Re: Philmont lottery/reservations
Bill Euerle (wjeuerle@CECI.MIT.EDU)
Mon, 22 Aug 1994 12:26:33 -0400
>I am sure that you will get a number of questions and
>comments regarding the "lottery" for Philmont.
I'll do the best I can. Remember, I was in a program, as compared to
adminstrative position (thankfully), so alot of these answers should be
prefaced with "I think the answer is...."
>We entered the lottery and were notified that we are
>about 600 on the waiting list. Do we have any reasonable
>chance of getting in?
I think you stand a reasonable chance of getting in. What arrival day you get
is a completely different question.
>Since we "lost" in this year's lottery, will we get any priority
>next year? or might we go forever without getting in. Our troop
>has been trying to plan a Philmont trek ever three to four years,
>but with the lottery system, we don't have much control over when
>we might get in.
Very true. No, you will not receive any priority over other groups the
>I am quite unhappy with the lottery system. (and not just because
>we "lost"0. It may make things easier for the Philmont staff
>handling reservations, but it makes things much less predictable
>for scout troops. Under the old system, if a unit really wanted
>in, we made sure that we called on the first day that the
>reservation desk was open. It may have been hectic at the other
>end, but it gave us some control. Under the lottery, even ir
>we "win", we only have a date, but don't know what expeditions
>are available. Under the old system, one call made reservations
>for a specific date and trip.
Unfortunately, that isn't all true. I had several crews this summer that told
be that, with an autodialer continuously trying to get though, it still took
several hours to get through. For people without them (autodialers), it could
take days. As I mentioned, Philmont had over 19,000 participants this summer.
Capacity is 17,700 (59 arrival days at 300 people a day). The excess is a
result of the people taking reservations not realizing that they had
significantly overbooked (although this problem, with a little organization,
could probablty be cleared up).
>Will next years system be the same?
No, but the lottery system is here to stay. Crews returning to base camp after
their trek fill out a questionaire on how their trek was. In addition, that
questionare solicited suggestions/complaints about the lottery system, as well
as several other suggestions for coping with demand. (raising the age limit?
if so, to what? pursue acquisition of additional land surrounding Philmont
(increase # of participants)? shorten length of treks?) Those surveys are
taken very seriously, and will be considered when the ranch committee makes its
decisions for the summer of 1996. If anyone else is interested in adding their
input, I have inclued the Philmont address below.
>There has been some speculation that council and international
>contingents got some priority in the lottery. Is this true? If
>so, I am very much opposed to the practice because I feel that
>a Philmont expedition is much more valuable to a troop/post
>group when the leadership and team spirit can be brought back
>to enrich the local unit.
I have not heard anything definitive on this point. I have heard that, in
cases where the group (council/international scouts) have a history of
consecutive years at Philmont, they were given some preference (but not
automatic placement.) I have no idea about the validity of that, however.
>Do non-BSA groups (such as Girls scouts and church groups) compete
>equally in the lottery? Since Philmont is a BSA facility, I believe
>that BSA groups should get first crack at it and only if there is
>excess capacity should outside groups be let it.
No, they do not. At this point, only registered scout groups (troops, posts,
teams) can attend Philmont. There is little to prevent a church group from
registering as an explorer post solely for the purposes of attending Philmont,
>Who do I write to to express my concerns about the new system?
The people in charge of the camping (as compared to training) operations at
Dave Bates (Director of Program)
Doug Palmer, Dean Tooley (Associate Directors of Program)
Philmont Scout Ranch
Cimarron, NM 87714
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City