Philmont Training Center: The ultimate destination for Scouting families

PTC-training-coursesMake next summer the best one yet by taking your family to the Philmont Training Center.

With great conferences, a legendary setting, and activities for spouses and children, it truly is the ultimate destination for Scouting families.

You, the Scouter, want to be the best possible leader for your Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers or Sea Scouts. After a week at the beautiful Philmont Training Center in New Mexico, you will be. You’ll learn alongside like-minded Scouters from across the country in conferences designed for anyone in Scouting: newbies all the way to the most-seasoned veterans.

Your spouse can come, too. He or she will enjoy a week of fun — museum visits, local history, American Indian arts programs, pottery-making demonstrations, guided nature walks and programs, tours, trips to nearby towns, fishing and more.

And your children? They’re in for a real treat with carefully designed, age- and ability-specific programs conducted under the leadership of trained staff. I speak from experience when I say your children won’t want to leave when the week’s over.

Though family members go their separate ways during the morning and afternoon, they reunite for meals and in the evenings for dinner and family activities. There will be plenty of stories for each to tell about all the fun they had.

Ready to learn more? I checked in with Matt Rendahl, associate director of program at the Philmont Training Center, for the scoop.

PTC-instructorWho teaches Philmont Training Center conferences?

No less than the best volunteers and professionals from across the country.

These are the people who “wrote the book” — in some cases literally — on Scouting. I’m talking top-level trainers and Scouters, many giving up vacation time to share their knowledge with you.

There’s even one course — Engaging Millennial Parents in Scouting — taught by yours truly. I’m co-teaching that Aug. 7 to 13 course with my dad, the BSA’s former national training chairman (and father of two millennials).

Who can attend Philmont Training Center?

Any registered Scouter; there’s no other prerequisite. PTC is suited for brand-new Scouters and seasoned veterans. There really is something for everyone.

Who else will be in my session?

One of the best parts of a Philmont conference is the opportunity for shared learning among the participants.

That means you will network with and learn from Scouters from across the country. And in today’s Facebook-connected world, the connections made at PTC will extend beyond the week spent in New Mexico.

PTC-family-programsWhat will my family do?

Never want to leave, that’s what. The family program component is unparalleled in or out of Scouting. My first exposure to Philmont was attending a family program while my dad took a training course. My sister, mom and I were inspired to return to Philmont again and again.

Scouts and non-Scouts of any age can experience the magic of Philmont.

Parents can bring children, grandparents can bring grandchildren, wives can bring husbands and husbands can bring wives. From 2-month-olds to 90-year-olds, there is something for everyone. All for way less than that place with the mouse.

Learn more about the family programs here.

What’s the PTC like?

It offers world-class facilities, comfortable lodging with private hot showers, great food prepared by staff members, historic museums and southwestern history — all with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as a backdrop.

The summer weather is perfect, with highs in the 70s and 80s and lows in the 40s.

To see what a typical week is like at PTC, go here.

PTC-outing-in-scouting-courseWhen are these sessions held?

Every week, all summer long. Week 1 is June 5 to 11. Week 11, the final week of the summer season, is Aug. 14 to 20.

PTC offers one fall conference week: Sept. 18 to 24.

What sessions are offered?

Way more than I can list here. See the full 2016 conference schedule here.

How much does it cost?

Less than your typical family vacation.

2016 Philmont Training Center fees (include conference materials, meals, lodging, and activities):

  • Conference Participant: $530
  • Non-Conference Adult (20+): $375
  • Mountain Trek (Ages 14-20): $415
  • Children at PTC (Ages 14-20): $315
  • Children (Ages 6-13): $200
  • Children (Ages 0-5): $100
  • NAYLE participant: $395 (Hurry! NAYLE is filling fast)
  • STEM Youth Conference: $395

Registrations are accepted at any time throughout the year, and limited scholarship funds are available.

What if I still have questions?

Find more answers to FAQs here.

Still have a question? Contact the PTC’s helpful staff.

Photos via Bryan Hayek/Philmont

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