Bring the family to Philmont Training Center in 2014

The Villa Philmonte (photo by "the third dream" on Flickr)
The Villa Philmonte (photo by "the third dream" on Flickr)

PTC-patchForget everything you think you know about conferences.

Forget the long lines at the buffet, the windowless meeting rooms at hotels, the boring PowerPoints, and the awkward social gatherings.

Conferences at the Philmont Training Center, Scouting’s paradise in the mountains of New Mexico, are anything but typical.

Spend a week there and you’ll never forget the picturesque mountain backdrop, engaging sessions guaranteed to improve your Scout unit, enjoyable cracker barrels with like-minded Scouters, and deer grazing near your tent.

And did I mention you can bring your spouse and kids? Philmont has a week of fun planned for spouses and kids of all ages — all for a fraction of what you’d spend for a week at Disney World.

I speak from experience. As you can see in the pictures below, I attended one of those PTC youth programs at age 12 while my dad participated in a week of Scout training there. My mom enjoyed her Philmont vacation with other spouses, and my sister, 14 at the time, made new friends in her PTC program.

Last summer, I took Wood Badge at PTC. And this Aug. 19-24, I’ll be staffing a Wood Badge course there. (By the way, there’s still room on our course if you want to sign up.)

Ready to go? Then you should know that registration opens today for 2014 conferences at PTC, where more than 6,000 Scouters and family members travel each year for an educational, engaging, entertaining week. To register, log onto MyScouting and click on the “Event Registration” tab.

Here’s what else you’ll want to know:

Conference offerings

Each summer, Philmont Training Center offers a mix of new courses and classic ones. As you can see, 2014 is no different.

With names like “Building Stronger Troops,” “Getting the 411 on the New Cub Scout Adventure Program,” “Effective Roundtables,” and “Programs That Rock,” PTC courses offer a clear outcome of the knowledge you’ll have when you drive home on Saturday.

If you’re like me, you’ll have just one problem with the offerings: too many great courses, not enough time.

2014 Philmont Training Center Fees

Fees include conference materials, meals, lodging, and activities:

Conference, $515

Non-Conference Adult (20+), $365

Ages 14-20, $305

Ages 6-13, $195

Ages 5 and under, $95

Mountain Trek, $395

NAYLE, $385

STEM Youth Conference, $385

Bryan at the PTC in 1996

As I mentioned above, I attended a youth course way back when we wore red shoulder loops. Here I am:


Did you find me? That’s me in the middle row, fourth from the left.

Here’s that same photo, zoomed in:


About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.