Come to Philmont and Learn

By Scott Daniels

The Philmont Training Center offers top-notch training opportunities for volunteers, plus an exciting family program for spouses and children.

Leaders of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers have a tremendous opportunity this summer and fall to expand their skills and energize unit programs by attending one of the many courses offered at the Philmont Training Center (PTC).

A high-quality faculty of experienced Scouters provides classroom instruction.
Photograph Courtesy of BSA Archives

"Leading Pack Camping," "Putting 'Pizzazz' Into Cub Scouting," and "Connecting Character With Cub Scouting" are just a sampling of courses that will appeal to Cub Scout leaders.

Boy Scouts leaders will benefit from attending "Strictly for Scoutmasters," "Using the Scout Oath and Law in Your Unit," and "Creating the Great Adventure."

For those who lead older-boy programs and Venturers, check out "High Adventure Trek Planning," "Climbing and Rappelling," "Teaching Leave No Trace," and "High Adventure and Sports for Crew Programs."

Located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northeastern New Mexico, the Philmont Training Center offers weeklong training conferences from June through September for council, district, and unit volunteers, professional Scouters, and junior leaders.

Many Scouters bring their families to participate in the extensive activities planned for children and spouses, including (except during the weeks of June 5-11 and Sept. 18-24) a Mountain Trek hiking program for youth 14 to 20 years old.

Mike Krause of Troop 60 in Kerrville, Tex., came to the PTC with his wife, Jeana, and sons Gus, Ryan, and Travis. While Krause praised all the activities, he singled out the Mountain Trek program as having a profound impact on his oldest son.

Day hikes on some of Philmont's trails are part of the program for older children.
Photograph by John R. Fulton Jr.

"It was a life-changing experience for Travis. For a guy who had never been on a backpacking trip, he learned so many things about himself. He came back more self-reliant and confident. He grew up on that trip. He was just a different boy."

Brenda Martinez of Portland, Ore., said she was impressed with the program activities for spouses. The group of wives and husbands spent several days playing initiative games at the ropes course called COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience).

"I've gone through lots of team-building exercises at my work, but I've never seen it click like it did in the COPE course at Philmont.

"This was really an inexpensive vacation," she added. "It's such a good value."

Mike Krause agreed. "This was one of the most wholesome, fun, and relaxing vacations we've been on."

Families arrive on Sunday and depart the following Saturday. Meals are served in dining halls; housing is in large, two-person wall tents on platforms, equipped with electricity, two twin beds and cabinet, located near showers and restrooms, medical facilities, and recreation areas.

Conferences feature the latest tools, audiovisuals, and techniques and are led by a faculty of experienced Scouters.

Fees include meals, lodging, and conference and family program materials: conference participants, $360; spouses and children over 20, $260; children ages 6 to 20, $210; ages 3 to 5, $140; 2 and under, $50; Mountain Trek, $275; and National Youth Leadership Instructor Camp (NYLIC), $275.

Participants must have local council approval; some conferences require previous training experience, strong Boy Scout camping skills, and/or top physical conditioning. Contact council service centers or the Philmont Training Center, Cimarron, NM 87714, phone (505) 376-2281, fax (505) 376-2629, e-mail More information is also available at

Top of Page

January - February 2005 Table of Contents

Copyright © 2005 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.