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:





    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

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

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

        • 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.

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Brian J. Woznicki makes a very good point. I am an Eagle Scout with 3 Silver Palms and a Silver Beaver. I just attended Philmont this year for week one. Philmont has done a lot to accommodate disabilities. Especially shower facilities. The thing they need to do is use the tent city close to the dining hall and classrooms. That would cut down on all the walking required, Scooter rentals should be considered too. The Jambo was a joke as far as accommodating Scouts and Scouters with physical disabilities. I would loved to have had the chance to experience it, I have been in Scouting for over 50 years.

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