When I was a Scout, our troop never attended Philmont Scout Ranch (or the BSA’s other high-adventure bases, for that matter). Looking back, I think the reason was that we didn’t have a history of Philmont attendance, which meant we didn’t have any adult leaders who felt confident in putting a crew together. (My dad, who was a troop leader, had been to Philmont in the 1950s, but that was about it.)
Troops today face a similar problem, even though Philmont does a great job of helping with pre-trip planning and even though there are lots of useful resources on the internet, including the popular Philmont Advisor’s Guide.
For next season, Philmont is making planning even easier with a series of programs designed to get you up to speed quickly. Here’s a rundown of what they are and what they offer.
Philmont Advisor Skills School (PSR-PASS): A four-day/three-night base camp and backcountry experience at Philmont for adults ages 18 and up. Topics include everything from land navigation and backcountry sanitation to conducting shakedown hikes and planning travel to and from Philmont. Three sessions will be held this fall. Cost is $76.
Philmont Advisor Skills School (FIELD-PASS): A 10-hour session held at a location near you for adults ages 18 and up. In a city or state park, you will learn backcountry procedures while enjoying a trail lunch and dinner. Seventeen sessions will be held between October and April. Cost is $25.
Philmont Advisor Workshop (PAW): A two-hour evening session held at a location near you for adults ages 18 and up. Topics will include physical conditioning, shakedown hikes, crew leadership positions, and more. Twenty sessions will be held between October and April. There is no cost to attend.
FIELD-PASS AND PAW sessions are open for Scouters who are registered for 2016 or 2017 treks or who are just generally interested in learning about Philmont. (It looks like you’ll learn plenty that you could apply to any backcountry trek.) Due to space limitations, PSR-PASS sessions are limited to first-time adult advisors who are registered for 2016 treks.
Philmont is a true mountaintop experience for any Scout or Scouter. If you’ve ever thought about taking your troop to the ranch, these new sessions should make the experience even better.
For more information and to register, visit http://philmontscoutranch.org/pass-paw.aspx.