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The Watchu Experience

Other Ways to Experience Philmont

For Crews and Individuals

Watchu Experience Every summer, Patriots' Path Council sends at least twenty twelve-person crews to Philmont Scout Ranch, as part of the Watchu Experience. The Watchu Experience fee includes almost everything you need for an awesome Philmont experience including training, guidebooks, Philmont fees, transportation, baggage fees, pre and post Philmont adventures and lots more.

While we believe the Watchu Experience provides the best value for an 18-month-long program of teenage high-adventure, there are many ways to experience Philmont. Here are some more options:

Crew Opportunities

PhilmontNational Lottery

Your crew can apply directly to Philmont. Philmont accepts online registrations in the month of November, two years preceding the summer you would like to attend Philmont. A highly competitive national lottery is held in December to determine the crews that are accepted and to develop a waiting list. Don't forget to budget for additional costs above the Philmont fees.

Short Treks

CavalcadeIn addition to regular 12-day backpacking treks, Philmont also offers 7-day treks with 5 nights in the backcountry for a reduced fee. The short treks have Friday and Saturday arrival dates throughout the season. Additional daily departures are also available in early August. You apply the same way as a 12-day trek. Short treks may be a good opportunity for crews that cannot commit the time for a full trek. 


Philmont Cavalcades are similar to backpacking expeditions except that, instead of hiking, crews ride horses through the rugged mountain wilderness. Eight-day Cavalcades with 10 to 15 people per crew are offered on specific dates each summer. A highly competitive national lottery is conducted in late January, for Cavalcades two summers away.

Individual Opportunities

In addition to regular expeditions for crews of seven to 12 members, Philmont offers several special programs that are available to individuals and smaller groups. These programs may have more stringent age requirements than regular expeditions. Some of these are "work for trek" programs at a reduced fee. Here are some highlights.

Trail Crew Trek

The Trail Crew Trek is a 14-day experience will help prepare participants to achieve the William T. Hornaday Silver Award upon return to their homes.

Rayado Trek

Philmont Individuel OpportunitiesThe challenging and selective Rayado Trek program is unparalleled for developing outdoor leadership, group dynamics, wilderness problem-solving, and advanced outdoor skills. Participants will experience more of Philmont's backcountry and will have program opportunities not available to expedition campers.

Roving Outdoor Conservation School

The Roving Outdoor Conservation School is a program for those who have an interest in conservation and natural resource management. Each crew will participate in activities in areas such as: forestry, fire ecology, fisheries management, wildlife management, geology, watershed management, and range management.

Order of the Arrow Trail Crew

The Order of the Arrow Trail Crew program is a 14-day experience for Arrowmen to join together in cheerful service and the formation of lasting brotherhood on the trails at Philmont. Under the direction of the Philmont conservation department, experienced Philmont staff members with strong Order of the Arrow backgrounds will lead participants.

Ranch Hands

Ranch Hands is a program for those who have knowledge of horsemanship and horse care and want to expand their skills and experience. After an eight-day work session, the Ranch Hands crew embarks on an eight-day Cavalcade under the leadership of a horseman and wrangler.


The STEM Trek is a co-ed program for Scouts and Venturers who have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Led by knowledgeable staff, participants will explore modern scientific principles in physics and biology as well as historical examples of technology employed by miners, loggers and homesteaders during the 19th century.


When reviewing all of these programs, don't forget that the Philmont fees are only a portion of your total cost. Review Philmont's Trek Budget Worksheet to help estimate additional costs. With the Watchu Experience, most of these costs are included.

Please take a look at some ideas to help finance your adventure.

Working at Philmont

Each season, Philmont employs more than 1,000 staff members. The staff operates, maintains and supports Philmont's program, Training Center, food service, and museums. This is a unique way to experience the magic of Philmont, and a great idea for someone who has already experienced a Philmont adventure.


Page last updated: 06-28-2015 08:54 am