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Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp, Philmont’s incredible training facility, officially opens

Rayado-patchTop-level leadership training has a new home: Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp.

Philmont’s advanced leadership development site will host NAYLE (the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience), the Philmont Leadership Challenge, a few Wood Badge courses (including the one I staffed) and other Philmont Training Center courses.

Scouts, Scouters and their families gathered on July 18 to dedicate the Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp and honor those who paved the way.

The dedication ceremony included recognition of Scout volunteers who have donated thousands of hours (and, in some cases, dollars) to the cause of adult and youth training for the Boy Scouts of America.

The names of these fine Scouters now grace the buildings, roads and campsites at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp, meaning generations of Scouts and Scouters will know their names.

Rayado-ZaccaraNames like Dan Zaccara, whose Zacarra Leadership Lodge honors the man who served as the chairman of Boy Scout Leader Training and later of the National Volunteer Development Committee. He was a member of the task force that helped create modern Wood Badge.

Or the Stevens Learning Pavilion, where Mary Stevens is recognized for serving as chairwoman of the Advanced Leadership Training task force of the Boy Scout Training Committee and the National Volunteer Development Committee. She also led the effort to design NAYLE, National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the Philmont Leadership Challenge.

And that’s not all. See a complete list of the honorees below, as printed in the dedication ceremony program. Click each image to enlarge:




15 Comments on Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp, Philmont’s incredible training facility, officially opens

  1. Brian J. Woznicki, M.S. // August 13, 2014 at 8:12 am // Reply

    I hope accessibility for scouts and scouters with disabilities has been built into all facilities.

    • Brian, I agree! As we saw with Jambo and the Summit, even consulting with the top people in the industry does not ensure universal design and accessibility are incorporated from the ground up, when it will be most cost-effective. People with disAbilities are one of the most underserved groups in Scouting, yet I fully believe they constitute the group that needs what we offer most.

      • Brian J. Woznicki, M.S. // August 13, 2014 at 9:44 am // Reply

        As an Eagle Scout with a disability, I’m passionate about access to all aspects of Scouting. I’m an expert on Scouting, especially Scouting for youth with physical disabilities. Yet, my expertise is rarely utilized. Why?

        • ScoutingManiac // August 16, 2014 at 9:04 pm //

          The best way to help would to join your Local Councils Scouts with Disabilities Council Committee. Also, each district within a local council is encouraged to have a Special Needs Scouting Advocate on the District Committee. Or a third option would be to become an Assistant Council Commissioner for Special Needs Scouting.

          However, even with those ways of participating, I still agree the BSA has a long way to go if they want Scouts with disabilities to be truly and fully included in all Scouting activities.

      • ScoutingManiac // August 16, 2014 at 9:17 pm // Reply

        I completely agree that people with disabilities are definitely one of the most underserved groups in Scouting, however the Summit, was never really designed for full universal access. The Summit, just like the other 3 National High Adventure Bases, does allow for some people with disabilities to participate in these High Adventure Bases programs. This is not to say that the BSA does everything it can to ensure universal access because they don’t. Yes, there is work to be done with developing more Scouting opportunities for those with disabilities but that is going to require serious commitments from people who are willing to make grassroot changes at their local level. Only when these grass root changes occur at the local level, will it be time to start implementing them on a wider basis.

        • Brian J. Woznicki, M.S. // August 17, 2014 at 9:17 am //

          For ANY BSA properties not to be completely accessible by design is unacceptable. Inclusion of scouts and scouters with disabilities is not a “nice to have” to is essential to fulfilling our mission.

        • ScoutingManiac // August 19, 2014 at 12:32 am //

          Philmont is not fully accessible. It is accessible for some programs but not all programs. Same with Northern Tier.

        • Brian J. Woznicki, M.S. // August 19, 2014 at 8:58 am //

          Philmont is not fully accessible. It is accessible for some programs but not all programs. Same with Northern Tier. WHY?

        • ScoutingManiac // August 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm //

          Philmont, has a backpacking program and I couldn’t imagine every person with physical disabilities being successful. Plus Philmont requires Scouts with certain medical conditions to go through additionally screening in order to be allowed to participate in the program. The biggest limiting factor probably though has to do with BMI, though while not necessarily a disability in its standard sense, does regularly prevent some Scouts from participating.

        • ScoutingManiac // August 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm //

          Brian maybe it would be best if we were to continue this conversation outside of the comment section of this post. Please feel free to contact me at

  2. The best thing about Rayado Ridge, is Bob Langoria. You will find him there.

  3. Nelson Block // August 13, 2014 at 9:19 am // Reply

    So glad to see so many friends recognized. So sad to see that we ignored the training leaders of the past, who trained those honored here, like “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt.

  4. Jason Schubert // August 13, 2014 at 11:24 am // Reply

    Glad to see Nancy Kline honored. She is a Philmont treasure who has never sought the recognition she so dearly deserves.

  5. As a former NJLIT Scoutmaster, who used the Rayado Ridge as a campsite in its first year back in the day and as the former Assistant Camp Director and Camp Director for the National Instructor Training Center in the years from 1970 to 1973 I really applaud the revitalization of that end of the Ranch for Training. It brings joy to the hearts of all the former staff members who worked there to see it used again. Many fond memories and friendships were established in those years. We are still connected and will be hosting a Rayado Staff Reunion in July of 2015. Go Christmas in July at Philmont!

  6. shawnwright560130166 // August 31, 2014 at 8:44 pm // Reply

    I was lucky enough to participate in the Philmont Leadership Challenge this past July. The course started the day after the dedication. I have to say that it is an outstanding camp! I could go on an on about the facilities and the campsites but you need to experience it yourself. It was also a treat to be able to travel to Zastrow for our backpacking trip. A trip to the original Wood Badge in America site and the scouting rededication ceremony made the week for this multi-wood badge staffer.

    To echo what Pete said, Bob Langoria is one of the best “things” there.

    Also the latrines are the nicest you will ever find. Not the red roof inns my friends!

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