The Villa Philmonte (photo by "the third dream" on Flickr)

Bring the family to Philmont Training Center in 2014

PTC-patchForget everything you think you know about conferences.

Forget the long lines at the buffet, the windowless meeting rooms at hotels, the boring PowerPoints, and the awkward social gatherings.

Conferences at the Philmont Training Center, Scouting’s paradise in the mountains of New Mexico, are anything but typical.

Spend a week there and you’ll never forget the picturesque mountain backdrop, engaging sessions guaranteed to improve your Scout unit, enjoyable cracker barrels with like-minded Scouters, and deer grazing near your tent.

And did I mention you can bring your spouse and kids? Philmont has a week of fun planned for spouses and kids of all ages — all for a fraction of what you’d spend for a week at Disney World.

I speak from experience. As you can see in the pictures below, I attended one of those PTC youth programs at age 12 while my dad participated in a week of Scout training there. My mom enjoyed her Philmont vacation with other spouses, and my sister, 14 at the time, made new friends in her PTC program.

Last summer, I took Wood Badge at PTC. And this Aug. 19-24, I’ll be staffing a Wood Badge course there. (By the way, there’s still room on our course if you want to sign up.)

Ready to go? Then you should know that registration opens today for 2014 conferences at PTC, where more than 6,000 Scouters and family members travel each year for an educational, engaging, entertaining week. To register, log onto MyScouting and click on the “Event Registration” tab.

Here’s what else you’ll want to know:

Conference offerings

Each summer, Philmont Training Center offers a mix of new courses and classic ones. As you can see, 2014 is no different.

With names like “Building Stronger Troops,” “Getting the 411 on the New Cub Scout Adventure Program,” “Effective Roundtables,” and “Programs That Rock,” PTC courses offer a clear outcome of the knowledge you’ll have when you drive home on Saturday.

If you’re like me, you’ll have just one problem with the offerings: too many great courses, not enough time.

2014 Philmont Training Center Fees

Fees include conference materials, meals, lodging, and activities:

Conference, $515

Non-Conference Adult (20+), $365

Ages 14-20, $305

Ages 6-13, $195

Ages 5 and under, $95

Mountain Trek, $395

NAYLE, $385

STEM Youth Conference, $385

Bryan at the PTC in 1996

As I mentioned above, I attended a youth course way back when we wore red shoulder loops. Here I am:


Did you find me? That’s me in the middle row, fourth from the left.

Here’s that same photo, zoomed in:


11 thoughts on “Bring the family to Philmont Training Center in 2014

  1. You didn’t mention the new “Top Notch” very clean private bathrooms and showers, that make tent camping a absolute pleasure. I arrived home from Philmont… “Sparkling”

    • Hey Tim,

      You register for Wood Badge through the council. I know that Circle Ten Council will offer Wood Badge in 2014, and it’s open to Scouters from any council. But registration for that 2014 summer course isn’t yet available.

      If you’re free Aug. 19-24 of 2013, join us at the Wood Badge course I’m staffing. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about next month’s course!

      • OK I’ll keep my eyes open for that. Can’t do this August as we have to get my son off to college that week (He just returned from his second Philmont trek on Sunday BTW). Next summer might be doable. Will the usual family stuff and youth treks be offered during the WB week as well? Thanks Bryan! TG

        • Tim,

          Unfortunately, no. The Wood Badge course happens after Philmont Training Center has closed for the summer, so there are no family activities offered during the course. The good news is, Wood Badgers get the entire PTC to themselves!

  2. I just finished taking the DC/ADC course and I can’t say enough about the facilities! It was a true joy attending PTC! The level of training and the people attending made this conference so much more than what one can get at the local council level! I’m not dogging local council training but once you’ve experienced PTC, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that you’ve just taken training to a whole new level (hey, it’s Philmont!! Need I say more?)

  3. I went to PTC last summer for their new course, “Strictly for Cub Scouters.” Had a great week as my 10-year old son was a “Sidewinder” for the week. His goal in life is now to return as a Philmont Ranger.

    My only regret is that I did not take a course related to Cub Scouts sooner as I only had about 6 months to implement what I learned to help my den. Instead I have passed along some of the knowledge through courses I have taught at our council’s University of Scouting.

    I hope to return to PTC next year for the course for International Representatives as I now also serve on the HOAC International Committee. I recommend every Scouter to attend PTC as often as they can. In fact, one of the “students” in our class was there for the 17th time. I guess she cannot get enough of visiting New Mexico.

  4. Our family has attended PTC three times making it the best family vacations ever. Besides the world class scout training, the age appropriate programs for the kids is hands down a winner. The first time we went, kids were whining “why do we have to go”; the last day, they were crying as they didn’t want to leave their new found friends! We always do the white water river rafting (be sure and ask for the Philmont discount) on family day! My last training session, (Social Media) we made a video about PTC “Family Fun” aimed at MOM’s since they really are the gatekeeper to the family vacation.
    Spouse program is totally awesome (I spent one week doing COPE and jumped off the telephone pole – something I never thought I’d do) whether male or female (hubby hiked all week on his spouse program). Our teenage daughter and scout friend did the Mountain Women trek led by experienced Rangers. Enjoyed it much more than if their crew leader was there (me). This summer, daughter going for NAYLE and plans next summer to work at Philmont TC. If you are looking for family fun, clean air, breathtaking vistas and fine folks at affordable price, PTC is it!

    • Hi Debra! Thanks for the insightful review. I love all the posts on here. You mentioned your daughter’s Scout friend…the only way I will get my son to go is if we can bring a friend. Is that still allowed? I did an internet search, but no leads.

      A fellow leader and I want to take the train from Indiana out there….an amazing time, and I really hope to go!!

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