Crew Requirements

When assembling a crew for a Philmont expedition, make sure to meet the specifications below. In keeping with the policies of the Boy Scouts of America, rules for participation are the same for everyone without regard to race, national origin, age, gender, or disability.

Requirements for Philmont participants are final. Please do not request or expect exceptions!

Crew Size

For group expeditions, Philmont requires a crew of 8 (minimum) to 12 (maximum) members, including all youth and adult participants and adult advisers. Our experience has proven that this is the best size for a Philmont crew. You will find handling crew chores more efficient, food distribution best, and program opportunities greater. Also, keeping the crew together on the trail will be easier. Campsites are designed to comfortably accommodate a maximum of 12 persons.

NEW RECOMMENDATION: Minimum adult requirement from 2 to 3 adults. Council contingents and other large groups should organize their crews according to hiking and camping abilities. Each crew can then choose an itinerary that corresponds to its ability, and travel at its own pace. Philmont reserves the right to combine smaller crews within contingents or multi-crew groups to maximize staff resources. Also, please note the following restrictions:

  • Coed groups must be Venturing crews with both male and female leadership.
  • Unregistered guests or family members are not permitted.
  • A majority of the crew members must be under age 21.

Youth Participants

A youth must be 14 years of age OR 13 years of age and completed the 8th grade by date of participation. Youth must be registered members of the Boy Scouts of America, and may participate in a Philmont expedition in one of the following ways:

  • As members of a chartered unit (Scout troop, Varsity team, Sea Scout Ship, or Venturing crew)
  • As members of a council contingent or district contingent with required leadership
  • Individually, independent of a unit or council, through one of Philmont’s Individual Programs

Adult Leadership

Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader over 21 in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided. The best available adult leadership should be recruited to accompany each crew. In keeping with the policy of the Boy Scouts of America, there are no gender restrictions for adult leadership at Philmont except that each coed Venturing crew must have coed adult leaders. Each adult must be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America. Each Philmont expedition or group must have at least two (3 leaders will be required in 2025 and is strongly recommended for 2024) BSA registered adult advisers for Scout groups. Adult advisers must be at least 21 years of age. There must be a registered female adult leader over 21 in every unit serving females. Each crew is required to have a majority of youth participants, and the maximum number of adults (over 21) is four per crew. Participants 18 through 20 years of age may be counted as youth or adult crew members. Adult program participants must register as adults and follow Youth Protection policies. Coed Venturing crews are required to provide coed leadership while en-route to and from Philmont and while hiking the trails of Philmont. A coed Venturing crew must have at least one male adviser and at least one female adviser, each of whom must be at least 21 years of age. Male and female youth participants will not share the same sleeping facility. 

Additional information on Youth Protection and Adult Leadership policies can be found here.

Expedition advisers must be physically capable of hiking and camping in Philmont’s high mountains for the length of the expedition. Each expedition adviser is expected to reflect high moral standards established by custom, traditional values, and religious training. Philmont recommends groups identify alternate leadership able to step in at the last minute in the event a leader is not able to attend. Philmont cannot provide staff to meet the BSA’s two-deep leadership requirement. Refer to Guide to Safe Scouting, No. 34416, for additional adult leadership policy.


Separate accommodations for adult males and females and youth males and females are required.


  • Separate tenting arrangments must be provided for male and female adults as well as for male and female youth.
  • Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age.
  • In Cub Scouting, parents and guardians may share a tent with their family.
  • In all other programs, youth and adults tent separately. (Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs
  • Spouses may share tents. 

Other Requirements

Advisories and Restrictions

Philmont places a special emphasis on physical preparation. Each group must carefully select participants who are capable of completing an expedition. The Health/Medical Requirements section of this site can serve as a guide in selecting crew members who can successfully meet the challenges of a Philmont expedition.

Health and Medical Record

Philmont Health Form Every camper and adviser is required to have a medical evaluation within 12 months of their participation date by a physician licensed to practice medicine. An examination conducted by a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner will be recognized for states where they may perform physical examinations of students enrolled in public school systems. The current Philmont Health and Medical Record must be used. Copies of the Health and Medical Record can be downloaded here. Advisers are to upload the forms into the Gateway or hold the forms to be turned in at the Infirmary upon arrival at Philmont. Review each participant’s medical form to be familiar with any health restrictions, and to check for parental and physician’s signatures and that a copy of the participant’s insurance card is attached. An individual should always contact the family physician first and call Philmont at 575-376-2281 if there is a question about the advisability of participation. Philmont’s chief medical officer and other medical staff of the Infirmary reserve the right to make medical decisions regarding the participation of individuals at Philmont. Participants will be charged for medications dispensed at the Infirmary. Each crew must bring a first aid kit. The Guidebook to Adventure contains a recommended first aid kit supply list. Many over-the-counter medications are available at the Tooth of Time Traders.


Philmont Scout Ranch encourages all participants to be fully vaccinated according to the CDC recommended vaccination schedule. Participants wishing to be exempted from required vaccinations must fill out the vaccination exemption form and submit it with your Annual Health and Medical Record.  


  • Tetanus (within the last 10 years)
  • Diphtheria Toxoid ( within the last 10 years)

Highly recommended:

  • Measles/mumps/rubella id born in 1957 or later
  • Varicella(VAR) (Chicken pox)  if born in 1980 or later
  • Polio (IPV)
  • COVID-19
  • Hepatitis A (Hep A)
  • Hep B (Hep B)
  • Pneumonia (Pneumococcus): (PVC13 or PPSV23)
  • Influenzas (annually)
  • Hemophilus Influenza Type B (HIB)
  • Meningococcus Conjugate (MenACWY)
  • Meningococcus Type B (MenB)
  • Shingles- Zoster recombinant (RZV)


Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Wilderness First Aid is the assessment of and treatment given to an ill or injured person in a remote environment where definitive care of a physician and/or rapid transport is not readily available. Wilderness First Aid training is a sixteen-hour course. Several hours may be required for Philmont staff to reach a remote backcountry location after a message is delivered to the nearest staffed camp. Wilderness First Aid and CPR training will result in proper and prompt attention being given to injuries and/or illnesses. Philmont requires that each crew have two participants who have completed Wilderness First Aid and two participants with CPR training. Current certification cards must be presented upon check-in to verify this requirement. With two Wilderness First Aiders and two CPR trained members on the trek, the crew will be better able to handle emergencies. This requirement can be met by youth and/or adult participants. *Equivalent training can be obtained from the following nationally recognized organizations:

  • Aerie Medicine –
  • American Red Cross –
  • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) –
  • AmeriMed CPR Training –
  • Canadian Red Cross –
  • Center for Wilderness Safety –
  • Emergency Care and Safety Institute – – Wilderness First Aid Advanced Level Course
  • Kane Schools –
  • Longleaf Wilderness Medicine –
  • Med Training Group LLC  
  • National Association For Search and Rescue (NASAR) –
  • National Safety Council – – NCS Advanced First Aid
  • National Ski Patrol – – Outdoor Emergency Care
  • NOLS Wilderness Medicine –
  • Remote Medical International –
  • Sierra Rescue –
  • SOLO –
  • St. John’s Ambulance (Canada, Australia) –, www.
  • The Mountaineers – – Mountaineering Oriented First Aid
  • University of Colorado Department of Emergency Medicine –
  • University of New Mexico International Mountain Medicine Center –
  • Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) –
  • Wilderness First Aid Course, Inc. –
  • Wilderness Medicine of Utah
  • Wilderness Medical Training Center –
  • Wilderness Medicine Outfitters – – (Distance Learning Course does NOT qualify)
  • Wilderness Safety Council –

The Boy Scouts of America and the American Red Cross and Emergency and Safety Institute (ECSI) have national agreements with the primary goal to help councils become self-sufficient in teaching First Aid Courses. Wilderness First Aid is a specified course in these agreements. Visit with your council service center for more information about the implementation of the agreements that are working with your council. Philmont will accept the following advanced levels of training and a copy of the current license or certification must be shared with Philmont during the registration process:

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Outdoor Emergency Care/Ski Patrol
  • EMT-Basic, EMT-Advanced, or Paramedic
  • Military Corpsman, Medic, or Equivalent Medical Training
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Nurse Practitioner
  • Licensed Physician’s Assistant
  • Licensed Physician, MD or DO