Staffed camps are exactly that, campsites that are run by Philmont staff. They look remarkably similar to trail camps. However, the biggest difference is that all staff camps include cabins. This however does not mean that all sites that have cabins are staffed camps, as camps such as Santa Claus has a cabin but is not staffed currently.
The cabin is the arrival point for crews. Crews are usually given an overview of the campsite on the cabin's porch. The talk includes information on the program, or nearest available program, location of trash depsoitory, campsite locations, and any caveats that come with camping in the particular site.
The programs that are at the staff camps varry from camp to camp. Camps often carry a historical or modern theme, such as logging (Crater Lake and Pueblano), mining or blacksmithing (French Henry, Cypher's Mine, and Black Mountain), fur trapping and mountain man life (Miranda), land navigation (Zastro) or cowboy life (Beaubien). The program in a camp is run by staff known as Program Counselors.
Other activities include black powder rifle loading and shooting, shotgun shooting and reloading, horseback riding, burro packing and racing, mountain bicycling, rock climbing (which can be either on artificial towers or actual rock faces, such as Betty's Bra at Miners Park), tomahawk throwing, branding, search and rescue training, Mexican homesteading, chuckwagon dinner, and campfires and evening programs.
Staffed camps accept trash, with very few exceptions. They also send and receive mail, and usually offer purified water. The exceptions are those camps which have no road access, in which they recieve their supply shipments by burro. Such camps are Black Mountain or Crooked Creek. All staff camps also contain radios, by which staff members can communicate with Base Camp, the Health Lodge, or each other.
Almost all staff camps have a swap box - a box in which crews may place unwanted food and take anything they might desire. Predictably, swap boxes tend to fill up with the sort of food which no-one likes, such as green beans.
Aside from routine announcements such as the weather forecast, the radio is used primarily for emergencies and important messages; Since much of Cimarron and Colfax County are accustomed to listening to the Philmont radio for entertainment, rangers and crews generally do their best to avoid situations which might merit mention on the radio, for fear of much embarrassment.