Spread the word: Help send Scouters to conferences at Philmont Training Center

philmont-ambassador-patchThere’s another side to Philmont where training, not trekking, takes center stage.

The Philmont Training Center, the BSA’s national volunteer education facility, hosts more than 5,000 Scouters and family members each summer for its signature weeklong courses. 

But even though everyone’s heard of Philmont — aka “Scouting paradise” — not everyone knows about the conferences designed to educate volunteers in all areas of the program, from Cub Scouts to Venturing.

That’s where the new Philmont Training Center Ambassador program steps up. This council-level volunteer is responsible for promoting PTC training opportunities within his or her council.

What’s in it for you? And how do you become your council’s PTC ambassador? Read on… Continue reading


A stunning look at Philmont through the eyes of a Ranger

Tucker Prescott, the mind behind the video.

Tucker Prescott, the mind behind the video.

What’s it like to spend a summer as a Philmont Ranger?

Incredible seems too weak a word, and amazing doesn’t quite cut it either.

When words fail, try video. That’s the approach Tucker Prescott took with his magical, transcendent short film called “Philmont: A Ranger’s Summer.”

It manages to be both understated and powerful by sharing what one Ranger’s summer looked like.

Enough words; just watch:  Continue reading


Philmont’s turning 75! So what’s in it for you?

It’s OK to stare.

Feast your eyes on Philmont Scout Ranch’s droolworthy 75th Anniversary Arrowhead patch.

As if 10 days at Philmont weren’t great enough, anybody who takes a trek in 2013 gets one of these eye-catching patches to hang on their right pocket.

In 1938, Waite Phillips donated his first gift of land to the BSA. Seventy-five years later, Philmont plans to celebrate this initial donation and the continuing legacy of the BSA’s hiking high-adventure base in New Mexico.

To get one of these patches — and the unforgettable Philmont experience that comes with it — register for a 2013 trek soon. Spaces are still available, but I wouldn’t procrastinate too long.

Photo from Flickr. Some rights reserved by Dan_Trew


Chill out! Philmont’s open in the winter, too

One night in a snow shelter, and you’ll be hooked.

I’m speaking from experience. In 2000, I attended Kanik, Philmont’s winter offering, with Troop 1776.

The crisp morning air, the snow-covered mountains, and good friends — all in a setting unlike any I had seen. Sure, I had been to Philmont a couple times before 2000, but those trips were in the summer. Seeing Scouting’s paradise covered with an impossibly white layer of snow made this trip unforgettable.

It’s like taking your favorite dessert and adding a layer of icing. Very sweet indeed.  Continue reading


PhilCast’s second season takes you deeper inside Philmont

Think you know Philmont? Never been?

Either way, you can get a backstage pass to the BSA’s famous hiking and training destination in New Mexico with PhilCast, the weekly behind-the-scenes video series I told you about last summer.

It’s back for a second season, and you can watch all the 2012 videos right here.

Bryan Hayek, Philmont’s marketing manager, told me that this season’s videos employ a fresher, tighter shooting style compared with last year’s episodes. Also new: The 2012 season will have just one host instead of a different one each week. Continue reading


For the first time ever, Philmont offers Wood Badge in Spanish

Todos los Scouts se merece un líder entrenado.

In other words, “Every Scout deserves a trained leader.”

The statement is true in any language, and now, Scout leaders who are more comfortable speaking Spanish can take the highest level of adult leader training, Wood Badge, at a first-of-its-kind national Spanish-language Wood Badge course taught at the Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, N.M.

The course, held in conjunction with the Asociación de Scouts de México, takes place July 29 to Aug. 4, 2012. Read on for all the details.

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Getting away and giving back, Philmont style

Give and you shall receive.

At this fall’s Volunteer Vacation at Philmont Scout Ranch, participants give a week of trail service and receive an unforgettable adventure in the captivating Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northeast New Mexico.

The American Hiking Society and the Boy Scouts of America joined forces to craft this trail stewardship event, which will take place Sept. 23 – 29, 2012.

It’s a perfect combo. You do a Good Turn for Scouting, meet like-minded Scouters and Scouts, and spend a week at Philmont.

Sign up today! A week of trail building has got beat a week of building Excel spreadsheets.

Here are the details:

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Learn the secrets of storytelling in the age of social media

You don’t tell young people why they should join Scouting.

You show them.

That’s the thinking behind the BSA’s new Visual Storytelling Workshops, happening this summer.

Here’s a chance to spend several days learning the secrets of storytelling in the age of social media. The goal? Turning Scouters and Scouts nationwide into visual storytellers, ready and able to share the excitement and adventure of Scouting through audio, video, and photography.

Do I have your attention? Read on to find out how you can sharpen your storytelling skill-set.

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Room to grow: Bringing Scouting to the Hispanic community

You can’t ignore the numbers.

According to the 2010 Census, 16.3 percent of U.S. citizens are of Hispanic or Latino origin.

In the BSA, the proportion is much lower. Hispanic youth account for just 6.8 percent of all members.

I see that discrepancy as a challenge to volunteers and professionals at the national, council, district, and unit levels to continue to grow the Scouting program in the Hispanic community. You can make a difference; read on to find out how.

Continue reading