COVID-19 Mitigation at Philmont

COVID-19 mitigation efforts will continue to be in effect at Philmont throughout the Fall 2021 season. Click below to view the most recent update and a copy of our COVID-19 Mitigation Plan Summary. 

COVID-19 Supplementary Safety Forms 

Philmont requires that anyone who has been hospitalized for Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic be cleared by their primary care provider. Philmont recommends that participants who had a positive Covid-19 test or Covid-19 illness, regardless of severity, within 6 months of scheduled arrival at Philmont be cleared for high levels of exertion at high elevations by their primary care provider.

Philmont requires that all participants review and agree to our Pre-Screening, Consent and Code of Conduct forms. Instructions on how to submit these forms will be emailed to Advisors prior to their arrival. Forms are also currently available for download to review. 

For all individual participants (Rayado, ROCS, STEM, OATC, TCT, Ranch Hands, NAYLE) please refer to the following. 

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements 

No, while we strongly recommend anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, we do not require vaccinations to attend Philmont.  However, if you are not vaccinated, you must arrive with a COVID-19 negative test, taken within three to seven days of arrival, but before leaving home.

Philmont will accept proof of a negative PCR test or a rapid antigen test for participation. We will not accept an antibody test.  

A vaccinated person is considered to have the maximum immunity 2 weeks after their final dose of the vaccine.  

Ideally your crew should receive a negative COVID-19 test 3 days before arrival at Philmont, but we understand that due to travel that time frame may be difficult and will accept a test that is within 7 days. It is important that participants make an effort to avoid potential exposure between the time of the test and arrival at Philmont.  

The goal of testing before arrival is to ensure that you and your crew are safe while traveling to Philmont. If a member of your crew tests positive for COVID-19 anyone who has been in close contact with that person should also isolate for 10 days. If members of your crew have tested negative and have not been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, they may still attend. 

Philmont may be able to help your crew reschedule for a trek later in the summer but we cannot guarantee that a spot will be available.  

Yes. If a member of your crew tests positive for COVID-19 before leaving for your trek, we would consider it a valid reason for a medical refund. See https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/philmonttreks/fees/ to learn more about our refund policy. 

While we would prefer that you get tested before no more than three days in advance, we understand that this may be difficult due to travel so we will accept a negative test within 7 days if everyone on the crew has done their best to stay safe and distanced from others outside of their cohort during travel.  

The CDC does not recommend that you get tested for COVID-19 within 90 days of a positive test. If you have had a recent positive test for COVID-19 you will need to provide proof of the positive test and be cleared by your medical provider to be exempt from the testing requirement.  

Yes. Participants in Philmonts individual treks also need to be able to show proof of a vaccine or a negative testParticipants in individual treks will also be tested on arrival at Philmont as an added safety measure.  

Yes. The Binex NOW rapid antigen test is available over the counter at several retail stores and pharmacies. These rapid over the counter tests may be used if no other testing solution is available. If you use these tests, we ask that you have a medical professional (Physician, Nurse, EMT, ectprovide a letter that states they supervised the test and attest to the results.  

Yes. While a printed copy is preferred, we will accept a digital copy of a negative test.  

While we respect deeply held religion beliefs, there is no religious exemption from COVID-19 testing.  If you are not able to arrive with a negative test, you should reschedule your adventure for next summer.  All participants must be able to test, for either diagnostic reasons, or as part of our state required surveillance testing to attend Philmont in 2021.

If someone develops symptoms COVID-19 the Philmont Infirmary will perform testing and evaluation of the participant. If they are found to be positive for COVID-19, the entire crew (Cohort) will be required to isolate. Once the crew is isolated Philmont will make every effort to help the crew get home in a safe manner but is prepared to house them in an isolation area for up to 10 days.   

No, please bring a copy or a photo of your COVID vaccination card with you to Philmont.  

Philmont Scout Ranch Update:  7/19/2021

Philmont will maintain its masking, social distancing, and cohort guidelines throughout the duration of the summer even as restrictions continue to evolve throughout the United States. All participants should continue arrive with a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination per our policy. 

To date, 12 crews who have had a crew member test positive prior to departure have remained at home and been unable to participate this summer. Additionally, 4 crews have come off the trail be-cause one or more members developed COVID-19 symptoms and tested positive. Vaccinated crew members who tested negative were returned to the trail and those who were unvaccinated with positive results, or in close contact with a positive participant, departed Philmont. Although this saddens us all, the safety and health of all staff and participants is the top priority. The collective efforts by all Philmont employees and participants have allowed us to keep these numbers low and protect the experience of others. We thank you for your continued diligence in taking steps to slow the spread and keep others safe! 

As a reminder, COVID-19 protocols at a glance:

Masks: Required in basecamp (multilayered, tight fitting, reusable, covers nose & mouth) and in group and public settings. Masks are not required when isolated in your cohort. 

Distancing: Maintain 6’ of distancing between those outside of your cohort.

Arrival Screening: Required with questionnaire and temperature check upon arrival.

Pre-arrival Testing: Presentation of a negative PCR test or antigen test result not more than 7 days old upon arrival. Proof of vaccination will be accepted in lieu of a negative test.

Pre-travel Screening and Quarantine: Pre-travel symptoms checklist, self-quarantine prior to travel.

Contact Tracing: Crew Itineraries tracked and follow up communication sent.

Philmont Scout Ranch Update:  6/30/2021

Beginning July 1, the State of New Mexico will lift all pandemic-related occupancy restrictions on all forms of commercial activity and all businesses across the state may once again operate at 100 percent of maximum capacity.  

Although this is a change to the public health order, the overnight youth camp policies for the State of New Mexico remain in effect at Philmont and for all camps in the State of New Mexico.  This will continue to ensure the health and safety of all our participants and staff. 

Proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test result taken within 7 days of arrival is still a requirement.  Masking, social distancing and cohorting while in base camp including the Philmont Training Center and Family Adventure Camp is still the protocol.  The backcountry policy is still in effect which requires masks when around other crews (cohorts), staff or at a backcountry campfire but not while on the trail or in campsite with your crew (cohort).

Philmont has made the following modifications:

●Chapel services at 7PM – A Crew can split into denominational cohorts to attend the  

   service of their choice – mask required.


●Opening campfire one session at 8:30 PM – sit with crew and ranger– masks required. 


●Closing campfire one session at 8:30 PM -sit with crew– masks required.

● Tooth of Time Traders and National Scouting Museum – full occupancy – masks required.

Retail and Museum Hours of Operation

Tooth of Time Traders                                                                    7:30 AM – 6:45 PM Daily

Snack Bar                                                                                             10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Daily

National Scouting Museum                                                         8:00 AM – 7:30 PM Daily

Kit Carson at Rayado                                                                       8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Daily

Chase Ranch Main House                                                             8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Daily

Villa Philmonte Tours (reservation required)                        8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Daily


Philmont Scout Ranch Update:  5/17/2021

We are pleased to share that the state of New Mexico is in support of our operations and programming this summer, within the New Mexico Public Health Order, NM Summer Camp Youth Guidelines and the CDC’s Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camp Programs during COVID-19. This is exciting news, but also brings with it the highest degree of responsibility by each individual setting foot on the property, and potential devastating consequences if our mitigation efforts fail to prevent significant spread, both in the health of those affected, and in the summer operations of Philmont. To be clear, an event leading to significant spread, or multiple smaller events could result in the state of New Mexico shutting down part or most of our operations for two weeks, or the entire summer.

The state of New Mexico has required us to inform each of you that Philmont is considered a “high-risk youth camp setting”. This is because Philmont brings campers, leaders, guests, and staff from all areas of the country, who must then travel to our remote location. Philmont’s activities take place at a higher elevation than where most of our guests live, and thus, many of our participants will show similar symptoms of COVID-19. These include cough, headache, muscle and body aches, shortness of breath, dizziness, and aching joints. Philmont Scout Ranch has printed additional information for those in the CDC categories of “high risk” for COVID-19 infection, in a Supplemental Risk Advisory. 

Additionally, we are requiring that all participants arrive after having reviewed and agreed to the forms linked below. These include a Pre-Screening, Consent and Code of Conduct. Each piece of required supplemental documentation can be found by clicking above.


Philmont Scout Ranch Update:  5/1/2021

Philmont Scout Ranch is pleased to announce that the state of New Mexico is in support of our operations and programming for this summer, within the New Mexico Public Health Order, the REOPEN NEW MEXICO COVID-SAFE PRACTICES: Overnight Youth Camps, and the CDC Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps. This is exciting news, but also brings with it the highest degree of responsibility for each individual setting foot on the property. There is a possibility for serious consequences if our mitigation efforts fail to prevent significant spread. Consequences to both the health of those affected and in the summer operations of Philmont. To be clear, an event leading to significant spread, or multiple smaller events, could result in forced shutdown of our operations, for a short period of time, or the entire summer.

Philmont Scout Ranch and the Boy Scouts of America strongly recommends everyone eligible, be vaccinated for COVID-19 upon consultation and the recommendation of your health care provider.

To ensure that anyone who is positive and contagious for the COVID-19 virus stays at home and that they do not have close contact with other cohort (crew) members during travel, we are requiring either a copy of a vaccination card completed 14 days or more prior to arrival at Philmont OR documented proof of a negative test within 3-5 days, but no more than 7 days upon arrival.  While this does not guarantee that participants will not contract COVID-19 during travel, it does help crew leaders keep positive cases out of the cohort before travel and gives individual participants an added layer of protection and confidence as they isolate and use travel safe practices before arriving at Philmont.  An FAQ document will be posted as part of our next update for additional details about testing and documentation.

In collaboration with the State of New Mexico, Philmont Scout Ranch will conduct required periodic surveillance testing of both staff and crews.

We are updating our mitigation plans to reflect all the new requirements and protocols from the state and the CDC.  A more detailed email will be sent to all crew advisors next week outlining our plans and expectations for pre travel screening, safe travel practice, and the importance of staying in your cohort, while traveling and upon arrival.  Philmont Scout Ranch will operate this summer, but must do so within these required protocols, so please bring your patience and understanding, particularly in base camp, as we provide a safe and healthy environment for our valued participants and staff.

We know that the collaboration between Philmont Scout Ranch, the State of New Mexico and most importantly, the efforts of our participants, will create the strongest environment for a safe and healthy summer. 

Philmont Scout Ranch Update:  3/12/2021

It is with great excitement that we bring you this update. Philmont began welcoming participants at the end of February in accordance with the State of New Mexico’s current public health order. Participants are following pre-screening and arrival protocols including confirmation of a negative Covid-19 test.  All participants must expect to test negative prior to arrival through the end of April. This return of participants to the backcountry has been long awaited.

Preparations for the 2021 summer season are underway! The Philmont staff has been relentless since the onset of the pandemic in preparing and continually updating our mitigation plan with one primary goal in mind: the health and safety of our staff, participants, and our community. Our plan will continue to adapt as changes occur to CDC and State of New Mexico guidelines. 

A Covid-19 surcharge of $50 per participant was announced in November which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • PPE for all 1,500 summer staff.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • The installation of outdoor handwashing kiosks at three dining hall locations.
  • The potential need for rapid testing of all staff & participants if exhibiting symptoms on arrival or during their stay.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing teams at base camp and the Philmont Training Center.
  • Sterilizing bus and transports to airports, Raton and trailheads.
  • Rapid read non-contact thermometers for all Backcountry program areas and numerous locations at Base Camp.
  • The additional costs of isolating crews or individuals and caring for them should a quarantine be necessary.

Additionally, the cost of food has gone up, specifically in transportation costs. If crews in Base Camp must be restricted to bubbles, we will serve trail meals. These meals cost significantly more than the camper dining hall meals. The costs of program supplies increased over the previously budgeted amount also due to increasing transportation costs.

Two outdoor pavilions are currently under construction at the camper and staff dining halls to facilitate more outdoor seating. Tents will also be purchased/rented to expand outdoor dining at the Philmont Training Center. A Philmont branded mask will be provided for all participants.

New Mexico has implemented a 4-tier system that includes group gathering sizes and guidelines for businesses. Attaining a “turquoise” level in Colfax County, where Philmont is located, will allow groups of 150 or less to congregate. At this level we will be able to execute Philmont programming at our highest levels of service and safety.

We appreciate your support, commitment and understanding.

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