COVID-19: Philmont’s Response

Philmont Scout Ranch Update: November 12th

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the BSA is notifying all registrants scheduled to attend one of the national High-Adventure bases of a one-time COVID-19 surcharge fee of $50 per participant. This fee will offset the additional costs associated with operating High-Adventure Bases in accordance with CDC, state and local guidelines and precautionary measures intended to keep all participants safe.
This surcharge is necessary because the additional expenses associated with addressing COVID-19 were not accounted for when the 2021 High-Adventure Base fees were set 12-18 months ago. We are notifying participants now so that you have a few months’ notice before the charge is applied.
Each High-Adventure Base will include this fee in registrants’ final payment invoice. Please note, this surcharge will be waived for youth participants under the age of 17 in instances of Philmont Family Adventure Camping or Philmont Training Center programs.  
We will email you with additional updates and information. Updates will also be posted on

Philmont Scout Ranch Update: September 4th

It is with great excitement that Philmont Scout Ranch announces the opening of Fall Programs. The State of NM issued a revised executive order on Thursday, September 3, amending the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements for some travelers into New Mexico.  

Participants arriving from states with a less than 5% positivity rate or less than 80 new cases per million are exempt from quarantine. These rates are calculated over a 7-day rolling average.

In addition, there is a negative test exemption. Participants who can show documentation of a valid negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before or after entry into New Mexico but prior to arrival at Philmont are also exempt from the 14-day quarantine. No tests will be available at Philmont and all participants are responsible for arranging tests and providing documentation of a negative test. *Tests used for the negative test exemption must be a PCR test or rapid test. The state of NM will not accept antibody tests for the negative test exemption.

It’s important that participants know the data requirements and exemption status for their state and can confirm exemption before traveling to Philmont. Please refer to this link for updated exemption information and travel recommendations:

If you have felt ill in the week prior to traveling, have a fever or a cough, or have chronic medical conditions that put you at higher risk for complications from COVID, or have traveled internationally, you should not attend.   

Participants will be asked to follow pre-travel and travel precautions, complete an onsite screening, sign a waiver and exemption form, and agree to abide by all state of New Mexico and Philmont Covid-19 mitigation and operating plans.

We are very excited for the arrival of participants and our priority will always be the health and safety of our participants, employees, and staff.  

Philmont Scout Ranch is committed to Delivering Wilderness Adventures That Last A Lifetime. 

More information about the state of New Mexico’s restrictions and exemptions can be found at the link below:

Philmont Scout Ranch Update: August 28th

Thank you for your patience as we have been waiting for additional direction from the State of New Mexico regarding Philmont’s ability to run some programs this fall. At the News Conference held on August 27, there was some lifting of restrictions in New Mexico. However, the quarantine requirement has not been lifted yet. The Governor indicated that there may be a change next week.

Therefore, we are asking for additional patience. We would like to wait until September 3 to make a final decision on programs planned to begin September 10 and other events that will follow.  We understand the frustration of not being able to finalize your plans to attend these programs. 

If you are unable to wait until next week, please let us know and we will process refunds of the fees that have been paid for both Camping and PTC programs. We will process refunds back to each Council as soon as possible. Please be aware that it may take up to 10-12 weeks for the refunds to process.

If your Council decides to cancel your Fly-Fishing Invitational reservation you can be the first Councils to sign up for the 2021 Fly Fishing Invitational, September 9-12, 2021. If you want, we could hold your fees paid for next year’s event.

Thank you again for your patience. We really want to make these events happen. So, in the meantime please keep yourselves safe, isolate as much as possible and hopefully we will have good news on September 3.

Please call if you have any questions. We look forward to opening the Ranch in the near future.

Philmont Scout Ranch Update: August 14th

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year is an understatement.  All of us have been affected by Covid-19 and we are all are looking forward to some sense of normalcy.  As the autumn season approaches, we wanted to share the status of Philmont’s program. Our priority will always be the health and safety of our participants, employees, and staff.

The state of New Mexico has been under travel restrictions and public health orders since March 11.  Currently there is a 14-day quarantine on anyone traveling to New Mexico.  This requirement essentially closes our programs until that ordinance is modified or lifted. 

The current Public Health Order will expire on August 28.  New Mexico case statistics are trending in the right direction and we believe there may be an announcement prior to that date that would allow us to operate programs. Our hope is that participants currently scheduled for Autumn 2020 wait with us as we monitor the restrictions from the state of NM. If restrictions are lifted, we will make the necessary modifications to continue our programs including screenings upon arrival, spreading participants out and the wearing of face masks.

For those scheduled to participate in fall programming that are unable to wait until the NM Governor’s August 28th announcement, we understand your decision to cancel.  Please contact us and we will refund your fees.  It is our intent, if the New Mexico state ordinances allow us, to carry out our programming. 

Thank you for your continued interest in our programs. Philmont Scout Ranch is committed to Delivering Wilderness Adventures that Last a Lifetime.

Philmont Scout Ranch Update: June 4th

It is with great disappointment that Philmont Scout Ranch announces the cancelation of all remaining programs for the 2020 summer season.  Due to the Governor’s COVID-19 guidelines, and the State of New Mexico Health Department’s restrictions regarding travel, our efforts to secure a portion of the summer season were denied.

The safety of our participants, staff and community has been and will remain our top priority. The Philmont staff were relentless in pursuing all options and will continue to assist participants as they navigate their options.

Key Points:

  • The Reservation Contact and Lead Advisor for each crew were emailed a survey to complete after consulting with their crew.  
  • Philmont will waive the adult to youth ratio (if YPT guidelines are met) to accommodate Scouts who will “age out” by the time they are rescheduled through 2022. 
  • Philmont Training Center, Family Adventure Camp Participants, and NAYLE participants will receive a call next week (June 8-12) to discuss rescheduling options or refunds.
  • Individual Trek Participants were emailed a survey to complete.
  • Staff have received communication from the Seasonal Personnel office. 

By completing the survey, the Philmont registrars will receive and prioritize preferences. Priority in response from Philmont will be given to crews who wish to transfer to another High Adventure Base for Summer 2020. We anticipate the rescheduling of Philmont reservations to either 2021 or 2022 to last through June. Refunds will be issued within 10-12 weeks.

Philmont will continue to pursue more programming opportunities as the New Mexico State Health Department guidelines allow. We look forward to seeing you on the trail in the coming Autumn, Winter, or a future Summer season. Check the Philmont website for late summer/early fall program opportunities.

Philmont Scout Ranch is committed to Delivering Wilderness Adventures that Last a Lifetime. 

Philmont Scout Ranch Update: May 29th

Update 5/29/2020 – 6:30pm. Emailed 6:10pm MDT.

Greetings Philmont 2020 Participants and Staff,

We continue to thank you for your patience as we prepare to open for Summer 2020 crews and PTC participants.

The Philmont staff has been relentless since the onset of this situation in preparing a mitigation plan with our primary goal in mind: the health and safety of our staff, participants and our community. 

The Philmont Covid-19 Mitigation and Operation Plan is currently under review with the New Mexico Governor’s office and the State of New Mexico Health Department. You will find the latest draft posted here: COVID-19 Mitigation and Operation Plan.

The state’s feedback and approval to operate in July and August may not be finalized by June 1. We apologize for this delayed decision but want to work with the health department and the state of New Mexico to make every opportunity to have a Philmont summer program. 

In this communication we wanted to provide advanced notice that the next COVID/Summer 2020 update will be announced as soon as possible next week. The representatives of the governor’s office and the state health department know we are on an extremely time sensitive deadline.

Like all of you, we anxiously await the state government’s feedback.

We appreciate your compassion, understanding and patience.

On behalf of all of us at Philmont Scout Ranch, we are committed to Delivering Wilderness Adventures that Last a Lifetime.

Thank you.

Philmont Scout Ranch Update: May 15th

Update 5/15/2020 – 1:15pm

Philmont continues to forge ahead with a July 1 opening date.

Philmont is continuing to monitor the recommendations from the CDC, NM Governor Lujan Grisham, State and local health departments, and the American Camp Association.

May 15th updates are below:

  • As we prepare for opening on July 1, we know there are potential barriers such as spikes in new cases that could affect this opening plan. Any changes regarding the July 1 opening will be announced no later than June 1. 
  • Philmont will be meeting with the NM Department of Health to review the Philmont COVID-19 mitigation and operating plan. We will obtain their suggestions and input and confirm that we can operate within state guidelines.
  • There will be changes to programs and itineraries. We will not be utilizing all backcountry camps.  In support of social distancing requirements, elements of programming will be different. Examples include: no opening or closing campfires in base camp, church services, or confined activities such as mine tours. Other activities that involve enclosed spaces will be suspended or altered.  We are still working through the more detailed portions of this planning. 
  • Every crew member attending Philmont should bring their own mask (face covering) and a pair of leather gloves.
    • Each crew will be taking part in a conservation project during their trek. Many will also go rock climbing or spar pole climbing.  All these activities require leather gloves which are difficult to sanitize between uses.  Everyone bringing their own gloves will eliminate this sanitation issue.
  • All crews that were arriving in June and have been cancelled should make sure they received and responded to the email that was sent to lead advisors and reservation contacts. It has specific information about transferring and cancellations.  It is also posted at
  • Participants who fall in the high-risk category (as defined by the CDC) should not attend Philmont this summer. If you are in this category you should stay home.
  • The Philmont Covid-19 Mitigation and Operating Plan is being finalized and will be posted on the Philmont website within the next week.
  • While we continue to plan and prepare for summer, Philmont will remain closed to the public through June 1st.

We’d like to thank all crews that replied to the May 1 survey. Please know that our camping registrars are still working diligently to follow up with all remaining crews.

We greatly appreciate the patience of all participants and staff for the 2020 Summer season. We wish you and your families good health as we all work to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Deliver Wilderness Adventures that Last a Lifetime.

June 2020 Crew Memo - Sent 5.14.20


Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we work through the cancellations and rescheduling crews due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unprecedented in its impact upon so many aspects of our lives. This update is being sent to June crews to share specific details pertaining to crew trek surveys and to clarify options for crews moving forward.

SURVEY: Thank you for completing your survey. 95% of the June crews completed the survey. That helps us in the decision-making as we move forward through this process.

TRANSFER TO JULY: At this time, we are unable to move any additional June crews into July. We had expected more cancellations from July and that did not happen. We anticipate a limit on our capacity by the state of New Mexico when we are allowed to open, and do not have room for any more units to be added into July at this time.

TRANSFER TO AUGUST: We do have some limited space in August. Please send an email to if you are able to transfer to August. Please write “Transfer to August” in the subject line. This will help us to process the requests.

TRANSFER TO 2021: There are still some limited spaces in 2021. If you are interested in transferring to 2021, please email five (5) preferred dates to with “Transfer to 2021” in the subject line. This will help us to process the requests on a first-come-first-served basis. Our registration staff will call you to confirm the date for your transfer to 2021. Please do not call our registrars but allow some time for the requests to be processed. Remember this transfer will keep your fee at the 2020 price.

TRANSFER TO 2022: We are allowing 2020 crews to choose their date in 2022. Those dates are very open. If you are interested in transferring to 2022, please email five (5) preferred dates to with “Transfer to 2022” in the subject line. This will help us to process the requests on a first-come-first-served basis. Our registration staff will call you to confirm the date for your transfer to 2022. Please do not call our registrars but allow time for the requests to be processed. Remember this transfer will keep your fee at the 2020 price.

CANCELLATION/REFUND: If you are a June crew that has been cancelled, you will receive a refund of 100% of your fees. If this was your response to the survey, you do not need to do anything. We are working through those cancellations. If there is a change to your survey response, please email with your decision and include “Cancellation/Refund” in the subject line. Please remember it will take 10-12 weeks to process the refund.

PARTIAL REFUND: For June crews that elect to reschedule to later in the summer, we are not able to do any partial refund and/or partial crew transfers. All refunds and transfers will be for the complete crew. Example: if you have paid for 8 spots and want to transfer dates, we will transfer all 8. If you have paid for 10 and want a refund, we will refund all 10.

Again, thank you for your patience. We look forward to someday soon being able to meet on the trail, somewhere in the Philmont Backcountry.

Steve Nelson
Director of Camping

High Adventure Base Update Regarding Summer of 2020

Update 4/15/20 – 8:30 AM  

Status of summer 2020 operations
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented uncertainty, financial challenges and impact to our daily lives. The leadership of the BSA and the National High Adventure Bases (HAB’s) recognize that Scouts and leaders have been planning for many months to enjoy a life-changing High Adventure experience.

The health and safety of our participants and staff is our utmost concern. At this time, the HAB’s plan to operate in the summer of 2020 if we can do so safely and within the guidelines of the CDC.

On May 1st we will provide an update on the 2020 season specific to each National High Adventure Base. We understand that crews need to make travel plans. However, by applying a metered approach to the summer season, it allows the most flexibility in adjusting programs to serve participants.

Refunds for summer 2020
The National Executive Committee will review the refund policy for the HAB’s and information regarding those policies will be posted on May 1st.

Additional programs for summer/fall/Holiday 2020
HAB’s have added additional late summer/fall and Holiday 2020 programs and we encourage you to review those.

Wilderness First Aid and other required courses
We understand that courses such as Wilderness First Aid are currently unavailable. We are working with the organizations that provide those trainings to have options for Crews which will be posted on May 1st.

BSA Annual Health and Medical Record
We are evaluating all options while being mindful of those who have valid exams as well as those new members and adults who may have never completed a Part C exam, state and local authority requirements, and the special review required by high adventure programs. In the interim, we recommend that council health supervisors, camp staff and volunteers begin a conversation on local availability of wellness exams and alternatives that could be put in place.

State “Lockdowns” or “Stay at Home Orders”
We are monitoring the status of state “Lockdowns” or “Stay at Home Orders” that would interrupt travel during the time you are scheduled to attend an HAB. We will work with units to fill openings later in the summer should a state order preclude you from travel.

Additional information can be found in a joint statement from the High Adventure Bases here.

Philmont Delays Staff Arrival and Invests in Online Training Solutions

Update 4/14/20 – 10:30 AM  

Philmont will be delaying the arrival of staff and condensing the training schedule for the 2020 Summer Season in response to COVID-19 precautions. All 2020 seasonal staff should anticipate a change to their arrival dates. Staff arrivals are planned to begin on May 15th. 

This decision does not affect the arrival of crews beginning on June 8th. Philmont’s management team and hiring managers have been working diligently to develop online training material to condense the amount of time training at PhilmontStaff will be compensated for these new trainings that will be completed prior to arrival. Additionally, backcountry staff will be scattered to their camps as soon as possible to limit the numbers of staff in base camp and increase training times in their respective program areas.  

The new online content is currently in development and will begin to be released in May. Staff can expect communication from their hiring managers as on-site arrival dates and training expectations are updated. 

The Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace Master Educator courses have been canceled.  

Philmont remains closed to the public through April 30, following a public health order from the State of New Mexico. As always, your safety and the safety of all our participants, guests, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. 

Philmont and the Boy Scouts of America continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and will provide updates as they are available with scheduled updates on April 15 and May 1. 

We thank you for your continued support and ask that you please follow CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of this virus. 

Philmont will honor ECSI Course Completion Card Extension

Update: 4/6/20 – 8:30 AM 

The Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI) has announced a 60-day extension to the validity of their course completion cards for those who are unable to access training. Philmont will honor this extension for crews attending in 2020.  

Philmont recognizes that this does not assist all crews who are struggling to complete the Wilderness First Aid requirements for their trek. We are working with the BSA Health and Safety Team who has continued to monitor the status of instructor-led courses and is working with our partners at the American Red Cross and ECSI for acceptable alternatives in the event courses are not available in your community.  

Updates will be posted here as they are available.

Adventure is Unpredictable

Update: 4/1/20 – 1:00 PM

None of us have ever experienced anything like the last few days, weeks, and months.  While we know, this too shall pass, we continue to evaluate what’s next. There are many moving parts, like understanding the impact of New Mexico’s “Stay at Home” order on the pandemic, or how other states responses will impact the virus, how domestic travel regulations will continue to change, and how all of this impacts our Scouting volunteers and their families, our trekking crews, PTC participants, family adventurers and staff. 

We are disappointed that this update can’t contain more decisions but waiting on more data to determine our direction seems prudent.  In the meantime, we continue to prepare for a full summer.  Our commissary has packed trail meals for the planned arrival of 21,500 participants.  Our full-time employees continue to maintain utilities, and prepare roads, backcountry camps, and red roof inns, for your arrival. 

We are doing our part to help stop the spread and have implemented the following measures: 

  • Closed the Ranch to visitors through April 30th and canceled all program groups during this time 
  • Transitioned staff to work from home, where possible 
  • Increased cleaning of common areas and offices 
  • Eliminated salad bars and self-serve areas from our dining hall 
  • Reducing seasonal staff numbers to alleviate communal living 
  • Adjusted work and schedules to follow social distancing 

We asked our seasonal staff, who had planned arrivals between now and April 30th to delay their travel to Philmont until further notice, and we will have an update for them and our May 1 15 staff arrivals on April 15.   

As always, the safety of all our participants, guests, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. 

Currently, any crew requesting a refund would be under the refund policy that is stated in your adult advisor’s guidebook.  Please stay tuned for an update on April 15th, and in the meantime, follow the appropriate guidelines of your local, state and national health officials, as we are doing, and prepare yourself mentally and physically for your summer at Philmont. 

For a joint statement from the High Adventure Bases and information regarding medical forms and Wilderness First Aid click here. 

We will email you with additional updates and information. Updates will also be posted on 

Thank you for your support, 

Roger Hoyt 
General Manager 
Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Adjusts Operation to Comply with New Mexico Public Health Order

Update: 3/24/20 – 4:30 PM

Following a Public Health Order issued by the State of New Mexico, Philmont remains closed to the public through April 10th, and all employees that can work from home are making that transition. 

Please note that with employees out of the office, phone numbers for certain operations have been altered. These numbers are temporary and will return to Philmont’s main number of 575-376-2281 when the public health order is lifted. Additional time may be required for us to answer your questions as our staff transition to this new work arrangement. 

We ask that you use the provided emails as your first method of contact.

General Philmont Information: 575-376-2281

Trek Information/Registrars

Phone: 575-376-2281 

Training Center

Phone: 575-447-2019 and 575-643-6329 

Seasonal Personnel


Phone: 575-224-6393 and 304-719-2783

Tooth of Time Traders

Phone: 575-376-1145 

National Scouting Museum


Phone: 575-643-5669 and 575-376-1136 

Philmont Extends Public Closure Through April 10th

Update: 3/19/20 – 10:00 AM

Following a Public Health Order issued by the State of New Mexico, Philmont’s public closure has been extended through April 10th. There will be no group arrivals during this time. If you need assistance please call us at 575-376-2281 and we will be happy to help.

This decision does not affect summer programs. We are hopeful that the widespread social distancing and containment efforts will help stop the spread of this virus.

We will continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and provide updates as they are available. Additional updates and information will be shared on this page.

Philmont Closed to the Public Until April 1st

Update: 3/17/20 – 10:45 AM

Following CDC guidelines and recommendations from the state of New Mexico, Philmont has made the decision to close to the public until April 1st. This decision affects the National Scouting Museum, Tooth of Time Traders ( remains open), and all offices. Conferences and Winter Adventure activities of more than 10 have also been canceled. Staff will remain on-site and continue to work, with efforts to increase social distancing. If you need assistance please call us at 575-376-2281 and we will be happy to help.

This decision does not affect summer programs. We are hopeful that the widespread social distancing and containment efforts will help stop the spread of this virus.

We will continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and provide updates as they are available. Additional updates and information will be shared on this page.

PhilBreak Session 4 Cancelled

Update: 3/17/20 – 9:30 AM

Following CDC guidelines and New Mexico state recommendations, Philmont has made the decision to cancel PhilBreak Session 4. Depending on how you registered, you can expect to receive a refund in the next 7 to 21 days. As always, your safety and the safety of all our participants, guests, volunteers, and employees is our top priority.

This decision does not affect summer treks. We are hopeful that the widespread social distancing and containment efforts will help stop the spread of this virus.

We will continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and provide updates as they are available.

As always, your safety and the safety of all our participants, guests, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect programs at Philmont. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally with our Chief of Medical Services and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.

BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness

The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist. As part of the National Camp Accreditation Program, Philmont has response plans in place for communicable diseases, which are updated regularly. 

Status of Upcoming Winter/Spring Programs

The following Winter/Spring programs have been canceled at this time:

  • March 20-22 – Cub Scout National Camp School
  • March 21-28 – PhilBreak Session 4
  • March 30-April 4 – Resident National Camp School
  • April 24-26 – NM Search and Rescue Council ESCAPE Conference

We will continue to evaluate future programs/events and will communicate any changes if they arise. 

We do ask that you follow the following steps:

Step one:

Don’t travel if you or someone in your household has had the following symptoms within the last 24 hours.

  • Fever (100.4 F or greater)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you have two or more of the following symptoms, then you should not travel or participate in Philmont program.

  • Unexplained extreme fatigue or muscle aches
  • Rash
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Open sore

Step two:

While traveling to and while at Philmont practice good hygiene and self-care practices.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your face or mouth whenever possible. 
  • Cover your cough and wash your hands after coughing.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items, and wash your hands after using shared items. 
  • Avoid crowded spaces whenever possible, and try to keep a 3-foot circle of personal space around you whenever possible.

Upon arrival at Philmont, a medical screening including checking your temperature may be performed by a trained Philmont staff member to ensure that all participants are symptom-free upon arrival.  Please plan to arrive on time and check-in with a Philmont staff member upon arrival at Philmont.

Status of Summer Programs (Treks, Training Center, and Staff)

No summer programs have been canceled or affected at this time. We will continue to monitor and consult with experts and provide updates as they become available. It is important to continue everyday prevention measures. As you prepare for your Philmont adventure, decisions about unit meetings and trek preparation activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines.

Everyday Preventive Measures

Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Additional Resources