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Ranch Hands

July 7 - July 24

Ranch Hands

Ranch Hands is a program for Scouts and Venturers who have knowledge of horsemanship and horse care and want to expand their skills and experience. The Ranch Hand crew will work with the horse department staff, taking care of Philmont’s 300 horses and 80 burros, hauling hay, saddling, and performing other horse program tasks.

Who May Participate?

To be able to participate in the Ranch Hands 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 time it ends.
  • Be physically fit, able to lift and handle materials up to 65 pounds.
  • As with all Philmont horse programs, participants must not weigh more than 200 pounds.
  • Be able to work and live under the leadership of one of Philmont’s horsemen at one of the horse camps or at headquarters.
  • Complete a BSA Annual Health and Medical Record.

Previous Philmont experience is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended. In order for Philmont to comply with New Mexico work law, no exceptions can be made to these requirements.

What Activities Does the Program Include?

After an eight-day work session, the Ranch Hands crew embarks on an eight-day Cavalcade under the leadership of a horseman and wrangler. Participants ride trails through some of the most beautiful country in the United States. Each night is spent in a different backcountry camp, where the program may include rock climbing, archaeology, mountain man rendezvous, or homesteading. The final afternoon of the Cavalcade features a horseback gymkhana in the arena at Ponil Camp. 

Additional Information

Ranch Hands Info

Ranch Hands Packing Chart

Program Fee – $525


Register for Ranch Hands – 2024

Register: By individual

Season: Summer

Age: 16 years old by the start date and not yet 21 by the end date

Leadership: 2 adult leaders provided by Philmont

Registration: Anytime


Ranch Hands 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  


July 7
July 24
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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