Philmont Advisor Skills School

PSR-PASS: Philmont Advisor Skills School

Back by popular demand – Philmont is excited to announce the reopening of PASS sessions located at Philmont!

This weekend long training experience (located at Philmont Scout Ranch only) provides an opportunity for crew advisors to learn the fundamentals of Philmont camping skills and procedures in the beauty of the Sangre de Christo mountains.  Courses are taught by experienced Philmont Rangers and Backcountry Staff and help advisors learn important skills that will help them be better prepared for their summer experience.

Participants will have an on-site, hands-on learning experience that will give a better understanding of the following Philmont skills, procedures, and resources: 

  • Conducting a shakedown hike
  • Philmont issued gear
  • Physical conditioning
  • Crew Youth Leadership positions
  • Campsite setup and the “Bearmuda Triangle”
  • Smellables and bear bag hanging
  • Dining fly and tent setup
  • Gas stove operation and care
  • Philmont’s backcountry cooking method
  • Sample some of the newest trail meal options
  • Dishwashing and sump use
  • Effectively breaking camp
  • Day 1 Base Camp processing
  • Scheduling Philmont Museum experiences
  • Philmont Second Season Programs
  • Introduction to Winter Adventure Program

Program Overview After checking in and processing the evening before, the course will start with a quick tour of the Day 1 process in base camp, gear shakedown, and outfitting services for food and supplies.  The crew is taken to a backcountry trailhead for a short hike to a camp where the training will commence.  The next day includes a short hike and a return to base camp for continued sessions, tours of the Villa Philmonte and the National Scouting Museum.  The closing dinner will be a special opportunity for recognition and closing words and presentation of the official PASS patch. 

Another special feature of the Winter PASS program is the introduction to Philmont’s Second Season Programs.  Learn more about the other programs offered at Philmont and get a small taste of the Winter Adventure program while you are on the trail.

Wilderness First Aid:  A brand-new option available for PASS participants will be an add-on package to complete Wilderness First Aid training while at Philmont. This will be taught on-site by one of our certified staff members and will qualify for your crew’s Wilderness First Aid requirement for your Philmont Trek. Space is limited due to class size restrictions (COVID protocols) and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The course is 16 hours long and will require two additional nights at Philmont. Cost for the add-on package will be $125 and covers training materials, meals, and lodging.

If spots remain, other Advisors not participating in PASS can sign up for this Wilderness First Aid Training opportunity. The cost for the course for non-PASS participants will be $175. Use the special WFA registration form linked below to see what dates and spots remain for the courses. 

Participants:  The PASS program is tailored especially for any adult leader registered for the coming summer seasons but is open to ALL registered BSA leaders who want to learn more about camping at Philmont!  Crews are limited in size and will be mixed groups of leaders from across the country.  (Crews are limited to 12 persons each.)  Space is limited, so register early!       

Schedule:  The PASS program will be offered during multiple weekends during the Fall camping season.  Arrival dates are on Fridays, with departures on Monday mornings.  See below for a basic outline of the schedule.  Weekends the program will be offered are: 

  • January 13-16, 2023
  • February 17-20, 2023
  • March 3-6, 2023
  • March 24-27, 2023
  • March 31-April 3, 2023

PASS Program

Overall Schedule 

Day 1 

Arrival Day, Orientation, base camp tour, begin gear shakedown (please arrive by 4pm)

Day 2 

Gear Shakedown, transport to backcountry, hike to camp, begin skills training, fundamentals of Philmont camping. 

Day 3 

Continue Philmont camping skills, introduction to Philmont Second Season programs, return to base, tour Villa Philmonte, Classroom Sessions, Banquet 

Day 4 

Departure Day (depart after breakfast)

Weather:  Weather in late February and March is mild during the day, but still cold at night.  You can expect temperatures in the 50s and 60s during the day, with dips into the 30’s at night.  Weather will be monitored closely to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.  In the event of snow predictions or actual accumulation, programs will be modified to take advantage of this unique opportunity and still complete the curriculum.  Guides are already trained for winter program and can provide fun programs either way!  Part of the orientation and gear shakedown process will include information on layering and cold weather camping and certain gear will be available for check out by all PASS participants.  (See gear checklists in the appendix of this manual.) 

Health and Medical Record: Parts A, B, and C are required for each participant involved in a trek, cavalcade, or any backcountry experience that involves a Tooth of Time hike or spending the night in the backcountry. The Health and Medical Record expires annually, so please ensure your record is still current. Copies will be submitted to the health officer during medical recheck and will be returned at the end of the PASS weekend. 

Gear:  A variety of crew gear will be provided by Philmont for the program, including the following:  tents, dining fly, stakes, cooking gear (stove, pots, spoons, etc.), trail meals, sump gear, and miscellaneous supplies from Outfitting Services.  Philmont also has sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and cold weather clothing layers available for individual checkout, if needed.

Cost:  Cost for the program will be $125 per participant.  Fee covers three nights at Philmont, dining hall meals, trail meals, PASS materials, Philmont crew related gear, and a special PASS patch.  Transportation to and from Philmont is not provided, but you may be able to coordinate with other participants for ride sharing opportunities.