Philmont Advisor's Guide

All youth and adult participants must be registered members of the Boy Scouts of America. All adults must have unexpired certification in the appropriate Youth Protection training course.

Youth Participants

A youth must be 14 years of age by the time they arrive at Philmont OR 13 years of age and completed the 8th grade. 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.

Adult Participants

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 co-ed Venturing crew must have co-ed adult leaders.

Each Philmont expedition or group must have at least two BSA registered adult advisors for Scout groups. One advisor must be at least 21 years of age; the second advisor must be at least 18.  Non-Venturing participants 18 through 20 years of age may be counted as youth or adult crew members, even if they are registered as adults in a Boy Scout troop.

For additional info on adult leadership, and requirements for co-ed Venturing crews, see the Philmont website.

Crew Composition & Size

For group expeditions, Philmont requires a crew of 7 (minimum) to 12 (maximum) members, including all youth and adult participants and adult advisors. This is the best size for a Philmont crew and makes handling crew chores more efficient, food distribution best, and program opportunities greater. Keeping the crew together on the trail is easier by maintaining these standards. Campsites are designed to comfortably accommodate a maximum of 12 persons. The majority of any Philmont crew must be youth members, and no more than four adult advisors (over 21) may accompany a crew.

Health and Medical Record

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 can serve as a guide in selecting crew members who can successfully meet the challenges of a Philmont expedition.  Participants 21 years and older who exceed the maximum acceptable weight limit for their height at the Philmont medical recheck will not be permitted to backpack or hike at Philmont.  Philmont physicians will use their best professional judgment in determining participation in a Philmont trek by individuals under 21 years of age who exceed the maximum acceptable weight for their height. Participants under 21 years of age are strongly encouraged to meet the weight limit for their height, and exceptions are not made automatically, and the maximum allowable exception will be 20 pounds. Discussion in advance with Philmont regarding any exception to the weight limit for persons under 21 years of age is required, whether it is over or under.

Every camper and advisor 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 contingent or crew. You can also download the health form at the Philmont website. Advisors are to collect and hold the forms to be turned in at the Health Lodge upon arrival at Philmont. Prior to arriving at Philmont, advisors should 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


Each youth participant and adult advisor 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.

Risk Advisories

A Philmont trek is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. Each person will carry a 30- to 50-pound pack while hiking five to 12 miles per day in an isolated mountain wilderness, ranging from 6,500 to 12,500 feet in elevation. Climatic conditions include temperatures from 30 to 90 degrees F, low humidity (10% to 30%) and frequent, sometimes severe, afternoon thunderstorms.

In order to meet the Philmont challenge, every participant must meet the required weight limit for backpacking, understand Philmont's risk advisory, and be aware of potential hazards. Participants with medical conditions or requirements should review the recommendations regarding chronic illness.

Important: the rules for participation are the same for everyone without regard to age, gender, ethnicity, or special needs. Any participant arriving at Philmont who does not meet the physical requirements—or any person coming off the trail because they cannot physically "make it"—must return home at their own expense.