This summer, I have returned to Philmont Scout Ranch as Mailroom staff. Because Carleton finishes so much later in the summer, I was a late arrival. I did three sessions of training over two days instead of the week-long training that most newly arriving staff undergo.
Unfortunately, the Mailroom job doesn't really get me out into the backcountry as much as News and Photo did, but on the other hand there's a lot of free time. I've been getting a lot of reading done. I've re-read several of Robin Hobb's novels, and I'm also re-reading Anne Rice's The Witching Hour now, plus I've caught up on all my reading from the Parnassus book club. The Little Red Chairs, Imagine Me Gone, and LaRose were all favorites. I've been exchanging letters with friends (I love getting mail) and painting in my spare time.
My crew from home came out for their own trek, which was cool. I attended Opening and Closing Campfires with them, and met them at Capulin Volcano National Monument. It was nice to see some familiar faces from home.
This late in the summer, we have lots of mystery packages and mail, including one I-camp addressed "To: Evan, From: Mr. Poof". We have no idea who to give it to or who sent it, so it may never make it to the intended recipient. We also get a lot of postcards returned for insufficient addresses, and since postcards don't have return addresses and cannot be forwarded, there's not much we can do. Sometimes people send mail that is simply addressed "Attn: Mailroom" or "Philmont Scout Ranch", which isn't very helpful when trying to deliver it to the correct person. Christmas in July is still pretty recent, so we've delivered several wrapped "Christmas" packages to backcountry camps. All in all, it's not too bad a job, even if it doesn't have the variety of my work last summer.