Arrival and Departure

Prior to Arrival

To begin work at Philmont, all seasonal staff (volunteer and paid) must complete three primary steps before their arrival. Staff who fail to complete these steps may experience delays in start of work/training, be reassigned positions, or be sent away.

The following primary steps must be completed prior to arrival:

  1. Complete and submit a background check authorization form to accept the offer of employment
    • Details are sent in the Conditional Offer Email
  2. Complete Terms of Seasonal Employment and all other employment documentation and training listed in their Workbright profile (
    • A link to set up your profile will be sent following acceptible background check results
  3. Submit the BSA Annual Health & Medical Record, travel plans, and dietary restrictions via their profile on the Philmont Registration Gateway (
    • A link will be sent 3 weeks out from arrival if Terms of Employment are signed

Arrival By Train or Bus

Raton, New Mexico (RAT), is the nearest terminal for the Amtrak train as well as the Greyhound bus. During the summer season, Philmont provides scheduled transportation to and from Raton ($20 one way) on primary staff arrival and departure dates. No other stations are serviced. Autumn & winter staff should coordinate with their hiring manager to ensure transportation will be available from Raton, if required.

Staff traveling via eastbound train or commercial airport shuttle should plan to arrive at the airport two days prior to the start date listed on their terms of seasonal employment (one day prior to check-in) to account for travel time. Lodging and extra meal will be provided.

Arrival By Airline

Denver (DEN), Colorado Springs (COS), and Albuquerque (ABQ) are the nearest major airports from where staff will need to make connections to Raton or Cimarron. During the summer season, commercial shuttles are available on most major staff arrival/departure dates. Starting in 2022 these shuttles will be booked directly with these transportation companies instead of through Philmont. Details for these services are below. Airport shuttles are not available during the fall and winter seasons.

Staff traveling via commercial airport shuttle or eastbound train should plan to arrive at the airport two days prior to the start date listed on their terms of seasonal employment (one day prior to check-in) to account for travel time. Lodging and extra meal will be provided.  Those with questions about their specific circumstances should reach out to the Seasonal Personnel Office (

2024 Primary Shuttle Dates
(Additional dates may be available depending on location and demand – please contact shuttle company directly)

Shuttle Date Check-In (Arrival) Date Typical Start Date Typical Groups
April 30 May 1 May 2 Set-up Crew; Horsemen
May 14 May 15 May 16 Senior Leadership; LNT ME Participant; Ranger Coordinator Check-In
May 19 May 20 May 21 Middle Management
May 22 May 23 May 24 Food Service Staff; NRA Training
May 24 May 25 May 26 Conservation Staff; Rock Foremen
May 25 May 26 May 27 Base Camp Staff; Museum Staff
May 26 May 27 May 28 Backcountry Staff
May 27 May 28 May 29 Rangers

No Shuttles between:

May 28 – June 8

June 9 June 10 June 11 Late Arriving Rangers
Departure shuttles are available July 26th, July 30th, August 2nd, August 3rd, August 4th, August 6th, August 7th, August 9th, August 10th, August 11th, August 13th, and August 23rd. 

If you are traveling via airline and need to adjust your dates of employment to match shuttle availability, please contact your hiring manager or the seasonal personnel office.

Denver, Colorado & Colorado Springs, Colorado

Shuttles from the Denver (DEN) and Colorado Springs (COS) airports are provided by Gray Line of Denver. These shuttles are available on most staff arrival and departure dates during the summer season. Please ensure both arrival and departure are supported by this shuttle before booking airfare.

  • Flights must be scheduled to arrive no later than 12:00 pm at DEN — 2:00 pm at COS.
  • Shuttle departs DEN from the west terminal, level 5, door 500, curbside @ 12:45 pm.
  • For assistance at DEN, contact the Airport Ground Transportation Information Desk inside the main terminal
  • Shuttle departs COS from Lower Level outside Baggage Claim at 3:00 pm.
  • Shuttle arrives Philmont at 6:30
  • You are allowed food/beverages on board, as there is no scheduled meal

DEN/COS Airport Shuttle Registration Link (Gray Line of Denver):

DEN Cost: $199 each way ($398 round trip)
COS Cost: $149 each way ($298 round trip)

Summer shuttle service is available to Philmont from Albuquerque airport and the Raton Train Station. These shuttles are not available for 12-day, 9-day, 7-day Treks, or Cavalcade Crews. 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Shuttles from the Albuquerque Airport (ABQ Sunport) are provided by Main Event Transportation/Blue Sky Adventures. Shuttles are booked directly with this vendor. These shuttles are available only on primary staff arrival and departure dates. Please ensure both your arrival and departure are supported by this shuttle before booking airfare.

Blue Sky Adventures—ABQ Airport to Philmont Shuttle Registration Link 

Cost: $125 each way ($250 round trip)

Arrival By Personal Vehicle

Staff traveling by a personal vehicle (driving or riding) should plan to arrive during business hours (BEFORE 3PM) on their Check-In/Arrival Date as specified in their Terms of Seasonal Employment. This will allow time to complete all of the necessary steps of check-in prior to offices closing and dinner beginning at 5:00pm. This check-in process needs to be completed to ensure scheduled training can begin promptly the following morning. No provisions (housing or meals) are made for staff arriving prior to their scheduled arrival day with the exception of those traveling on the eastbound Amtrak train or commercial airport shuttles (details above).

Check-In Process

Check-in day for the vast majority of staff is the day before the start date listed on their Terms of Seasonal Employment. To begin this process, staff should visit the Seasonal Personnel Desk at the Camping Registration Office immediately upon arrival.

Staff will need to bring the following with them:

  • The original documents used to verify eligibility of employment on form I-9 (paid staff only)
    • Yes, personnel staff are required by law to inspect the original documents even though copies were uploaded via WorkBright **As of 2023, you can avoid bringing these documents if you utilized the remote I-9 verification option in WorkBright**
  • Payment for BSA Membership Fee (if proof of current membership was not previously submitted)
    • $60 for staff for a required year long membership – check or exact change preferred

At the Seasonal Personnel Office each employee’s WorkBright profile and I-9 documentation will be verified and they will be issued a welcome packet, uniform voucher, ID badge, and parking pass (if required). Once this is completed, staff will need to receive their housing assignment, move in, purchase uniform parts, and report to their supervisor to discuss training, position expectations, and schedules. This process typically takes a few hours.

Employment Date Changes

As mentioned in the Seasonal Staff Handbook and Terms of Seasonal employment, it is important for all employees to know and understand their arrival/check-in, start, end, and departure dates. If a staff member needs to adjust their employment dates for any reason, they must inform their hiring manager as soon as possible. When staff arrive earlier than expected, food, housing, or work may not be ready for those staff. When staff leave Philmont earlier than expected or cut their employment short, this puts a burden on the remaining staff and managers who must continue  to deliver top quality programs, facilities, and services to our customers and close camp. End date changes resulting from avoidable scheduling conflicts or that were not communicated well in advance will require resignation which may affect future employment decisions.

Check-Out & Departure Process

Every employee’s last working day is specified in their Terms of Seasonal Employment. All staff are expected to work until 3pm on their last working day and will not be permitted to begin the check out process or depart prior to this. Staff will have from 3pm on their last working day through 3pm the following day to complete the check out process and depart Philmont. A card will be provided which lays out the check-out steps including turning in borrowed equipment/keys, paying any outstanding trail charges or fees, verifying mailing information, submission of reports/evaluations, the inspection of living quarters, and a final evaluation and check-out with the supervisor. This process typically takes a few hours.

A staff member desiring to stay at Philmont beyond the last day specified on the Terms of Seasonal Employment must obtain approval from Philmont Management. A change of assigned quarters may be necessary.

Extension of Employment

A clean-up crew is employed to assist in close down operations after the summer. This usually runs about two weeks past the closing of camp, up to Friday of Labor Day weekend. If interested, please reach out ahead of time to the Seasonal Personnel Office (

Additionally, Philmont does offer Second Season employment opportunities in support of conferences, Autumn Adventure, and Winter Adventure programs. Applications for those positions are accepted from late-June through mid-July each summer.