Read why they’re calling this ‘Scouting’s best family vacation’

Photo by Alex Zarynow

Watch your daughter reel in her first rainbow trout. Join your son on horseback and mosey around like New Mexico cowboys. Hike with your entire family to the site of a Tyrannosaurus rex footprint — one of only two such tracks in the world.

This summer, pack up the minivan or SUV and head to Cimarron, N.M., for Philmont Family Adventure Camp. It’s a choose-your-own-adventures experience sure to bring your family closer together.

Philmont Family Adventure Camp debuted last year, and it was so popular that Philmont doubled the number of weeks it’s offered in 2019. This summer, families can choose from four full-week or eight half-week options.

When you leave, you’ll know why Philmont bills its Family Adventure Camp as “Scouting’s best family vacation.”

Photo by Jessica McClelland

The best activities

Nobody knows your family like you do, so Philmont lets you customize the week that’s best for you. Sit down with your family before you head to Philmont and decide how you’ll fill all those morning and afternoon activity blocks.

Make planning for Philmont Family Adventure Camp an event in itself. It’ll make your week at Philmont fun and stress-free. Besides, I’ve always found that planning for a vacation is half the fun!

Will you hike to Lovers Leap? Visit the new National Scouting Museum? Make a craft to bring home as a souvenir? Take the afternoon off to just relax by the Cantina?

Or maybe you’ll opt for the newest adventure activity — added just this year: a hike to the top of Philmont’s iconic Tooth of Time. This hike, considered “very strenuous,” is only for full-week participants age 6 or older.

Photo by Nick Castelli

The best value

Compare the prices below to a week at the beach or a theme park. You’ll see Philmont has them beat.

A family of four — two adults and two children ages 0 to 17 — could spend the whole week at Philmont Family Adventure Camp for $1,000.

That includes food, tent housing, and program activities throughout the day and evening.

The tents are very nice; I’ve stayed in them on many occasions. They have actual beds, wood floors and electricity for charging your devices. Restrooms are private, meaning you get a sink, toilet and shower — all behind a locking door.

Watch this video for a look at what to expect when making Philmont your vacation home for a week.

For an additional fee, families can upgrade to roofed housing or deluxe tents. Both options are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so you should email Philmont.TrainingCenter@scouting.org right away if you want to check availability. The deluxe tents, new for 2019, feature two rooms for parents and kids and can house up to six people.

Full week:

  • $350 Adults (Age 18+)
  • $150 Youth (Ages 0-17)

Half week:

  • $215 Adults (Age 18+)
  • $100 Youth (Ages 0-17)

The best weather

Being at 6,600 feet of elevation sure has its perks.

Philmont’s warm days (highs in the 70s and 80s) are balanced out by cool nights (lows in the 30s to 50s).

You’ll want to pack a fleece.

Philmont Family Adventure Camp dates

Full-week options

  • June 23–29
  • June 30–July 6
  • July 28–Aug. 3
  • Aug. 4–10

Half-week options

  • June 23–26
  • June 26–29
  • June 30–July 3
  • July 3–6
  • July 28–31
  • July 31–Aug. 3
  • Aug. 4–7
  • Aug. 7–10

Learn more

The Philmont Family Adventure Camp guidebook should answer any question you might have.

Be sure to check out the narrative itinerary on page 9, where you’ll get an excellent idea of how each day of your time at Philmont Family Adventure Camp will unfold.

Ready to register? Go here.

About Bryan Wendell 2880 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.