Special Philmont Opportunities for Venturers

Please see the information below regarding an interesting opportunity to participate in a little-known Philmont initiative.

Young men and women often wait upwards of two years to go on a trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. There is, however, a little known opportunity that enables participants to experience Philmont without the extensive wait: special treks. Through these special treks, Scouts and Venturers can discover the legendary backcountry of Philmont by joining a crew lead by Philmont staff and composed of individuals from across America. Surprisingly, all of Philmont’s special trek opportunities cost less than the ranch’s traditional eleven day treks. For Scouts and Venturers interested in backpacking, environmental science, and resource management, the Philmont Conservation Department offers two special trek programs: the Roving Outdoor Conservation School and Trail Crew Trek.

Roving Outdoor Conservation School (R.O.C.S.)

The Roving Outdoor Conservation School (ROCS) is a twenty-one day outdoor education and backpacking experience rooted in conservation and environmental science education. Throughout the trek, participants engage in hands-on activities covering over twenty environmental science disciplines, including ecology, geology, wildlife management, range management, forestry, fire ecology, soils, and environmental policy. ROCS participants also meet with guest speakers and work on numerous conservation projects in collaboration with the Philmont Conservation Department and the U.S. Forest Service. During a typical trek, participants hike over 130 miles, travel through and learn about a variety of ecosystems, hone their sense of stewardship for the land, and build lasting friendships.

For 2012, young men and women can hit the trail for only $475 by taking advantage of one of the many ROCS sessions available:

  • June 16th to July 7th
  • June 23rd to July 14th
  • June 30th to July 21st (Female Session)
  • July 7th to July 28th
  • July 14th to August 4th

To get a behind the scenes glimpse of ROCS, check out a Youtube clip of crews in action.

Trail Crew Trek (T.C.T.)

Trail Crew Trek (TCT) is a coed, fourteen-day program that provides participants with a trek through the backcountry of Philmont and enables them to develop the vision and skills to create and lead their own conservation service projects. TCT encompasses seven days of building trail, a seven day educational trek, hands-on experience with a variety of conservation projects on the ranch, and visits from guest speakers involved in conservation and resource management. Trail Crew Trek is an excellent opportunity for young men and women eager to roll up their sleeves and give back to the land. For only $310, participants can hone their conservation skills during one of the two TCT sessions:

  • June 14th to June 28th (Coed Session)
  • July 26th to August 9th (Coed Session)

To see what life is like on the trail with Trail Crew Trek participants, check out this Youtube clip.

Both ROCS and Trail Crew Trek are open to participants ages 16 to not yet 21. The Philmont Staff Association offers need-based scholarships to further ensure that these opportunities are within reach for Scouts and Venturers. For more information on these programs, please feel free to contact us or visit Philmont Scout Ranch.

These opportunities have the potential to change lives…but for this to happen, we need your help. We need you to spread the word to Scouts and Venturers you know. Perhaps there is a young man or woman you can aid in signing up for ROCS or TCT. Perhaps there is a fellow advisor whom you can assist in getting participants out to Philmont. Or perhaps there is a round table or newsletter through which you can spread the word about these opportunities. Also, if you know of additional ways we can share these opportunities with young men and women, please let us know. We want to ensure that those who stand to benefit from ROCS and TCT are aware of how easily they can hit the trail next summer.Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to request additional information. Thanks in advance for your support and assistance.

Yours in Scouting, 
Michael Sudmeier Associate Director of Conservation for Environmental Education Philmont Scout Ranch michael.sudmeier@gmail.com
Andy Sheets Coordinator for Environmental Education Philmont Scout Ranch andy.sheets09@gmail.com