Jump to content

Philmont Training Center Made Easy

Recommended Posts

The notion that PTC is expensive is a misconception held primarily by those who have never been. In their defense, a lot have people who want to go have not gotten the opportunity becasue the the "invitation" process that has been used was largely misused and misunderstood at both the council and volunteer level.


That is about to change.


But first...consider this. Disney World is a lot more expensive than Philmont and yet millions go to Disney World every year. People pay to wait in long lines at Disney World. PTC by comp[arison is a bargain and except for a few minutes waiting to say grace befopre the meal there are no lines to take up your program time. They have activities for every age group so the entire family can go with you.


Back to the reservation changes...

Next program year you will not need to wait for a council invitation, (you never really had to but that is another story). Instead you will be able to go on line and see the entire offering of conferences at PTC, select the one you want to attend and apply on-line.


Your council will then get notice of your intent to attend and will verify your membership and eligibility and add their approval to the application.


This should make PTC far more accessible and allow scouters to register early and easily for the 2009 conferences.



(This message has been edited by Bob White)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya can't compare the cost of PTC to the cost of Disney World or any other theme park! They aren't the same! Compare the cost of PTC to another conference!


I attend the New Wilmington Mission Conference every year. This is an eight day conference on the campus of Westminster College. The cost for 2008 was between $355 - $395 depending on when you registered. The cost includes room, 3 meals a day and full access to the entire conference. The cost is very similar to PTC.


Does anyone else know of any other conferences that are similar?


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just been to PTC for the first time last week, I feel qualified on this one. It was about $700 for both my 12 year old son and I to attend. Well worth the money. No question. Case closed.


The cost comes in transportation. Airfare, hotel, and rental car brought the total cost over $2,000. Still worth it? You bet. Both of us agree we'll go again as soon as possible.


The cost could be problematic for some. But would your CO cover part of the cost? Is the portion directly related to the volunteer tax deductible? Probably.


Like anything else, with some effort you can probably make it happen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not like everyone gets to visit Disney World either, yea I know it would be great but reality is reality


I have no doubt that a trip to PTC is worth the money, but first you have to have the money, and that is not always possible.


Has there ever been a thought to make PTC level courses available in places other than PTC?



Link to post
Share on other sites



I do not think so. At the Monday general assembly of all adults (participants and spouses), Brian Gray, the Director of PTC, welcomed us to PTC, "the BSA's Volunteer Training Center."


I know the first BSA/LNT co-sponsored LNT Master Trainer courses were run at both Philmont and Northern Tier.


Remember, it's not just the scenery. BSA has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into physical plant as well as technology, and site-wide wi-fi. The peer sites are university classrooms. We'd be in dorms or hotels instead of PTC's tent cities, the course price would go up, and the after-hours opportunities would go down.



GW said, in part:



Expensive is in the wallet of the payer.


Agreed. My trip this year was a significant budget item for me. $350 conference fee, plus 1200 miles driving, plus two overnights in transit. It came on-budget over a year earlier. Since EagleSon had a camp staff contract (and this year may be his first to receive staff scholarship foundation $$$), and since EagleSon had just gotten back from his graduation trip (Missouri Ambassadors of Music two week trip to Europe), he didn't go this time. That $250 just wasn't in the cards.


Heck, yes, I enjoyed the trip from the educational and the vacation aspects. Even so, it was most deliberately planned.


My thoughts(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just love the title, Philmont Training Center made easy. I am one of those who actually had to make the choice between Disney World and PTC.


First of all, its not just about money. Many folks are limited by vacation time provide by their jobs, lets say an average of two weeks a year. And if you are active, it is likely that one week went to either summer camp or high adventure. That in itself is a difficult choice, especially for the Scoutmaster who feels obligated to attend summer camp or go with the older son to Northern Tier.


Then there is the spouse that not only reminds you about the week at summer camp, but also Wood Badge, Scout Master Basic, Webelos training, District Committee meetings, Round Table Meetings, Pow Wows, JLTs, NYLTs, and lets not forget the weekly Unit meetings, monthly campouts, PLC meetings, and all those other unit activities. Remember, some families live with Scouting everyday one way or another. Is the family supposed to fit in there somewhere?


OK, Im a pretty good talker and I manage to explain the savings we would make by doing our family vacation in the beautiful New Mexico Mountains. My CPA wife loves that idea and wants to hear more. Well, when little sister looks at the choice of the Princess Castle at DISNEY WORLD or hiking around everyday in the woods, Philmont losses. Hmm OK, one vote no, one vote yes. At this point we are going to Philmont because the two votes left are the two sons who are Boy Scouts and would love another week at Philmont. Whoops, the key word is ANOTHER. I loose.


Lets face it; PTC requires a lot more than just financial sacrifice from the families of those who the training is really pointed at. I hope to attend PTC because I think BW and folks like him need some real world balance, but it will be at a time when I probably dont really need the benefits I gain from it. Still, I'm thinking about it. I applaud those who can and do attend, but the case isnt closed, it is a luxury most scouters cant afford.


I love this scouting stuff.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Fellow Scouters,



I would certainly expect the courses at PTC are worthwhile. I believe the conference cost are fair.


For myself. I have received a few invitations. But never able to attend (yet) for many reasons.


Timing is everything.


In another post I have confessed I was a single father for a few years. Other years, I've committed my entire vacation time to Summer Camp participant and staff, as well as chairing or staffing other unit, district and council events. Other years, when my calendar was not as committed, I could not stretch the paycheck far enough for the course and long distance travel. Humorously (and slightly disappointing), just before my family attend NSJ, I enrolled in a week-long Powderhorn about eight months earlier (October 2004).

Finally, a Powderhorn course that my personal finances and vacation timing lined up. A month out from the Powderhorn course, after I purchased airline tickets, I received a refund check in the mail (not even a letter in the envelope). I had to call and ask why they sent my money back. The disappointment, I found out I was only one of four Scouters registered for Powderhorn at the 30 day limit.


Currently, I'm looking at attending Philmont for the first time with my family, for an upcoming council trek. It would be great to have another week of vacation to spend at the PTC. But I'm just not sure, as we are planning out our family time and Scouting time for the next year.


Personally, Sometimes I have the time, but cannot stretch my budget enough. Other times, I've had the budget, but all my vacation for the year was already spent Scouting.


I expect many other Scouters are in the same position as myself. The desire is there, but the timing is just not right.


But for any of my friends, I would certainly encourage them to try to find the timing and finances to attend PTC.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly not everyone goes to Disney World but millions do every year. You could make the cost of Philmont $250 and you would have some people who could not afford the price. Look at how many people on this forum complain about the cost of Wood Badge, heck we have had people complain about the cost of a camporee.


Not every Scout gets to go to a jamboree, does that mean we should criticize those who do go? Should they not be allowed to wear a special patch for having gone just because others couldn't go or chose not to go?


Those complaints do not mean that Philmont or other such experiences are too expensive. It means that diffrent people have different resources and that will always be the case. But just because it is not in a persons budget this year does not mean it will not be some other time in the future.


The question was asked "Has there ever been a thought to make PTC level courses available in places other than PTC?"

and it was answered incorrectly.


Yes, it has not only been considered but it has been a primary concern of the National Training Committee, and this winter it will happen.


Some of the most popular course from the Boy Scout series of conferences will be held at the BSA's Florida Sea Base January of 2009. This is not looked at as the final product but a beginning.



I do love the comment about real world balance. The real world is what you make it. As far as scouting goes you can choose to understand and follow the program or choose not to. If our worlds are all that different Barry it is probably just that we made different choices.








(This message has been edited by Bob White)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to PTC in 2004. With travel from the Maine Wilderness, it cost me a month's pay (roughly $1.7K at the time). I was recognized as the person who had traveled the furthest to attend the particular week I was there.


Was it worth it? In my case, NO, absolutely not. The course I took was misdescribed as an advanced course in district/council activities planning. Instead I got a 101 planning course I could have taught at my local scout university. I got nothing new to take back to my district. I contributed a lot to other attendees, but I got NOTHING out of it. I provided two pages of written feedback at the end of the course over my disappointment, the poor course description in comparison to what it was and if they would like to see more folks from my neck of the woods, they had best correct this problem. I got more out of doing touristy things the two days before and after my week at Philmont. If it had been possible to get a registration refund after the first day, I'd have left. That's how disappointed I was with my training.


However, I was impressed that the following year, they corrected the description to reflect the content of the course. I guess someone read my feedback and took it seriously.


Would I go again? If I could ever afford to blow a month's pay again (that was before I got a mortgage) and the right course was offered with a non-misleading description, I'd think about it, but I don't know if I'd want to take that kind of gamble a second time. That's a lot of money to waste if you don't get something out of it.


When others ask me about PTC I simply advise them to make sure they are choosing a topic they want to learn more about, but are going into knowing little about.

(This message has been edited by moxieman)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, 1 week free at summer camp with the troop.


2nd week with venturing crew at national reeactment.


3rd week free with church youth group on mission trip.


It takes more than money to get to some of these things. As long as my priority is with the kids, it makes it difficult to find the time let alone $$'s.


It would be fantastic if this training were available in other areas, more people would have an opportunity to go and 20 people all traveling to NM is more expensive than one person going to the 20 and renting a lecture hall in a hotel.


Gotta decide whether it's the training or the experience at Philmont that is the most important part of the trip.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Crew 21 Adv,


One of the things I like about PTC is the quality of the family programs wrapped around our training. The year EagleSon went with me, he went out and was challenged on his own trek. The young adult he is today is the better for that experience.


The kids, from toddlers up, do have excellent support. The pre-teens, boy and girl, are basically given a week of camp. They get COPE, a trail day, and an overnight out in the backcountry. The spouses do all manner of stuff. Some this year went to Santa Fe, Taos, and Angel Fire. Credit Cards... CHARGE!


Moxieman commented that you have to be careful in your subject area. I tend to agree. If you're a near expert in your field, you may not need to take the training. That said, expanding your resource base is always a good thing. That was the biggest long term benefit of WB to me, and it's also the biggest long term benefit of PTC. I'm better able to serve the units I work with for becoming friends with a host of people :)


Of course, at the moment times aren't easy. Attendance was down this year at my week year over year. Part of it was "where does the money go?" The daily commute isn't cheap. Putting food on the table, paying the mortgage, and paying the next generations education isn't cheap.


I wish for others the experience, but I pray it happens for them on win/win terms! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

That sea base thing looks real interesting. I am an ocean guy I just don't get the whole mountain trail thing. The $300 sounds too cheap for meals, lodging and classes for a week in the keys. Heck the troop is going camping there for three days and the cost per boy is $120 they are going bug hunting. It does include the one day boat charter. BTW for those of you in the mountains bugs are Florida rock lobster a tasty treat. I have paid or had paid for me significantly more dollars for various trainings attended over the years. The price is not really the problem it is putting it where you can get too it cost effectively that is. Dollars poured into your head are never wasted if you come home with one thing you can use you are way ahead long term.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...