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 participation cannot be relaxed.
Please do not request or expect exceptions!

Crew Size

For group expeditions, Philmont requires a crew of 7 (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.

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.    To avoid disappointment, please do not request or expect exceptions! Requirements for Philmont participation cannot be relaxed.

In keeping with the policies of the Boy Scouts of America, rules for participation are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.

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, or Venturing crew)
  • As members of a council contingent or district contingent with required leadership
  • As individuals in the Rayado Men/Women, Ranch Hands, Order of the Arrow Trail Crew, or ROCS Men/Women (Roving Outdoor Conservation School) program

Adult Leadership

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 BSA registered adult advisers for Scout groups. One adviser must be at least 21 years of age; the second adviser must be at least 18. 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.

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. Male and female advisers are required to have separate sleeping facilities. Married couples serving as adult advisers may share the same quarters if appropriate facilities are available. Female advisers must be responsible for female participants; male advisers must be responsible for the male participants.

When staying in tents, no youth will stay in the tent of another adult other than his or her parent or guardian.

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.

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 height-to-weight chart and other information in the Requirements and Advisories 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

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. These forms will be mailed to the contact person for your reservation. If additional copies of the Health and Medical Record are needed, you may download them here. Advisers are to collect and hold the forms to be turned in at the Health Lodge 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 Health Lodge reserve the right to make medical decisions regarding the participation of individuals at Philmont.

Participants will be charged for medications dispensed at the Health Lodge. 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.


Each youth participant and adult adviser must provide verification for the following immunizations:

  • Tetanus (within past 10 years)
  • Diphtheria Toxoid (within past 10 years)
  • Measles (since first birthday)
  • Mumps (since first birthday)
  • Rubella (since first birthday)
  • Trivalent Oral Polio (four doses since birth)
  • Chicken pox (since first birthday)

Immunization services must be performed (a fee is required) at Philmont for any crew member who cannot provide the required verification.

First Aid and CPR Certification

Philmont requires that 2 members of each crew be certified in Wilderness First Aid and 2 members be certified in CPR. Any 2 youth or adult crew members could receive both certifications or 4 crew members could each receive 1 certification. Several hours may be required for Philmont staff to reach a remote backcountry location after a message is delivered to the nearest staffed camp. First aid and CPR training will result in proper and prompt attention being given to injuries and/or illnesses. You must present current certification cards upon check-in to verify this requirement.

Equivalent training may include instruction by ambulance or fire department personnel, community colleges, or other organizations. You must have a letter indicating length of training, topics covered, and participant roster.

Religious Beliefs and Medical Care

The following is the policy of the Boy Scouts of America regarding medical requirements: Medical examinations for camp attendance are required of all campers for the protection of the entire camp group. The immunization requirement is waived for persons with religious beliefs against immunization. (Philmont will provide a copy of the waiver form upon request.)

Tour Plan

Units will complete a Tour Plan Worksheet when planning for local, national, or international adventure. The plan helps ensure the unit is properly prepared, that qualified and trained leadership is in place, and that the right equipment is available for the adventure. IT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE MARCH ADVISORS KIT.

A tour group must have its Tour Plan in its possession at all times and must display it when requested by Scout officials or other authorized persons. All reservations by a tour group for overnight group camping on council properties and military bases will be subject to the presentation of a Tour Plan on arrival. Philmont requires a Tour Plan be presented at registration.

Groups are encouraged to secure the signatures of these authorized persons on the front of the Tour Plan as indications of satisfactory experiences at various stopping points.


About Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America's premier High Adventure™ base, challenges Scouts and Venturers with more than 214 square miles of rugged northern New Mexico wilderness. Backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs offer young people many ways to experience this legendary country.