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New Chief Ranger looks forward to the trail ahead

June 16, 2023 —“It falls to the Ranger to be that voice and ambassador.. to introduce crew and participants to this grand experience that is Philmont.”

Chase Anderson, 29, is the new Chief Ranger succeeding Chip Campbell, who served for two seasons. Originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, he works full-time as a carpenter in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After graduating with a degree in Crop and Soil Science, Anderson started work in the insurance industry when a Ranger Trainer friend approached him with the idea of working at Philmont.

“I quit and I never looked back,” said Anderson.

Anderson’s history with Philmont starts with his original trek in 2009. Anderson worked as a Ranger in 2017 and as a Winter coordinator before being promoted to Ranger Trainer from 2018 to 2020, working as an Autumn guide all throughout. He got the call to be Chief Ranger in the winter of 2022.

“The biggest challenge was finding it in myself to be the chief ranger. The next big goal was getting the returning staff in the right state of mind, because this summer is going to be different than the summer before.”

The Chief Ranger oversees the entire Ranger department, making sure the staff of nearly 300 runs smoothly. Additionally, the Chief consults with other leadership within the Ranger Department, such as the Rayado Trek Coordinators (RTC), who coordinate everything to do with the Rayado trek, and Ranger Trainers (RT), who aid in training and overseeing Rangers.

“He cares about making people comfortable, and ensuring that everyone is in the right space to be the most successful at changing lives this summer,” said Jake Dalton, RTC.

Group picture, at Ranger Rendezvous at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron N.M. on June 4, 2023. Photo by Caitlyn Kviz.

Ranger leadership are struck by the personability and receptiveness of the department under Anderson. He is implementing programs aimed to increase the connection to participants, staff, and nature.

“He’s really good about getting to know everybody, getting everyone’s names.. anytime someone makes a suggestion it is written down and you’re given feedback,” said Daniel Stauffer, Ranger Trainer.

Some of these programs include Ranger At the Welcome Center, or RAWC, hastening the process by which crews connect with their ranger. Anderson also started Training Crew (TC) flags, where Rangers paint their TC logo and display it as an ‘embassy to the outdoors’.

Anderson credits a large part of his love for Philmont to the strong character of his 2017 Ranger Trainer, Alex Trumble, displaying Ranger ideals of safety, mentoring, and preservation of the Philmont experience. Anderson would like to serve as Chief for at least two summers. He hopes to take out a crew this season, to keep his skills sharp, and continue documenting valuable feedback for the Ranger department.

"What we do out here is incredibly special in the development of lives of young people that are going to be the future of our nation and world.”

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