Philmont 1998
Black Hills Council Contingent

Philmont is considered the premiere high adventure camp in the Boy Scouts of America. It is 137,493 acres of New Mexico mountains in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rockies. From 300-320 boys and adults arrive every single day during the summer camping season. A staff of 700, mostly Eagle Scout college students, provide lots of expertise. Philmont 1997 is already filled, and many dates for 1998 are already completely full. As a council contingent, we would get a higher priority than single troops applying, and will likely get a spot in 1998.

The Adventure
Philmont is Scouting paradise. The Expedition includes 12 days and nights of back packing in mountains that resemble a wildernes. Boys must be age 14 by Jan. 1, 1998, or have completed the 8th grade prior to participation. This is strictly enforced at Philmont. Physical exams are required prior to going to Philmont. Crews range from 7-12 persons and must have at least two adults, with a maximum of four adults per crew. If only one or two boys from a particular troop go, they can possibly be fitted into one of the other Black Hills troops. Right now 25 boys and adults are going from Troop 7 and Troop 31 in Rapid City.

Boys should be physically fit. Conditioning is especially necessary if a boy is overweight. Scouts backpack 5-12 miles up and down mountains every day, set up camp and cook meals. Packs weigh 40-50 pounds. The mountains are a bit rougher than the Black Hills, but not quite as rugged as the Big Horns in Wyoming. All gear must be packpacked, including 3-4 days of food supplied by Philmont. Tents are supplied by Philmont. Boys need good packs, sleeping bags, rain gear and boots, as well as their other backpacking gear. They should be at least First Class rank, and have the outdoor skills and mental determination of at least a good First Class Scout. Preparation during the spring of 1998 includes 4-5 overnight backpacking trips and day backpacking trips in the Black Hills.

At Philmont
You will be staying in Tent City at Philmont for several days. Meals are in the dining hall. Considering that more than 300 people arrive every day, Philmont's organization has to be a well-oiled machine. It is.

Each troop going will be a "crew," which hikes and does activities as a unit at Philmont. For instance, if three Black Hills troops with a total of 24 persons go, there would be three crews. We might travel down together, but each troop would be an independent crew once we get to Philmont. Each crew is accompanied by an expert staff member for several days. He or she teaches backpacking skills, compass work and survival. The guide accompanies each crew for several days on the trail before sending you off on your own. Most of the camps have exciting activities each afternoon and night. They are some of the highlights at Philmont. They include rock climbing, .30-06 shooting, camp entertainment, burro racing, etc. Philmont is a life experience which most boys consider the highlight of their Scouting experience.

These dates could change - however, tentatively we will arrive at Philmont before lunch on June 26 and leave Philmont on July 8.

Philmont charges $325 per person. This includes cost of all food once you arrive, 12 days in the backcountry, several days in the main camp, and expert instruction for several days from the staff. The travel cost getting to Philmont varies, however, a total cost of about $500 per person is not unreasonable for the Philmont fee, souvenirs, transportation, and food coming and going. Many troops stay at military bases or the Air Force Academy on the way. Lodging is free, and meal prices are reduced. If a large enough contingent goes, it is possible that a group transportation package might be arranged, such as a large bus. If not, each troop will make its own transportation arrangements. The first Philmont reservation fee of $50 is due on Sept. 17, 1997.

More Information
Rick Barnes at the Scout office 342-2824.
Hugh Brechtel, Black Hills Council Contingent Adult Chairman, 393-1479.
Dick Willis, Scoutmaster Troop 7, 348-4179 at work, 348-9351 at home, or e-mail

At Philmont
For one of the better Philmont picture pages, click the link below. The photographer worked on the Philmont photo staff. Because of the pics, it takes awhile to download - Philmont photos and story.