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31 Years and Not One Day Has Passed: PSA Reunion Brings Back Memories


The 1992 Beaubien Staff pose for a photo at the crew photo site on July 6, 2023 at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M. From left to right: Bob Wettemann, Brent Smith, Tim Rosseisen, and Jeff Carmichael. Photo by Sarah Wettemann.


Whether you were on staff thirty years ago or three months ago, the statement “I wanna go back to Philmont,” reigns true for everyone.


With the help of the Philmont Staff Association and the annual reunions, access to the Ranch has never been easier. For four members of the 1992 Beaubien staff: Bob Wettemann, Jeff Carmichael, Brent Smith, and Tim Rosseisen, the PSA Reunion was the first time they had all been back together since their summer together 31 years ago.


“We’re a part of this ongoing story that has spanned all these years,” Wettemann said. “It’s cool with the 50 years of the PSA coinciding with our little piece of history.”


Despite the time away from both the Ranch and each other, their reunion was something like taking a step through a time machine.


“As soon as I saw all four of us together, I had these instant memories of hanging out in the cabin, sitting on the front porch, giving each other a hard time or whatever else we did,” Rosseisen said.


Smith, Wettemann, and Rosseisen have all been fortunate enough to return to Philmont in a variety of capacities since their summers on staff. As a part of training week, Smith teaches backcountry staff how to put together entertaining campfire program. Rosseisen is the special projects coordinator and director of the Fly-Fishing Invitational, while Wettemann is instrumental in the functioning of the Service Academy Ranger program.


For Carmichael, the PSA reunion is his first time back at Philmont since the summer of 1992. Because of the reunion, he was able to hike out in the backcountry and even visit his old camp and see what it is like to work at Beaubien today.


In the fourteen summers Rosseisen has spent at the Ranch, the feeling of connectedness and family has only grown.


“My rule last year when I came back as an older leadership adult person was everyone yelled their last name to me,” Rosseisen said. “I don’t care about your first name, I want to know if I know your mom or dad who might have worked here … It’s weird because once you get to my age and you’re working out here, doing what I do, it’s like I have kids working here … It’s a cool deal because now you feel like you’re not just a parent but you’re a parent to your friend’s kids as well.”


The lessons learned as a staff member at Philmont are the same generation after generation. Whether you were a Ranger in the 90s or worked in the dining hall this summer, the skills learned go far beyond the outdoors.


“This is the place where a lot of young people grew up,” Rosseisen said. “This is where they learn to talk to adults, get along with people they may not necessarily get along with in other conditions, problem solve, whatever that problem may be, I think that is the best part about Philmont.”


Through the PSA, staff are able to stay connected to the Ranch generation after generation and continue to share the lessons Philmont teaches.


“Everybody’s got different places,” Carmichael said. “But for a lot of us who are on staff, this is our place. And you see these mountains, whether it’s a picture or you’re actually seeing them just takes you back. This place runs in your blood.”


Beaubien camp staff photo from 1992, taken at the crew photo site at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M.

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