Day Nine – Rules and Procedures

Jesus said to the Scribes of the Law, “The Sabbath was made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath.”

A couple of years ago, I was a Chaplain for a major Scouting event, where we discovered the motto was, “Theoretically;  Possibly;  Liable to change at any moment without advance notice.”  And I kept thinking, have you never done this before?

On the other hand, I am always impressed at how efficient Philmont is and how smoothly the Administration and staff work.  Yes, we have our glitches, but even when the Ute Park Fire threw the Ranch into a whirlwind last year, Admin snapped into order and within hours, as the smoke approached Base Camp, we were in vehicles evacuating to the county Fair Grounds 25 miles away.  Horses, cattle, burros driven to safe pastures.

“Learn the rules well so you can break them properly.”  The Dalai Lama XIV must have read Jesus’ address to the Scribes.  And I don’t disagree, I do it all the time.  Just look at our Sunday morning worship.  (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa)

But it is important to have proper procedures determined, tested and when necessary adapt them.

As you have heard, I’ve been working this week as the Logistics Chaplain.  I hate paper work, but so often this week the reports given me, the lists of participants in a particular contingent, their itinerary, my reporting back what occurred in a conversation of a conflict…  We have a strong record.  With so many participants coming through (hundreds of hikers each day), we literally know where everyone is (or is supposed to be) each day of the week and can find them when we need to minister to them, to administer medical procedures, to deliver messages from home.

Of course, like today, one troop decided to hike on and leave a participant on the porch of a staff cabin.  Boy, did they get in trouble!  But the camp staff discovered what happened, called immediately to Logistics and SNAP – the situation was addressed when the crew got to their next destination.  I would have loved to be a ‘mini-bear’ (local chipmunk) at that meeting!

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