Roving Outdoor Conservation School (ROCS)

  • 21 days and nights
  • Fee: $585 in 2019, $625 in 2020

  • Register: by individual
  • Season: Summer
  • Age: 16 by date attending and not yet 21
  • Crew Size: Provisional Crew will be organized by Philmont
  • Leadership: 2 adult leaders provided by Philmont
  • Registration: Anytime


The Roving Outdoor Conservation School (ROCS) is an exciting program for Scouts and Venturers who have an interest in conservation and natural resource management. A wide variety of hands-on activities, special programs, conservation projects, and visits from natural resource professionals give you a behind-the-scenes look at the science driving modern land management. Your mind and body will be put to the test as you explore 240,000 acres of Philmont and neighboring lands.


Throughout the 21-day trek, participants will camp in many different forest types and participate in activities in some of the following areas: forestry, fire ecology, fisheries management, wildlife management, geology, watershed management, and range management. A crew will also spend six days leaving a legacy by building new hiking trails and maintaining exciting trails. ROCS is ultimately a journey that challenges Scouts and Ventures in education, service, and adventure. 

Who May Participate?

To participate in the ROCS program, participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Be at least 16 years old by the date the program begins and not yet 21 by the date it ends.
  • Be in excellent physical condition, able to hike 10 or more miles with a 40- to 50-pound backpack and able to lift and handle materials up to 50 pounds. (Philmont height and weight guidelines will be strictly enforced.)
  • Have mastered the skills of Leave No Trace camping and backpacking; previous Philmont experience is not mandatory but is strongly recommended.
  • Have a letter of recommendation from an adult Scouter detailing the participant’s backcountry experience.
  • Complete a BSA Annual Health and Medical Record.

Session Dates

Session #1: June 16-July 7

Session #2: June23-July 14

Session #3: June 30-July 21 (Female Session) 

Session #4: July 7-28

Session #5: July 14-August 8

Program Fee/Scholarships

The fee for ROCS Trek is $585 in 2019 and $625 in 2020. A $50 deposit is required with this application (balance due at the time of acceptance into the program; those applicants not accepted or canceled before May 1 will have their deposit returned). Additional expenses, including travel to and from Philmont, as well as miscellaneous purchases, are the responsibility of the participant. Scholarships are available on a limited basis.

What Equipment Will I Need?

ROCS participants should bring clothing and personal effects for a 21-day excursion. All crew equipment such as tents, cooking gear, and tools will be provided by Philmont, and all participants will be covered by campers’ insurance.

How Do I Apply?

Each participant must complete a ROCS application (approved by a parent or guardian, a unit leader, and the local council Scout executive) and provide a letter of recommendation that attests to the participant’s backcountry experience and ability to live under remote and primitive conditions. Apply early for best consideration. Applications will continue to be accepted until all spaces are filled. Mail your completed application to:

Philmont Scout Ranch
Attn: ROCS
17 Deer Run Road
Cimarron, NM 87714

Additional Information

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Shuttle Information

Shuttle service is available to Philmont from Denver, Colorado Springs and Albuquerque airports. Please download a shuttle form below. These shuttles are not available for 12-day, 7-day, or cavalcade crews. 

Please note that the shuttle servicing Denver and Colorado Springs cannot transport a Scout with “Unaccompanied Minor” airline status.