Philmont Advisor Skill School helps you know before you go

PASS-Philmont-Advisor-Skill-SchoolWhen preparing for Philmont, you’ll no doubt have a ton of questions.

What gear do I bring? What’s a typical day like? How do I get in “Philmont shape”? How do I select leadership positions for my crew? What’s a smellable? Will I have a life-changing experience I’ll never forget?

I’ll answer that last one: Absolutely.

As for the others, I know just the thing: the Philmont Advisor Skill School, or PASS.

PASS comes in two flavors: 

  • A four-day, three-night trek with other adult advisors offered three times this fall at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico
  • A one-day (10-hour) course taught by a Philmont Ranger and offered this fall, winter and spring in cities across the country

A third offering, the free two-hour Philmont Advisor Workshop, also will be offered this fall, winter and spring in cities across the country.

All three courses are for adults 18 and up. Here’s some more info on each.

GOOD: Philmont Advisor Workshop

What you’ll learn

PAW programs provide a nice introduction to crew advisors to encourage constructive and smooth preparations for your Philmont trek. You’ll learn about physical conditioning, conducting a shakedown hike, crew leadership positions, preparing youth leaders prior to your trek, travel to and from Philmont, establishing a crew Philmont committee, and more.

When and where

PAW courses are two-hour evening workshops, typically 7 to 9 p.m. They will be offered in cities from coast to coast this fall, winter and spring. See the complete list here.

How much?

PAW courses are free.

Learn more: Here.

BETTER: Philmont Advisor Skill School in the field (Field-PASS)

What you’ll learn

Field-PASS is taught by a Philmont Ranger in a city parks and state parks across the country. In addition to the info taught in PAW, you’ll learn all about the backcountry and logistical fundamentals of Philmont over the course of the day. You’ll enjoy a trail lunch and dinner in between training sessions. At the conclusion of the course, advisors will receive PASS materials to share with crew members.

When and where

From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on selected Saturdays and Sundays this fall, winter and spring in cities from coast to coast. Here’s the schedule:

  • Oct. 10 – Chicago
  • Oct. 11 — Chicago
  • Oct. 17 — Minneapolis
  • Nov. 7 – St. Louis
  • Nov. 14 – Kansas City, Mo.
  • Dec. 6 – Raleigh, N.C.
  • Dec. 12 – Atlanta
  • Jan. 16 – San Francisco*
  • Jan. 23 – Los Angeles*
  • Jan. 24 – Los Angeles*
  • Feb. 20 – Houston*
  • Feb. 27 – Dallas*
  • Feb. 28 – Fort Worth*
  • April 9 – Washington, D.C.*
  • April 10 – Washington, D.C.*
  • April 16 – Philadelphia*
  • April 23 – Boston*

Those marked with * are tentative. See the latest complete list here.

How much?

Field-PASS is $25.

Learn more: Here.

BEST: Philmont Advisor Skill School at Philmont

What you’ll learn

They say you learn best by doing, so that makes PASS at Philmont the best option of all. This immersive three-night program takes you camping in the Philmont backcountry while reviewing best practices for preparing the most successful Philmont expedition. You’ll learn about:

  • land navigation
  • hiking etiquette and safety
  • setting up a campsite in Philmont’s backcountry
  • smellables
  • bear bag hanging
  • dining fly and tent setup
  • gas stove operation and care
  • Philmont’s backcountry cooking method
  • dish washing and sanitation
  • sump use
  • campfire procedures
  • efficient breaking camp
  • crew leadership positions
  • preparing youth leaders prior to your trek
  • physical conditioning
  • travel to and from Philmont
  • conducting a shakedown hike
  • establishing a crew Philmont committee

When and where

PASS at Philmont is offered three times:

  • Sept. 25 to 28
  • Oct. 23 to 26
  • Oct. 30 to Nov. 2

How much?

$76, which covers shuttle transportation to/from Denver, lodging, gear, nine meals, and PASS materials including the PASS Patch.

Learn more: Here.


Photo from Philmont’s Facebook page

About Bryan Wendell 2882 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.