Scoutmaster Joe A. Gibson had a passion for the Sangre de Cristo mountains of New Mexico. Having served the Scouting Community of San Angelo, Texas (first as Cubmaster of Pack 32, then as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster of Troop 332, and finally as a member of the Texas Southwest Council District Committee), Joe would always speak to the impact that his first trip to Philmont Scout Ranch had on his life as well as the life of his family.
After his first Philmont trek in 1985, Joe made it a goal to make sure that his sons’ troop made several trips to Philmont Scout Ranch in northeastern New Mexico. Joe served as advisor while leading 4 of these backpacking expeditions, where each 12 day trek covered Rocky Mountain trails that covered close to 100 miles and elevations up to 12,000 feet. In preparation for these treks, Joe would help the Troop organize several training hikes and campouts as well as fundraising efforts to give scouts in his troop a chance to work toward and earn their trek to Scouting’s largest High Adventure Base in northeastern New Mexico. Many of the scouts attending these treks benefitted from these efforts as it helped ease the burden of paying for a High Adventure trek while also building life skills and character.
An active part of the community, Joe was a member of the Toastmaster Club of San Angelo, the Optimist Club, and the Boy Scouts of America, where he served as Scoutmaster for 10 of his 14 years with Troop 332. Joe also served his community as a patrolman, detective, internal affairs officer, and as Police Chief for the San Angelo Police Department, retiring in 2004. Through these various roles in the community, he saw first-hand the positive influence and impact that Scouting can have on the development of character, leadership, and life skills for youth in the community.
Scouting is a family adventure for the Gibson’s and Philmont has always been at the center of many of those adventures. Joe and his wife Linda have three sons and three grandsons that have each earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouting. When taking into account their son’s and grandson’s troop treks, Rayado and Trail Crew program participation, summer staff positions at Philmont, and family camping trips to the Cimarron Canyon, the Gibson family has collectively hiked over 2,500 miles of Philmont backcountry trails.
The Gibson family has a deep love and appreciation for Philmont and Scouting. The family has set up the Joe A. Gibson Philmont Scout Ranch Scholarship Fund to support Scouts of the Texas Southwest Council with financial assistance to attend Philmont Scout Ranch. The goal is to continue the legacy by creating a scholarship that will assist local scouts with the opportunity to experience the impact of a Philmont High Adventure trek.
Scouting and Philmont Scout Ranch supporters may contribute to the fund to continue and build upon the legacy that Joe built with Troop 332, Philmont, and Scouting. Contact the Texas Southwest Council to become a contributor. Each year, applicants may apply to receive financial assistance by completing this application and a short, one-page essay about why they want to go on a Philmont Scout Ranch Trek. Once they return from Philmont, the Scout is expected to write another one-page report sharing what they learned from the experience. The Gibson family will read and review the essays and select the scholarship recipient(s) each year.
Completed scholarship applications due by March 1 to Devin Koehler at Devin.Koehler@Scouting.org.