Philmont Council Contingents

Philmont "Rules"

The "rules" and "policies" below are from the Council & Unit Planning Guide/2009:

Adult Leadership - BSA Policy*

The best available adult leadership should be recruited to accompany each crew.  In keeping with the policy of the Boy Scouts of America, there are no gender restrictions for adult leadership at Philmont except that each Coed Venturing Crew must have coed adult leaders.  Each adult must be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.

Crew Makeup

Each Philmont Expedition or group must have at least two BSA registered adult advisors, one advisor must be at least 21 years of age, the second advisor must be at least 18 years of age.  Each crew is required to have a majority of youth participants, and the maximum number of adults (over 21) is four (4) per crew.  Participants 18 through 20 years of age may be counted as youth or adult crew members.

Coed Venturing Crews are required to provide coed leadership while en route to and from Philmont and while hiking the trails of Philmont.  A Coed Venturing Crew must have at least one male advisor and at least one female advisor, each of whom must be 21 years of age.  Male and female youth participants will not share the same sleeping facility.  Male and female advisors are required to have separate sleeping facilities.  Married couples serving as adult advisors may share the same quarters if appropriate facilities are available.  Female advisors must be responsible for the female participants, male advisors must be responsible for the male participants.

When staying in a tent, no youth will stay in the tent of an adult other than his or her parent or guardian.

Expedition advisors must be physically capable of hiking and camping in Philmont's high mountains for the length of the expedition.  Each expedition advisor is expected to reflect high moral standards established by custom, traditional values, and religious teaching.

Philmont recommends groups identify alternate leadership able to "step in" at the last minute in the event a leader is not able to attend.  Philmont cannot provide staff to meet the BSA, two-deep leadership requirement.

* Refer to Guide to Safe Scouting, No. 34416, for additional adult leadership policy.

Youth Participants

Philmont participants MUST be:
          (at least 14 by January 1, 2012*) 
                         -- OR --

          (have completed the 8th grade AND be at least 13 years of age prior to participation). 
To avoid disappointment, please do not request or expect exceptions!  Requirements for Philmont participation cannot be relaxed.

In keeping with the policies of the Boy Scouts of America, rules for participation are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability.

Youth must be registered members of the Boy Scouts of America, and may participate in a Philmont expedition in one of the following ways:

  • As members of a chartered unit -- Scout Troop, Varsity Team, or Venturing Crew

  • As members of a council contingent or district contingent with required leadership.

  • As individuals in the Rayado Men/Women, Ranch Hands, Order of the Arrow Trail Crew, or R.O.C.S. Men/Women (Roving Outdoor Conservation School) program.

Unregistered guests or family members are not permitted.

NOTE:  click here for a more in-depth explanation of age and crew makeup.  Age Examples

* The year shown here can be replaced by the year of the trek.  The "date of participation" is the first day of the trek -- the "arrival date".  For example, if the expedition number is "625-M", this date is June 25 (625) of the year of the trek.

Youth Protection

All registered adults must have current  BSA Youth Protection Training for participation in any national event/activity.  Because of the great concern the Boy Scouts of America has for the problem of child abuse in our society, the Youth Protection program has been developed to help safeguard both our youth and adult members (NOTE--BSA policy is that the Youth Protection must have been taken within three years of the last day of the trek).

Hazing, initiations, and Discipline

Any form of hazing, initiation, ridicule, or inappropriate teasing is prohibited and must not be allowed.

A Word About Conduct

The Scout Oath and Law should serve as the guide in all interactions with other participants and staff.  Philmont serves groups from many different backgrounds and it is important that each group respect the other.  This includes coed and female crews and female staff.  It is not acceptable to act in a manner which belittles, harasses, or makes others uncomfortable.

Each group should develop a procedure regarding unacceptable behavior and/or conduct.  The best method to accomplish this is to outline expectations before the trip, as well as consequences if a participant chooses to act in a way contrary to established guidelines.  Parents/guardians must be informed of the guidelines.  Remember, advisors are responsible for their participants at all times -- Philmont cannot provide supervision should a participant be removed from the trail for discipline reasons, they must be sent home at their own expense.  An adult advisor will be required to come off the trail to provide supervision and assist with transportation arrangements in the event a participant is sent home.

Philmont strongly recommends tobacco products not be used.  Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco is prohibited in all Philmont buildings, tents, vehicles, and on Philmont trails.  If tobacco is used, it must be in designated areas.

Possession or use of alcoholic beverages or abuse of prescribed or non-prescribed drugs (including marijuana) are expressly prohibited in the Philmont program.  Groups or individuals found in violation of this policy will be sent home immediately as arranged with the responsible council or parent/guardian.

First Aid and CPR Certification Required

Philmont requires that at least one person, preferably two, (either an advisor or a youth participant) in each crew be currently certified in American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid basic or the equivalent* and CPR from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross or the equivalent.  The American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid is a sixteen hour course designed to help in situations when help is not readily available.  Several hours may be required for Philmont staff to reach a remote backcountry location after a message is delivered to the nearest staffed camp.  First aid and CPR training will result in proper and prompt attention being given to injuries and/or illnesses.  You must present current certification cards upon check in to verify this requirement.

*Equivalent training can be obtained from the following nationally-recognized organizations:

  • American Red Cross

  • American Safety and Health Institute

  • Emergency Care and Safety Institute

  • National Outdoor Leadership School (WMI)

  • National Ski Patrol – Outdoor Emergency Care

  • Stonehealth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO)

  • Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA)

  • Wilderness Medical Society (WMS)

  • Wilderness Medicine Training Center

  • Wilderness Safety Council

  • Wilderness Safety & Emergency Response (W.I.S.E.R.)

The Boy Scouts of America and the American Red Cross have a national agreement, the primary goal of which is to help councils (with their districts and units) become self sufficient teaching Red Cross courses, including First Aid.  Wilderness First Aid Basic is specified in the agreement.  Through this agreement a local council can coordinate training of American Red Cross courses by providing BSA volunteers who are certified to instruct the course by the American Red Cross.  The fees for the course taught by the BSA volunteers are dramatically reduced and include a $5.00 administrative fee and the cost of materials.  Visit with your council service center for more information about the American Red Cross National Agreement. 

Philmont encourages each crew to have at least one person trained in American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid Basic or the equivalent.  However, Philmont will accept the following advance levels of training and a copy of the license or certification must be shared with Philmont during the registration process:

  • Wilderness First Responder

  • Outdoor Emergency Care

  • EMT Basic, Intermediate, or Paramedic

  • Military Corpsman or Medic

  • Registered Nurse

  • Nurse Practitioner

  • Physician’s Assistant


The Council Contingent travels in full Class-A uniforms.  There are no exceptions and this applies to both youth and adult participants. Arrive at the bus meeting location wearing a full summer “Class A” uniform.  This includes:

Primary Registration with a Boy Scout Troop:

Primary Registration with a Venturing Crew:

  • Tan uniform shirt (with Contingent Council patch)

  • Official Scout shorts (or Scout long pants)

  • Official Scout socks (if wearing Scout shorts)

  • Scout belt (web or leather)

  • Green uniform shirt (with Contingent Council patch)

  • Crew's "official" pant

  • Crew's "official" socks (if official pant is shorts)

  • Crew's "official belt

Uniforms may be either the traditional Scout uniforms or the "new" Centennial uniforms introduced in 2008.

Each participant should pack their base camp clothing in the contingent issued duffle bag and wear their crew's T-shirt under the Class-A uniform shirt on the bus. 

You will wear this “Class A” uniform at all times while we are in public from the time you arrive at the bus until we reach Philmont and then again from the time we leave Philmont until you leave the bus in Austin upon your return.  You will also wear the uniform if you take trips away from Philmont while in base camp (into Cimarron for example).  On the bus, while traveling, you will be able to remove your uniform shirt.  We may have occasions on which we will allow you to leave the bus in a “Class B” uniform which means that the uniform shirt is removed and you will wear your crew's T-shirt.