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What would you send?

I've adopted the Apache Springs Camp at Philmont Scout Ranch for the summer. 7 young men and women teaching the history and daily life of the Jicarilla Apache for the summer to about 15,000 boys and girls and adult leaders who will come through. They sleep in wall tents up on a ridge above a two room cabin and the makeshift corals where the activities are taught. There is a gravity fed showerhouse that produces enough warm water to let 2 people bathe per day. A two seater (pilot/co-pilot) outhouse serves as toilet facilities. The cabin has a kitchen with a woodburning cookstove and a sink and cabinets for food storage. They use lots of canned food, dried food and Ultra High Temperature Milk that can be stored without refrigeration but tastes not so much like milk. Their only refrigeration is via a metal box in the spring on the hill. This is the same spring that provides them with gravity fed running water in the kitchen and shower. There is no electricity. They radio in to base camp nightly to report the goings on of the day. How many campers, any injuries and so on. This is done via a battery powered 2 way radio. Any personal entertainment has to be battery powered. They get bi-weekly supply deliveries via a burro that travels 13 miles from a supply camp. The only way in or out is via horse or on foot. If there is a true emergency, a 4 wheel drive vehicle can make it back to them. Oh yeah, they are 26 miles away from basecamp in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of New Mexico. The nearest bit of civilization is 15 miles as the crow flies across someone elses ranch property. They get 3 days off every 30 and they have to hike at least 20 miles down to a road where staff keeps thier vehicles parked and then go into base camp or the nearby small villages.

So adopting them means I get to send them care packages all summer. and you good folks in LJ land can help make suggestions or send me stuff to send on to them. So think of yourself in that situation and let me know what you'd like to recieve if you were them. I worked at that camp 22 years ago. My first summer on staff. I loved it.




( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
Defiantely a bag of marbles, for those that think they lost theirs. A book on the wildlife of NM, there are never enough field guides to go around. A frugal pair of binoculars or a telescope? The night sky is breath taking for those unused to it. Hehehe, random play mp3 is nudging me. Some instruments, a drum? I'm seeing one maybe 12" by 12", although a nice lower sounding tom would be prefered? Some magnifying glasses? I'm sure i'll think up some more little things.

Jun. 9th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
Keep them coming. I'm going to be limited in my package size as the only way to get mail up to them is for another staff member or a camper to pack it up. But I plan on sending 4-5 care packages throughout the summer.

Jun. 8th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
This is terrible, but I'd send junk food... specifically, Pop-Tarts and Pepperidge Farm cookies. Even though I never actually eat them myself, I know how good stuff like that tastes when your entire diet is "practical".

I might send fun bandanas with unusual prints, cards... There is a game called "farkel" played with dice that's great fun; you could google the rules and print out several copies and send them with some six-siders, or order sets from pocketfarkel.com.
Jun. 9th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
When I worked there, junk food was like money in the back country. Good suggestion!

Jun. 8th, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
I would like current events from newspapers, etc. No,not articles of Brangelina's baby. But, I would want to keep up on important current events.
And how about a few MRE's. A night off from cooking would probaby be refreshing.

Jun. 9th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Yeah I could get lots of newspaper articles in a box. The nice thing is, they don't get any news up there except from word of mouth as campers and other staff come through. So any news will be new to them. They actually get lots of MRE type meals. They can trade with the campers for them too.

Jun. 8th, 2006 02:04 pm (UTC)
Wow, that sounds like a nightmare to me, but then again, my idea of "camping" is a four-star hotel, so there you go. ;) If it WERE me though, I would definitely want milk. There is a type of organic milk from Horizon that really does taste like actual milk and is pasturized in such a way that it doesn't have to be refrigerated. Maybe we're talking about the same stuff, but it does taste perfectly milk-like and I usually take it with me whenever I go on trips to unknown locations. Maybe a portable Scrabble game? Or other portable/travel-sized games? One of those wind-up/solar power radios probably couldn't hurt either. And newspapers. Puzzle books? Sudoku? Art supplies? I dunno.
Jun. 9th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
All good sugestions. I'm going to put in my first letter that some of these came from livejournal friends. Thanks!

Jun. 8th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
....I wanna go to camp. I've never gone to one.
Jun. 9th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
And this place is a great place to work. 1000 staff members and most of them college age or better. You get some great camaraderie out there. I met people there 20 years ago that I number among my best friends now. I met my first wife there and someone who almost became my second wife. There are jobs in base camp and jobs in the back country. Most of us who have gone there would and have paid to go back. It's that special of a place. I'd reccomend a summer working at Philmont to anyone.

Jun. 8th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
gummibaerchen! (sorry, i'm obsessed with gummi bears this week)
christms-style instant cocoa powder (the kind with cinnamon in it)
really soft toilet paper
wheat-free iced otameal cookies (you did ask what *I* would send)
issues of maxim
some of your awesome preserves that i still have never gotten
rubber pirate duckies
board games
Jun. 9th, 2006 04:44 am (UTC)
The reason you've gotten no preserves is I'm still trying to locate a pectin with no dextrose in it. I don't want to be responsible for a day of sickness for you. I'm working on it though. Amen to the gummi bears even though i don't eat candy anymore. I think I'll go down to Rocky Mountain Candy factory tomrrow. The Maxim suggestion is great too.

Jun. 8th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
Beef Jerkey
Dried Fruit
Hand sanitizer stuff
Lip Gloss
Shoe Laces
Hot Sauce
Hard Candies
Playing Cards
Those thermal you break them and they warm your hands or feet things
Nail clippers
Chewing Gum
Jun. 9th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
Awesome suggestions. The personal sanitation stuff is usually taken care of by what they bring and the supplies already at the cabin but the otehr stuff is all good. i'll report on the contents of the first package when I send it next week.

Jun. 9th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
You're such a guy...."personal sanitation stuff". :) Well, that's good to know, b/c I would be pissed if I had to walk 20 miles for some.
Jun. 8th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
This is for the 7 young adults, not for the kids?

Nutrigrain Bars or the Quaker Fruit/Oatmeal Bars
See's Suckers -- those were a HUGE hit when I was a camper AND a camp counselor
Capri Sun or other Juice Boxes
People and Cosmo magazines
A boombox that can play mp3's and some mix cd's to play on it
Lip Balm -- in the little tins, not the sticks (the sticks get melty and gross faster)
Waterless Shampoo http://www.haircareusa.com/rinse_no_more_shampoo.htm for the no-shower days

Jun. 9th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
I've gotta laugh at the condoms suggestion. If you only knew. After about 30 days of only seeing your fellow staff members and campers, the local cattle population starts to look good. hehehe. Yeah on the Sees suckers. I forgot to mention that they also have a sweat lodge up there and on the no-shower days we used to all take a sweat after dinner. The campers only stay at the camp for a day before they hike on to another camp to learn something else. Their itenerary lasts 12 days and they can choose to hike anywhere from 50 miles to 275 miles and climb peaks in excess of 10,000 feet. 30 back country camps teaching everything from archealogy to rock climbing to logging to gold mining to western lore to Indian ethnology are available to them. It's the staff that stays put all summer.

Jun. 9th, 2006 07:01 am (UTC)
Hmm. Supersoaker (to keep the scampers in line). Disposable cameras. Couple of those maglite-sized flashlights powered by shaking 'em for 15 seconds or so. Set of leather juggling balls (mostly for throwing at recalcitrant scampers, as attempting to juggle gets old quickly). Copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook. Copies of photos you took at that camp 22 years ago. Instructions for building a minibear launcher.

Hmm. That's all that comes immediately to mind, beyond a few items already mentioned.
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:42 am (UTC)
All that stuff boomshak said and...
a wish list so they can tell you what they need / want
Lotion (Avon Skin so soft is supposed to not attract bugs)
mole skin (owie hiking feet)
Crystal lite on the go packs
hacki sac
multipal cheap water guns
hemp rope for jewelry making
dry flavored cofee creamer
astronaut ice cream
colored penciles and a sketch book
those first aid ice packs that you crack to get cold for a cool treat not cuse someone is hurt
floss (cuse you always forget to bring it)
Roll of stickers to reward their campers with
Make a trip to the Dollar store thats what I did for the Military packages I sent.
Oh and one of those pocket sewing kits handy as hell
poney tail holders (you can never have too many)
a calling card so they can call home on thoe 3 days of
Junk food
couple of decks of playing cards
magizines, siccors, and glue to make a ransome note (LOL)
actual, something to make a scrap book with would be cool if they collect leaves or stuf like that from being up there.. or a keepsake box or a shoe box they can decorate and put stuff in
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )