In December of 2016, the Boy Scouts of America announced the decision to relocate the National Scouting Museum to Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. Supported by generous donors, the National Scouting Museum – Philmont Scout Ranch was built to allow the organization to share the rich history of Scouting with more visitors, including the tens of thousands of campers, volunteers and alumni that visit Philmont each year. This new building holds a library with reading and research rooms, a gift shop with jewelry, books and mementos, two large exhibit halls and an 88-person conference room. For decades, the National Scouting Museum has played an important role in preserving and telling the rich story of the Boy Scouts of America and the positive impact Scouting continues to have on youth and families. The museum is committed to preserving the rich, 100-plus-year history of the Scouting movement by collecting, organizing, preserving and displaying some of Scouting’s greatest treasures, including 600,000 artifacts.
This collection not only documents Scouting’s unique influence on American culture, but also tells the story of a movement that has positively affected the lives of more than 110 million young people. The museum’s move to Philmont–where 32,000 people visit every year–will introduce even more people to Scouting’s story and introduce unique opportunities to showcase parts of the collection throughout the country. The National Scouting Museum’s Philmont home will be the primary place to see Scouting memorabilia, but the BSA’s expansive collection of Scouting collectibles will be spread far and wide. Additionally, this transition allows the BSA to reinforce its commitment to making many parts of the collection and archives digitally accessible. It allows the BSA to share some items for showcase at local councils and at the three other national high adventure bases: the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, the Florida Sea Base, and the Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases in Minnesota and Canada. In other words, this new chapter for the National Scouting Museum will mean more Scouts get a glimpse into the BSA’s powerful past.
Camping gear, uniforms, service projects and more tell the story of Scouting in Exhibit Hall A. The history of Philmont Scout Ranch and the Great Southwest fill Exhibit Hall B. Study the ranch’s trails on an over-sized topographical map, watch an old mud wagon undergo on-site restoration and view priceless pieces of pottery and art work of Ernest Thompson Seton.
Waite Phillips built the Villa Philmonte as the summer home for his family on the Philmont Ranch. It was completed in 1927 and was designed in Spanish Mediterranean style. Restored to the period when Phillips owned the ranch, it now serves as a memorial to him and his generosity to the Boy Scouts of America. You can view guided tour hours and call us to make a reservation.
Museum Gift Shop
The museum shop carries Southwestern Indian jewelry, Pendleton blankets, kachina dolls, pottery, and regional books.
Seton Memorial Library
Kit Carson Museum at Rayado
Philmont lies on part of a land grant given to Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda by the Mexican government in 1841. Mountain man Lucien Maxwell founded a colony on the grant on the Rayado River in 1848. A year later, he was joined at the settlement by frontiersman Kit Carson. Their ranch on the Rayado was visited by many traders traveling on the Santa Fe Trail. In 1950 the Boy Scouts of America built an adobe museum at Rayado to serve as an interpretive area to portray its history and recount the exploits of Maxwell and Carson. It was named in honor of Kit Carson. Staff at the Kit Carson Museum dress in period clothing and demonstrate frontier skills and crafts like blacksmithing, cooking, shooting, and farming. Each room in the museum is outfitted with reproduction furniture and objects typical of New Mexico in the 1850s. The Rayado Trading Company, located at the museum, sells books, maps, reproduction tools and equipment, moccasins, and blankets. The Kit Carson Museum is seven miles south of Philmont’s headquarters on New Mexico Highway 21. Summer hours are 8 AM to 5 PM daily. Admission is free. The museum is open only for special events during the rest of the year. LEARN MORE.
Historic Chase Ranch Museum
Founded in 1869, the Chase Ranch was successfully owned and operated by the Chase family for over 143 years. The historic adobe ranch house offers a glimpse of ranch life starting around the time of the Colfax County land grant war, through the territorial & statehood periods and into modern times.
This ranch and the Chase family where instrumental in transforming western ranching into what it is today! The historic adobe ranch house showcases ranch life from the era of the Colfax County War through the territorial and statehood periods into the 21st Century. Family books and favorite mementos are on view throughout the home. Gretchen Sammis was the last of the Chase family members to live on the ranch. She devoted her life to teaching in the public schools and taking care of her land and cattle. Gretchen was in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. On Gretchen’s death in 2012, the ranch fell under the directorship of the Chase Ranch Foundation.
Philmont Scout Ranch works closely with the Foundation in continuing ranch operations and in maintaining the Chase Ranch House as a colorful, educational museum. During the summer months, guided tours are available of the main house, grounds, orchards and tack room. Site includes restrooms, picnic amenities and a gift shop.