Left to right: Garcia Cow staff members Anna Stehlik, Cassie Hansen, Sammy Babiez, and Mitch Vose anxiously awaiting crews to arrive to their front porch talk.
Situated over Philmont’s southern border, the brand new Garcia Cow staff camp is one of the most unique locations on the ranch.
The camp is located in a beautiful meadow on the UU Bar Ranch. Staff wear rugged outfits reminiscent of the 1910s and act out fictional roles working for Ernest Thompson Seton, a founder of the American Scouting movement.
Scouts who trek across the rolling hills leading to Garcia Cow are in for a program they may not be expecting– simple relaxation.
“A lot of the program we have at Philmont is very high intensity and really exciting stuff,” Camp Director Alex Handel said. “From time to time, however, people like to sit down and try to catalog a wildflower or do a watercolor of the meadow.”
The “nature saunter” part of the program lets Scouts take a step back and unwind in the beautiful areas surrounding the cabin. Participants who find Garcia Cow on their itinerary can look forward to sketching and painting watercolors, activities Seton excelled at.
If the beauty of the UU Bar Ranch alone isn’t enough to satisfy participants, they can try their hand at conservation work. Scouts can learn about the flora and fauna of the area by studying pelts, bones and other remnants of local wildlife.
The program and the camp itself are made possible by the generosity of the UU Bar Ranch. After the loss of three staff camps in the Ute Park fire, the UU Bar signed a land-use agreement allowing Philmont to use their land and ease crew loads in the southern region.
“I think it’s incredibly cool that we get to use this land,” Program Counselor Cassie Hansen said. “Apache Springs has been looking out on Garcia Park for years, looking out on this cabin and these buildings, and watching the sunset over here for years. We’re just very fortunate to be able to use it.”
Treks that swing into the southern reaches of Philmont property may get the chance to visit Garcia Cow and experience nature as Ernest Thompson Seton would have wanted them to. From quiet contemplation in the meadows to the simple joy of painting, Seton’s legacy can be felt at Garcia Cow.