With new Deluxe Tents, Philmont Training Center broadens appeal to more families

The Philmont Training Center experience you love just got an upgrade.

With its new Deluxe Tents — complete with a queen bed with premium linens, electricity and ceiling fan, and covered porch with cozy chairs — the Philmont Training Center is broadening the appeal of its world-class conferences and Family Adventure Camp like never before.

In short, the new lodging option makes the Philmont Training Center, or PTC, a can’t-miss destination for more families than ever before.

Wondering about the “roughing it” aspect of camping and PTC’s reasoning behind these deluxe tents? We’ll get to that in a bit. But here’s one thing to keep in mind: Encouraging more people to experience the magical power of Philmont is something everyone can get behind.

To learn more about these game-changing new tents, I spoke with Nick Hutchinson, PTC director.

What’s different about the Deluxe Tents?

To understand the Deluxe Tents, let’s first talk about the “standard” tents at the PTC.

For years, families visiting the PTC — including multiple trips with my own family when I was a Scout — have stayed in tents that are far roomier than the one rolled up in your basement.

PTC’s standard wall tents are spacious. They have two cots, zip-open windows, electricity, a chair and a light.

The Deluxe Tents (also known as Eco-Tents), offered for an additional fee on a first-come, first-served basis, take the PTC tents to the next level.

  • Room for six: Each tent features a queen-size bed in the main room and two sets of bunk beds in a separate side room.
  • Covered porch with chairs: Perfect for watching your kids play, catching up on some reading or just watching the sunset.
  • Queen bed with premium linens: Leave your sleeping bag at home. If you opt for a Deluxe Tent, the PTC has you covered.
  • Dressers: So you can unpack and stay a while.
  • Power: Electricity in each tent keeps your phone charged. A ceiling fan keeps you comfortable day and night.
  • Huge screened windows: Open your windows to let in the mountain breeze and get an immersive view of your surroundings. Close them at night to relax in privacy and prepare for the next day.

What about bathrooms? Whether you opt for the standard or the Deluxe tents, you’ll have access to the PTC’s new, private shower houses. Each stall includes a shower, a sink, a mirror and a toilet — all behind a locking door.

Each Tent City also has larger family showers to help those with small children.

Why did the PTC add Deluxe Tents?

If camping is traditionally about “roughing it” outdoors, why did the PTC decide to introduce these well-appointed new tents?

It’s all about making the PTC experience enjoyable for everyone in the family — young and older.

Hutchinson says the decision stemmed from the success of the Philmont Family Adventure Camp, which I reported about earlier this year.

“This year, during Family Adventure Camp weeks, we have noticed a change from the traditional participants at the PTC,” Hutchinson says. “The average family who has been participating in the Family Adventure Camp experience was one with parents in their mid-30s who have brought the family to experience Philmont together.”

In other words, not every family is ready to try camping with their 5-year-old. The Deluxe Tents give these families an opportunity to experience “Scouting’s best family vacation” in a way that’s a little more comfortable.

I can speak from experience when I tell you that once you’ve been to Philmont once, you’ll “wanna go back.” Odds are the 4-year-old boy or 5-year-old girl camping in a Deluxe Tent today will be back in a decade to hike Philmont’s trails.

“These tents really do open up the opportunities of Philmont to a much wider audience — of all ages,” Hutchinson says.


All photos courtesy of Alex Cenci, photo manager for Philmont’s Marketing and Photo Services team.  

About Bryan Wendell 2915 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.