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My Council has recommended me for training at Philmont this summer. I plan on taking my whole family, Wife (Scouter), Son #1 (13 yr. old Life), Son #2 (12 yr. old First Class) and daughter (9 yr. old Girl Scout). Any tips, warnings, or sage advice?





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The most important part of staying healthy at Philmont either on trek od at PTC is hydration. PTC sits at anelevation just over 6,000 ft and mudity is often around 7%. It actually sucks moisture from you each time you exhale. You should be drinking at least a gollon of water each day, even if you are just sitting in class.


Take lots of picture. This is a gorgeous place lots of incredible views and wildlife.


Your living quarters are spacious wall tents with a closet, electricity and metal cots with comfortable mattress. But the doors are still just canvas flapes and the deer and skunk can smell food from a mile away. NO FOOD OF ANY KIND IN THE TENT, unless you want company.


One night is western night, BBQ, barn dance, western games, branding. The branding lines can be long so get in line early. Dress the part of cowboy life it adds to the fun.


Be open to change.


Be willing to participate.


The classes are more conferences than lecture. Everyone has solutions and successes to share.


Expect to come back to PTC again and again. Once you go you will get Philmont Fever. It's a place the entire family will fall in love with.


Happy Scouting,


Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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My advice to every member of your family is to make friends with as many people as possible. Have each and every one keep a little spiral notebook in their back pocket and a pen in their front pocket. When they meet someone -- people from all over the U.S. and abroad are going to be there -- have them get their name, address and phone number. Then they can keep in touch later.


When I say, make friends, I mean say hello to everyone. Even the people that are just walking by. The friendly atmosphere of Philmont is rarely duplicated outside of small-town take-any-place-USA.


As to the training, don't argue with strangers is also, I feel, good advice. I know of a guy who was a bit of a blow-hard (okay, he was a stuffed shirted know-it-all.) He attended Philmont Training on a Cub Scout topic and got into a very heated argument with a fellow-participant (or so he thought) after class. The participant had raised a point which the representative of the council I served strongly disagreed with. He yelled and screamed at his fellow participant, in front of others, and called him names.


The fellow participant took his rantings with aplomb and finally just walked away. Another participant walked up to the representative of our council and said, "Do you know who that man was?"


"No," the volunteer replied, "Does it matter?"


"Not to me. It might to him. He's the national director of Cub Scouting."


Whoooops. It's not an idle story. I heard the story from both the volunteer and the professional -- there wasn't any variance between the two stories.


Anyway -- what I meant to say was congratulations on being selected to attend the Philmont Training Center!


Here's the process by which you were invited:


Annuallly, the list of courses is sent to the Scout Executive. The Scout Executive passes the list along to the professional staff. The professionals (often with volunteer input) decide which volunteer to invite to which course. The professionals are instructed to invite those they're grooming, those who would appreciate the invitation from the Chief Scout Executive even if they might not attend or might not be able to attend, and those who will represent the council well.


The invitation is not an automatic. I have worked with volunteers whom I would not recommend go to Philmont for training because I felt they would not represent the council well, or would in fact represent it badly. Obviously your council feels it will be well-represented by you. They also feel that your training will benefit the council.


When I was the age of your son, my Dad was invited to Philmont for training. I went on a Mountain Trek and had a wonderful 5 day experience and got the very rare Philmont Arrowhead patch with MT in the bottom. My little brother went to Rocky Mountain Scout Reservation at Philmont and had a wonderful time. It can be a great experience for the whole family.


Best of luck. Enjoy!



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Thanks guys. I use to live in southern Arizona (Sierra Vista) as a child so I know about the dry air. I don't take to the sun very well (Scottish / Irish) but the wife and kids have some Mediteranean blood in them so they will do better.


As for clothes (I'll probably be attending in late June/early July), is it usually BSA gear only or should I bring my "civies?" Of course, I'll bring both but what ratio?


I'm looking forward to it.


P.S. Bob White, you mentioned that the branding lines were long. I didn't think a conservative Republican like yourself would get into brandings. Did you get "BSA" or "Bob White" burned into your flesh? Just kidding! Thanks again for the advice.(This message has been edited by acco40)

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A couple of things... (well 4 things)

1. Having rolls of quarters for the laundry really helps!

2. Bring council strips to trade. I brought patches from activities, and council strips. The council strips went pretty quick. I could barely move the activity patches.

3. Someone told me that the towns around Philmont fund projects with the money they get from speeders going to Philmont. When I was out there (1999) the speed limit changed on different parts of the road, so watch it, because if you don't, chances are the highway patrol will!

4. Come home and share what you learn! Take your notes with the anticipation of sharing the information with others at RT, Pow Wows etc.


Hope you and your family have a great time! I really enjoyed myself and I learned a lot.(This message has been edited by Gidget)

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I wouldn't quite say "thinking of taking" because I believe it is by invite only and I was invited for only one course. I don't recall the specific name right now but it essentially was Scoutmaster training (Strictly for Scoutmasters?).

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  • 2 months later...

For those of you who have been to PTC i have a question.

In the brochure it says that a car is handy for your off time. Is this really necessary?

We are planing to get a car for a later trip after PTC but it would help to know if we need it earlier.


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I found having a car useful. Wednesday is a day off. You can stay on the ranch and take hikes, but if you want to visit Taos or go to some of tours in Cimarron (out to supper)you'll need a car or know someone who you can latch up with.


A couple of other general suggestions: bring a mat or rug for your tent. Some of the tents are wood floors and some are cement, so 2 rugs aren't bad. I know of someone else who had a group from their council and they stretched lights from all their tents. Bring an extention cord. You can use it for an alarm/clock radio, extra lamp, or for you techies, a computer or cell phone charger.

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Be Prepared to have a blast.

The training is excellent & the fellowship is fine. Can anyone tell me if our Christmas lights are still making the rounds? They started as a fun night light for a 3 year old, but were already strung inside another tent as we left for a little more festive tent illumination.)

The rug is a great idea, we took a U of DE flag (Go HENS!) and I do think people stopped by just to say DELA-where? We had great time and the car really worked out for us.



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  • 3 weeks later...

My family went 6-14-03 my wife two sons 17&14 and my daughter of12-- we drove from Mpls. left early to visit freinds in Peblo Co. for three days to get use to alt. Once we arrived things ran real smooth -- you sign up for activities for your wife and kids -- food is great my family had a great time they still keep in touch with the members in their groups by e-mail.Advice -- dress for temps from 80's in the day and cool in the PM about 50's F -- lots of water good shoes and a hat-- if your sons go on a trek they need to pack using Philmonts requirements -- every day your family spends the day traveling or doing things together in their group-- except Wed, thats a free day that you spend with your family site seeing ect. Our week was not vary common it rained every day ( a small amount in the AM or at night just enough to make your trek muddy this was a rare week)-- You will have a great time -- my family asking to go this year. Staff is well prepared RM

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We had our car there for the week. It did help keep a lot of the clutter out of the tents and we did use it on the day off as well as to pick up ice and bottled water for Her That Must Be Obeyed.

The Man Of Steele (Hi Dave!!) hits on a lot of good points. It is one of the most friendly places that I have ever been. Sad to say the week that we were there it was wet and at times cold. Be prepared to spend a lot more then you budget in the trading post.

One thing that really got to me was when you talk to other Scouters from across this great nation you will find that your council isn't as bad as you think it is!!

We arrived a day early and I wasn't that impressed with the local hotel or the food there. The other stores are good and we again spent a little more then we expected too in one of the art galleries.


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