty person, Ben Stahmann, had a "50 miler award" specially designed for us. It looks like the 50 miler afoot afloat award, but instead says "afoot aboard" and has an image of a Suburban. You could say it is an official national award. We had a special tour of Villa Philmonte.
We were told that PTC attendance entitles us to wear the bull on our shoulders, and the Philmont back patch on our jackets. We just don't get the arrowhead.
If you have to take a class, this was definitely the way to do it.
One of the best things about being in the classes is that we did not have to do skits at the closing campfire :-).
Anyway, I would suspect the experience for each class was highly individual and I cannot presume to generalize the class experience. As West Fellows, we had a rather unique experience touring the ranch that is not available to the other classes.
I definitely will go again, though I may have to wait a bit for sufficient vacation. This is an experience that can be repeated with little loss of enjoyment. It is easy to understand why people keep going back repeatedly.
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