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Philmont Advisor Skills School (PASS)

March 8 - March 11

Philmont Advisor Skills School (PASS)

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. 

Wilderness First Aid

Some of the upcoming PASS course has an option to add on a Wilderness First Aid course the Monday and Tuesday after the PASS course. This will be taught on-site by one of our certified staff members and will quality for your crew’s Wilderness First Aid requirements for your Philmont Trek. Space is limited due to class size restrictions and will be filled on a first come first serve basis. The course is ESCI Wilderness First Aid and is a 16 hour long course.

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. 


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!    

Session Dates

  • July 28-31, 2023
  • August 4-7, 2023
  • October 6-9, 2023
  • October 13-16, 2023 – WFA Add on
  • January 12-15, 2024 – WFA Add on
  • February 16-19, 2024 – WFA Add on
  • March 8-11, 2024
  • March 22-25, 2024 – WFA Add on


Weather varies with the time of year that you come for your PASS Course. July and August courses you can expect temperatures in the 80s with lows into the 40s and in Winter months can expect highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s or colder. Weather will be monitored closely to ensure a safe enjoyable experience for all. IN the event of snow predictions or actual accumulation, programs will be modified to take advantage of the unique opportunity and still complete the curriculum. Guides leading the PASS courses are already trained for winter programing and winter camping gear will be available for PASS participants.

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. 


 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. See packing list here.


Register for PASS – 2024


PASS Toolbox  
Traditional Trek Details 2024 Crew Packet
2025 Registration Information 2024 Guidebook to Adventure
Fees and Scholarships 2024 Guidebook to Adventure for Advisors    
2025 Financial Aid Application Shakedown Guide
Trek Requirements Facilities
Health and Medical Record Patches and Awards
Planning Calendar Equipment List
2024 Itinerary Guidebook Dining in The Backcountry
Philmont Prep Seminars New Mexico Fishing License
Traveling to Philmont Promote Your Philmont Trek
2024 Custom Crew Shirts Council & Unit Planning Guide
Crew Photos  


Discover Philmont Scout Ranch  
About Philmont Contact Us
Visit Us (Open Year-Round) Covid-19 Updates
Frequently Asked Questions Philmont Training Center
Tooth of Time Traders (PSR Store) BSA Family Adventure Camp
Philmont Museums Basecamp Webcam
Seasonal Staff Opportunities Philmont Photo Archive
Philmont Staff Association Philmont Stories (Blog)
Conservation Department Resources
Philmont Wildfire Recovery Ambassador Resources
Wildfire Recovery & Mitigation Fund  


March 8
March 11
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Philmont Basecamp
56 Camping Headquarters Road
Cimarron, NM 87714 United States
(575) 376-2281


Philmont Camping Headquarters (CHQ)
(575) 376-2281