Philmont staff alumni offer words of wisdom for next generation

Each summer, more than 23,000 scouts travel from all corners of the US and abroad to participate in the rich backcountry program and trekking opportunities available at Philmont Scout Ranch. Supporting that operation is a team of over 1,500 specialized staff members that often represent all 50 states and even other nations.

Over the past several months, our IWGBTP video series has fielded interviews from former Philmont Staffers about their experience working on the ranch. Many recounted the positive impact Philmont and its community had on them throughout the duration of their careers and lives.

David Goldfein, the 21st Chief of Staff of the Air Force and a former Philmont Ranger stated, “What you’re going to join is this incredible team of like-minded individuals that’ll become friends for life.” In addition to the friendships forged, there also exists the opportunity to develop yourself and grow personally in this unique environment. Corey Mullins, former staff member, reflecting on his experience said, “I developed emotional intelligence, leadership, empathy, passion, how to inspire yourself and inspire others. These are just some of the core attributes that Philmont helped provide me.”

For many, Philmont is an inspirational place with inspirational people where one learns, grows and gives back. Service was an underlying theme for many of those interviewed.

“My summers at Philmont taught me the basics of how to serve others. That continued to develop throughout my air force career.” -Tim Gremlin

“One of the best things about working at Philmont is that in addition to having the chance to change the lives of scouts, your own life is also going to be changed for the better.” – George Burnet

“It also is incredible the impact you get to have on the scouts. For many of them this is their first major life changing experience away from home and its incredible to be a part of that.” -Ethan DiFranco

The second major theme, self-discovery and the importance of camaraderie.

“Philmont had a huge impact on who I am as a person. Out of the 9 seasons I spent here on staff, I worked in three different departments and each one taught me something just a little bit different about what it means to be a good employee, or a good leader, or even a good friend.” -Olivia Starich

“I learned how to enjoy myself a lot more, I especially learned who I was.” -Garrett Engelhard

“Relationships don’t develop overnight and that’s also something that I learned at Philmont. Through those closest relationships that I have, best friends I have across the country. Those people I know are my family.” -Katie Nagib

I wanna go back to Philmont (IWGBTP) represents more than just wanting to visit the land again. It is the culmination of all one’s lessons learned and community developed while spending time on this ranch.

To learn more about staffing opportunities available at Philmont, visit