High-Adventure Week: Lose yourself (and find yourself) in the Philmont photo archive

HAW-TuesdayWant to go back to Philmont? Step into the time machine.

Philmont Scout Ranch has opened its vast archive of participant and staff photos to the public.

That means if you’ve participated in a Philmont program in the past quarter-century — cavalcade, traditional crew expedition, individual trek, Philmont Training Center or Philmont staff — your photo’s on there.

Viewing watermarked photos in the Philmont photo archive is free; buying a print or a high-res digital version will cost you $10 or $15, respectively.

The Philmont photo archive includes 2014 photos and goes back to 1988. Philmont says it’s working backward at a rate of about five summers per year.

So if you went to Philmont any time between 1965 (the year Philmont began saving participant and staff photo negatives) and 1987, be patient. Your photo will show up soon.

I was fortunate enough to go on two Philmont treks, first in 1999 and then again in 2002. I knew the dates our treks left (July 4, 1999, and June 26, 2002), so finding the photos took me about three minutes. That’s me on the far right in the photo above this post (see both photos below).

Philmont, which went all-digital with its participant and staff photos beginning in 2007, has scanned more than 100,000 photo negatives so far.

To find yours, check out the Philmont photo archive.

My trek photos

I enjoyed finding the photos from my two Philmont treks, first in 1999 and then in 2002. Look how much greener everything is in 1999. Philmont had been experiencing a serious drought during our 2002 trek, and you can tell when comparing the two photos taken three years apart from the same spot.

philmont-bryan-trek-1999-full philmont-bryan-trek-2002


  1. I realize I’ve been shooting out comments willy-nilly, but I’ve got to say, this is really cool. I’m tickled they kept all these, and so well catalogued. (713G 1999, 608H2 2003, 723J, 2005.) Brian, your as young as the Scouts I took to Philmont!

  2. I don’t see mine posted? 709 C 16 1998. Philmont, if you lost it, I have it framed and hanging on the wall of my office. I can scan you a copy if you need it.

  3. I have a nice hi-res scan of my father’s trek from I think 1956, possibly 1958 when he was an Explorer in Post 5 (Newark, OH). They didn’t put the year on the sign back then. More than happy to share it if they’d like it!

  4. I went in July 1971. Please don’t tell me I have to wait 3 and a half more years to see mine!!! My origional has been lost over the years. Please tell them to hurry up, guys from back then are getting OLD!!!

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