So you have always wanted to go to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, but face it, since you have taken on the roll of Den Leader or Assistant Scoutmaster you know that thee idea of 10 days hiking in the pack country of Philmont is not for you. I know you still want to go.
There is a supplemental training program that is offered at Philmont. You could learn about how to be a great Scoutmaster, how to employ the religious emblems program in your council or you know you found this podcast how about using Social Media in scouting. Once you figure out what you want to learn the fun begins.As a first time participant at Philmont you have many questions. That is what this podcast is all about. The written material that is on the PhilmontScoutRanch.org page. What else do you want to know? Practical advice from a number of visits to Philmont.
This year the Regions chose the courses that they felt would be beneficial to their youth. However you do not need to be from that Region to attend a course.
Choosing a class is part of the fun at Philmont. You do not need to get your council’s approval to take a class at Philmont. It is the opportunity to learn from others about running a University of Scouting course. did you take on the Membership Chair at the district or council level? Do you need fundraising ideas? The best fit for your course choice is to take something that you can use. You might be assisting in getting Land Navigation badges working in your council camps or into the Venture Program. The courses are generally offered only once a season so pick the class or the week that you can attend. Does your spouse wear a scouting uniform too, they can take a class too if they choose.
Some classes are noted as being by Invitation Only, others require that you have a specific position in your council. Read the details of the course before you sign up for it. These courses may need signatures from your council to attend.
There is also a very special class for your son or daughter, National Advanced Youth Learning Experience (NAYLE). In this course your son or daughter will attend his own leadership course at the Rocky Mountain Scout Camp, also on Philmont property. There are some prerequisites see the listing.
What else is there for your family to do while you are having fun is classes. The Silverados is a group that comprises non conferencing adults, mostly spouses. There are all sorts of programs that they can take as much or as little of as they choose. On site there are museums, hikes to take, arts & crafts and even the Cope course. There is shopping in Cimarron and lots of opportunity for having fun and making friends. Casual attire with hiking boots or sneakers are a good idea for wear. Silverados tent at PTC with their families.
Mountain Men and Women Who are completed 8th grade up thru Venturing age can have the opportunity to Hike in the Back County 20-30 miles over the course of the week. This made our eldest son very happy as he was never in the right place at the right time to do a Philmont Trek. He completed two Mountain Treks and returned to work as a Ranger at Philmont. You will be with them thru the shakedown where they pare their equipment down to the minimum to lighten the packs and be able carry the gear they will need on the trail. You get to take the extra stuff back with you. The next time you see them will be fresh off the trail. I recommend you hold back a set of fresh clothes and shower gear for them when they return from the trail. When they tumble off the bus Saturday morning, you really want to go and hug them but they generally smell like they have had a run in with a skunk. So a shower, fresh clothes and a laundry bag with at least a fresh dryer sheet in it, will help.
Over the years we have seen children from infants up in age. The program for infants and Small Fry takes place in the Small Fry Nursery.Older children are grouped by age and depending on the size of the group there may be separate boy and girl groups. The youth will have morning and afternoon programs. All programs will close at lunch time so that you can enjoy family meals together. They get to see and learn a lot about the ranch. there are age/ability appropriate hikes, the opportunity to visit the Villa Philmonte and even take a ride on a horse. They get to do all sorts of great Cub/Boy Scout daycamp type events. Arts and crafts, games, BB guns.
The 11-13 year old girls and boys get to go camping overnight. A parent should plan to camp out as well.
There is a lot more information in the 2012 Conference guide
Video prepared by our students at the 2011 Philmont Social Media Class
It is important to send your child to the programs with the same sort of things you would pack with them for day camp, Sunscreen, water, rain gear, a hat and hiking boots or sneakers. See the Conference guide for additional information.
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