Re: Need Philmont Info
Steven Tobin (stobin@MMMPCC.ORG)
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 01:07:15 -0600
I thought I would reply to the list, as I hope everyone will find the
information useful someday. Mike covered most of your questions, but as I
just returned about 3 weeks ago (has it been that long already:^( ??) I
though I would fill in a little.
It was an absolutely fantastic experience on just about every front. The
training and conference leaders were first rate. I have more information,
ideas and motivation than is healthy for any one person. I'm like an old
dog who's full of fleas... I just don't know where to bite first. The
other conference attendees were also great. It was a wonderful
experience associating for a solid week with leading scouters from all
over the country. The energy, synergy and information that was exchanged
could power a city for a month.
It was great for the families, also. Everyone soon became comfortable with
meeting new people and making new friends. The phrase "Were are you
folks from?" was the standard coversation opener. After a week all the
Southerners there had even _me_ talking with a drawl, Y'all! :^) The staff
was outstanding and would move mountains (figuratively) to make everyone's
stay memorable. The family programs, especially for the kids, were very
well done. It was gratifying to watch the youngsters making friends so
easily and naturally. By the end of the first day there were groups of new
buddies all over the place. The atmosphere for the families was truly
As far as additional practical tips:
I would suggest bringing a sleeping bag. The nights were COLD!, about 40
degrees, and the blankets they issue are pretty thin.
I don't know how you are getting there, but a car, while handy, should
not be necessary once there. There is a bus tour on Wednesday afternoon
that takes you to Cimmeron and the Kit Carson Museum. Folks car pool a
lot, also. The main need would be if you want to go to Taos (the main
tourist offering) or Raton on Wednesday. The Scout camp facility, the
Seton Library and museum and the trading post are walking distance.
However, check the packet of information they sent for car rentals. A lot
of people flew into Albequrque (sp??) and rented a car there (about a 2
1/2 hour drive).
There is, unfortunatly, no fishing around Philmont. The rivers ("Around
here, if it has water in it all year, son, we call it a river!") are
pretty small and not close to the Philmont facility. I would forget the
tackle, but they will keep him plenty busy enough that I doubt if he will
While, as Mike said, there is plenty of pop around, I didn't see any
candy, snacks or such offered for sale. The meals are served cafeteria
style in two dining halls in two shifts. When you check in they give each
person a name tag with tent city (there are two - south and east), tent
and dining assignments on it. The quality, while hardly 4-star (or even
1-star), was tolerable and (I'm told) better than last year. A decent
salad bar and plentiful fresh fruit saved the day for most of us. They
served a vegetarian entree when there was a meat offering, but it was
usually really _mean_ stuff; it would turn the most avid vegetarian to
eating meat... raw and cold. The staff, like everywhere else at Philmont,
was very pleasant and helpful and made the cafeteria a pleasant place to
Bring a good hat, with a wide brim and ventilated. The sun is very
intense, so if you are sensitive take precautions.
Bring a quart water jug for each person that you can carry with you all
the time. The air is very dry and you will be drinking water like crazy.
Guaranteed. I didn't like the taste of the water there very well. I would
use a little instant lemonade - at about 1/4 normal rate or less. It is an
old remedy I ran across, and it works.
I made up Scouting "business cards" on the computer before I left, and
they proved invaluable. You can buy the perferated blanks at Wallmart, 10
sheets, 10 per sheet, for about $3.00. Make up the card using your word
processor and the label printing feature. Print them out, tear them
apart, and there you are.
I have rambled way too long, but if you have any specific questions feel
free to contact me. I went into it with reservations, but came away an
avid fan of Philmont and the Training Center. Everyone was very reluctant
for the week to end, and looking forward to next time. Philmont is a
unique place and experience.
Steve Tobin, SM Troop 39, Cannon Falls, MN
Wakpaota District Roundtable Commissioner, Gamehaven Council
Visit the NetWoods Virtual Campsite at:
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City