I Want to Go Back to Philmont Because...

by David Stevenson
(plus YOUR comments)

Dan and Dave looking fresh and clean before the Philmont Trek begins.

Dan and Dave looking fresh and clean before the Philmont Trek begins.

Dan and Dave looking fresh and clean before the Philmont Trek begins. Be Prepared -- but this is a bit too prepared! Dan hams it up on the trail. Second camp on the trail (Carson Meadows) and Dave is pointing to the Tooth of Time, where we'll be on Day 11. Along the trail from Carson Meadows to Fish Camp. Each of those signs represents thousands of memories for Philmont veterans!

Almost everyone who has hiked and backpacked at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico has said at one time or another,

"I want to go back to Philmont!"

Here is your chance to tell everyone WHY you want to go back to Philmont. Just scroll down to add your comments and enjoy reading the other comments.

(NOTE: If you've got a great story or some great tips to share about Philmont, you can post your story and/or tips with up to 4 photos by visiting the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch Stories page.)

See you in the backcountry at Philmont -- sometime, somehow -- because I want to go back to Philmont!

So, why do YOU want to go back to Philmont? Add your reasons below...

Comments for I Want to Go Back to Philmont Because...

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 12, 2015
I want to back so much it hurts
by: Anonymous

I just visited Philmont this past summer, and it was with no doubt my entire life's best two weeks. The pure, magnificent NATURE, the LAND is what I miss more than anything else. It is what sticks with me still, and what I want to see again so desperately that it actually sometimes hurts me. Philmont has become too important an event for me to ever forget it.

Jun 21, 2014
Philmont ranger best job ever
by: Anonymous

The wildlife is amazing. I saw elk, deer, antelope, black bear, rattlesnakes, coyote, foxes and more all in their natural habitat. I literally saw all these animals up close and personal in the summer of 2008. I even saw the rarely seen mountain lion. They are out there! I saw two of them. I am currently in the army as an infantry officer and I can tell you that being a Philmont Ranger was the funniest job ever! I actually strongly want to go back in a few years if at all possible despite the fact that I will be a little older.

Aug 01, 2012
Why I Want to go Back to Philmont
by: Reed

I want to go back to Philmont because the way of life there satisfies me like no other. I like having to do something from dusk until dawn. It gets me into a routine and slows time. It makes me appreciate the basics of life. The ups and downs of the trek made me feel like a man. What I had to do and face made me into a man. I try and explain to people around me that haven't been and I just can't express into words what it's really like. Now that I'm back, I don't know what to do with my time. I belong at Philmont.

Feb 12, 2012
by: Anonymous

.....to share the experiences I had with my son. Nothing better than to bond with my son enjoying the great outdoors at one of the greatest places on earth

Feb 12, 2012
Know Your Watershed Impact Zones
by: GeoVenturing-LNTreks

Aug-1958 Philmont Expedition 817-F inspired Garmin OpenCaching "Tell-Show-DO-Review-Repeat" Guidelines for HOAC-BSA Troop 54 De Soto/MCHSite Waymarking @ http://bit.ly/Apk0HT

Feb 05, 2012
While there's still time
by: Trekless

Planning to go back for another conference, but have yet to do a Trek. In my afterlife there will be plenty opportunities to mingle in those mountains...but I wish to go experience it as a human first!

Jul 28, 2011
...where the old Rayado flows...
by: Randy P

I can honestly say that Philmont Scout Ranch made an incredible impact on my life. It is very hard to put it into words, but those experiences I found in the backdrop of the Sangre De Cristos shaped and formed me into the person I am today. In 1981 I attended my first trek, then back for Trail Crew and two summers on Staff. I have revisited with my son on his first trek and now he has returned twice more for Rayado and ROCs, and there is no coincidence my daughter is named "Miranda". Life long friends, life long memories...
I want to go back to Philmont...

Jun 07, 2011
Back to Philmont in 21 Days
by: Anonymous

In 21 days I will once again step foot on the Scouting heaven that is Philmont. Nobody who hasn't been there could begin to imagine how happy that makes me. Once again I will climb Baldy early in the morning and watch the mist burn off in the valleys. Once more I will see the sun crest the mountains and leave colors in the trees that cant be described properly. Once more I will be home. That's why I want to go back to Philmont.

Apr 09, 2011
1st time with my son, 2nd time with my son and Daughter
by: RJ

I've been twice...2008 and 2010.

08 was an all male crew including my self and my son...Had a great time.

10 was a coed crew including my son and my daughter. Wow, what a great time. Great confidence builder for my daughter. Everybody had a great time. My daughter had kind of a rough time during the trek, but I was thrilled when we got back to base camp and she said she want to go back.

I'd like all of my kids to work there for a season.

GEEZ...What a cool place. People don't get it till they have done it. Once you've done it, then you understand what it means to have EARNED a Philmont patch.

I want to go back because of Little Bonito.

Apr 09, 2011
25 years ago
by: Stuart

Made my first trip 25 years ago. Next time I go with my son.

Could not ask for a better chance to spend time with him.

Dec 12, 2010
Return to Philmont
by: Ari

I want to go back to Philmont to retrieve the pieces from my hat that were shot off at the black powder range. Also, I want to go back in order to get revenge on the mini bears that ate pieces off of my new cup.

Dec 12, 2010
The drive for 6....
by: Richard Lowe

I've been to Philmont five times now, twice on staff, and each time I go is just as sweet as the time before. The smell of the pine and aspen, the quiet breeze through the hills, the afternoon thunderstorms in July...whatever it is you can't beat it. I've done it all at Philmont, but will never get rid of the itch I get when I want to get back to Philmont. I've been on Baldy 7 times, twice on top for both sunrise and sunset, 6 times on the Tooth, and many other peaks mutliple times on the ranch, and even Little Castilla in the Valle Vidal, and not once was it the same as any other time.

Philmont has always been the superbowl of scouting to me, even above me earning Eagle in 1999...and I can't wait until I get back for the sixth time!

Dec 11, 2010
God's Country For Sure
by: Cory

I've made two treks to Philmont- 03; 06. Both times were a great experience, but nothing beats the first time.
The first time I went to Philmont was a time of discovery and growth. Being in God's country and living off of his physical and mental provision was life-giving.

I want to go back to Philmont!

Dec 11, 2010
Living in God's Country
by: Evan "Bluenose"

The 2 summers that I have had the privilege of being a part of the Philmont staff have been the most rewarding of my life. Everyday that I got up for "work" I had to remind myself that I was getting paid for immersing myself in such an awesome environment. Particularly this past summer, as a staffer at Crater Lake, where I got to play incredible music with incredible musicians and a backdrop that rock stars would kill to have. I got to live like it was 1914, complete with kerosene lanterns, cooking on a wood-burning stove, splitting wood daily, and being surrounded by an openness that the college-version of me yearns for on a daily basis. The lessons that come out of the lifestyle I lived for 3 months have taught me a lot about society, but even more about myself. I only hope that the real world doesn't get in the way of my returning to work next summer.

Dec 11, 2010
Tooth of Time
by: Rob Bartlett

still haven't made it to the top of the Tooth. in 1970, we had to rush on past as thunder clouds approached from the West. our crew was worried about lightning.

Dec 11, 2010
I want to go back to Philmont, again
by: Larry

This last summer was my fourth trek at Philmont. My first one was in 1966 and I do think they have gotten easier. At least the equipment has gotten better to make the treks easier. Our packs are better to carry and the equipment is lighter.

I hope to be able to go back but wonder how long I can physically stand the treks. Outdoors is the incentive to keep in shape.

Hope to see you there.

Dec 10, 2010
Gods Country
by: B.D. Reece

622-N, A Number I will forever remember. Wasn't sure what to expect. Pretty stressful preparing for the trip. Flew from North Carolina to Denver and drove down, spending our first night at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, and visiting the Air Force Academy. Although it was nice getting a shower and a soft bed to sleep on after two weeks on the trail, I would not trade the experience for anything. I spent two weeks getting to know my 16 year old much better. Two weeks of my life I will forever treasure. Hope to get the opportunity to do it all again. If you have never been, you have surely missed something special.

Dec 10, 2010
by: 2005 Rowdy Katie Tipley

I have been to Philmont 5 times and each time I go I meet amazing people and have an amazing time. I said since I was 7 years old that I wanted to be Ranger when I got older. Well, now that I am older (22) I have not had the opportunity to be a ranger, but still think that some day I will achieve it. Thanks for the memories!

Dec 10, 2010
Wonderful experience
by: Phil Peluso

I would love to go back to Philmont and I highly reccommend to all scouts and non-scouts alike, to book a trip. It is an experience of a lifetime!
I went to Philmont when I was 15, I am now 54 and I recall all the events like it was yesterday! It gives you a strong feeling of life in the old west, but more importantly, it makes you a stronger person, both physically AND morally! The friendships that were made. I still remember our ranger's name-Clint Walker, that's how much it has influenced my life! I Do plan on returning one day and climb "old Baldy" and "Tooth of Time" ridge again. I wonder if my old boots will still be hanging up on the post?

Dec 04, 2010
Like Father, Like... Daughter?
by: Danika

I spend my summers doing one of the most rugged Boy Scout- related jobs anyone could ask for. I am a Philmont Ranger. Philmont is one of the Boy Scouts of America's three national high adventure camps and, actually the largest youth camp in the world. My job is a cross between a camp counselor, outdoor safety instructor, backpacking instructor, and backwoods ambassador. I get three days to influence the dynamics of the crews of scouts, hike with them, ensure that they know everything they need to know to be successful for the following 8 days of their backpacking trek, and to make friendships and connections with them that will last a lifetime.

This job is particularly special to me because my dad had the same job in the mid-eighties. He actually proposed to my mother at Philmont under the New Mexico night sky, in "my playground," as I have come to call it. Through this connection, and through literally hiking in my dad's footsteps, I have come to understand him (and even my brother, who is also an Eagle Scout and will be a Ranger this summer, too) so much more and to see what helped to shape his identity, and with that, his commitment to scouting.

Being in Boy Scouts has taught me so many valuable life lessons. I have grown in so many ways while involved in Boy Scouts, and I know it has made me the confident, yet servant-leader that I try to be today. I have had to overcome so many obstacles, both mental and physical ones as well as stereotypes from other scouters.

Why am I stereotyped, you may ask? Well, you see, I am a Venture Scout, and not only am I a Boy Scout, but I am also a woman. I was the first woman from my council to ever work at Philmont. Even though I can never say that I am an Eagle Scout, I am a fourth generation scouter; my great-grandfather earned his Eagle in the 1930's, a legacy that I am proud to carry on today.

Nov 29, 2010
Out in God's Country
by: Dale

My first trek was in 1972 as a 15 year old Eagle Scout. We took a bus from western NY all across the USA and spent 10 days in the Sangres. For a flat lander to make that trip was amazing and to this day I recall the ranger's name, what camps we stayed at and how much fun we had conquering Mt Baldy.

My next visit was in 2006 on the other side of the road at Philmont Training Center. I kept visiting the camping HQ, to reminisce. I returned on staff at PTC in 2008 and finally was able to get on a trek in 2009, with 10 great scouts who also had the time of their lives, learning and growing up.

I will return, if I can because PSR is such a wonderful learning environment. It taught me to love backpacking and to tackle each difficult task with the confidence and optimism to overcome any challenge. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could say "I want to go BACK to Philmont".

Nov 29, 2010
Waiting for number six...
by: Steve Rugoletti

My first, and only trek as a youth, was as a 15-year old Eagle in 1982. It was a gift from my parents for my hard work... Since then, I've been back in 91, 98, 2002, and most recently last summer, 2010 to share that gift with others.

I love the "magic" Philmont holds in the collective psyche of anyone who's been on its trails. Complete strangers suddenly become your best friend when you're waiting with your crew's airplane for the flight from Boston to Colorado Springs... They all have stories they want to share about a special time in their life.

My own personal enjoyment comes from bringing that magic to other Scouts. Its like a drug - hearing the "oohs" and "aahs," and watching the wonder and amazement in their voices and eyes when they see landscapes not possible on the East Coast. Skies are darker, stars are brighter, and scouts who had no interest in astronomy suddenly can't get enough of the night sky. History comes alive and even the most jaded hikers are easily swept into the old west. How can anyone not want to pass that on to others?

I could go on for hours about my personal connections, but I believe that it would be largely redundant, as many of us have "been there, done that, and got the T-shirt!" There is a thread that runs through the comments that I would simply echo... I love Philmont and I can't wait for trek #6...

Nov 29, 2010
Best Backpacking
by: Chris

I have done a lot of backing and enjoy it so much that I was so excited when I knew I was actually going to be able to go to Philmont. The views and the scenery is so breath taking that if you see any of the pictures those don't give it justice of how truly beautiful the views can become and it would be great to get back so I can stop looking at my pictures

Nov 29, 2010
by: Kim "Mouse"

I'm actually writing my senior thesis about Philmont. I've collected some stories and am reflecting on them to complete a 30-50 page text. If you want to share a really great story, you can email me at philmouse10@gmail.com. I'd appreciate anything you'd like to send my way!

Anyway, I went on my first trek in 2004 at 15 with 2 co-ed crews from my Venturing Crew, half guys and half girls. It was a fantastic experience, but I didn't really appreciate what I'd done until I did it again in 2006, with only 2 other youth females in our 2 crews. I've now worked there the past 3 summers at Baldy Town, then Cypher's Mine, and just this summer as Assistant Camp Director Head of Dean. The added responsibility again made me appreciate what I love about Philmont in new ways.

Philmont is a great way to have supported, but still independent interactions with nature. It also gives you a chance to test your own boundaries and learn what you can do.

The part that I find most important and wonderful is the group dynamics of Philmont. It seems like a huge social experiment, putting thousands of adolescents in the care of, mainly, hundreds of young adults. I'm often awed that we pull it off.

Again, anything you'd like to share specifically with me, please do!


Nov 29, 2010
6 More months till I can go back
by: Jeremy

Philmont is a truly amazing place and I can't wait to go back. It has changed so many lives. I have been on three regular treks and also did Rayado. Than worked staff last summer and will be working again this summer. The thought of being back is the only thing driving me through school right now. Can't wait!!!!!!

Nov 28, 2010
It All
by: Jordan

My experience at Philmont was the best of my life. the experience of taking on all you can handle and then taking more and still not complaining, the experience of watching those who dont have strength of will complain and even back out while you know in yourself you can make it, the experience of being out in the most beautiful country and having the time to really enjoy it, most of all the view from Baldy. Nothing in my life will compare to the simple peace and joy i felt staring over the mist from the top.

Nov 27, 2010
Where do I Start?
by: Chaplain AJ

Four weeks of staff chaplaincy at Philmont was one of the most challenging and rewarding "jobs" I've ever had. Trying to figure out how I can afford to do it again. My family absolutely loved it. They're all ready to go back again.

Nov 27, 2010
Life Changing Experience
by: Mike Goodrich

First time I went to Philmont in 1982 as a 17 year old with not a lot of direction in my life. I came back and knew that I could do anything I wanted and be successful.

Went back this past summer as a 45 year old Scoutmaster and saw the same change in two young men who at first really weren't sure why they went to Philmont.

I hope to go back in 2012 with another crew. Philmont is in my blood and in my soul. Those who have been know what I am speaking of.

Nov 27, 2010
oh philmont
by: Catherine

Best two weeks of my life! I think of Philmont all the time, and I am sure I will go back someday...just not sure when!

Nov 27, 2010
Philmont 2012
by: Scoutmaster

I had an opportunity to trek through the great many acres that Philmont offers in the summer of 2009. It was fantastic. We did the southern section and climbed Mt. Philips. I am looking forward to returning in 2012 to do the northern section and climb Mt. Baldy. Will always return through the Tooth and hike into camp.

Nov 27, 2010
Philmont Leadership Challenge
by: Bear

I can't think of a better place to enjoy advanced leadership training than Philmont.

Nov 27, 2010
I Want To Go Back To Philmont
by: Anonymous

I would love to go back to Philmont b/c it is a life changing experience that you will have at absolutely no other place but there. I went as a camper in 2000 and as a staff member in 2008. I remember in particular when I was a staff member how it really changed four boys lives in particular when we got a letter back stating that it gave them an opportunity to think about their future and they turned their lives around for the best all from coming to Philmont.

Nov 27, 2010
I wanna go back!
by: Peter

Philmont is possibly the most beautiful place on earth, a place where through a grueling two week experience one learns more about themselves and their friends than they may in a lifetime. Philmont provided me with a chance to lead my friends on a journey, physical but also spiritual into the wilderness of New Mexico.

I want to go back so that I can experience the beauty again, perhaps as a Ranger.

Nov 27, 2010
God's Country
by: Curt

I have enjoyed the blessing of three Philmont Treks with my son in 2006, 2008, and 2010. There is no greater way to know your son that to spend time with him at Philmont. We have have stood on the top of Mt. Baldy together three times; something I will cherish forever. He is in the Air Force now so we are not likely to get a fourth trip together.

It would would be my wish that every dad get to spend time with his Scout at Philmont. It will be the highlight of the Scouting experience.

Nov 27, 2010
Teaching to the extreme
by: Dale Hutchison

I was lucky to go to Philmont five times as the contingent leader. Traveled once by bus from the East Coast (very long trip), once by train (very long trip) and three times by plane (best option).

Took groups as large as 5 crews and small as 2. The ability to teach (and learn from) youngsters how to be self sufficient, to learn to accept good and bad experiences, and to see those "I got it!" expressions on their faces makes every minute I spent planning and executing the trips worthwhile.

Now at 61, I would like to go back, but fear I'd not enjoy it as much as when I was younger. Best memory is sitting on the table at Base Camp after traveling across the country, late at night, in the silence, and knowing I'd be on the trip of my life for the next 13 days.

Nov 27, 2010
With my son and daughter...
by: RJ Philmont

I did my first trek with my son in 2008, and this past year I did my second trek with my son and my daughter. What a cool experience! I learned very quickly my daughter is tough as nails.

We did Trek #19 this past year and it was much harder than our trek in 2008.

My daughter had a great time, and it was fun to have 2 of my kids along.

An experience never to forget!

Nov 26, 2010
Why I want to go back to Philmont...
by: David Atkins

The 21 days I spent on the Rayado Trek impacted my life more than I ever thought it could have. From our rangers faking broken bones to getting caught on Touch-Me-Not Mountain in a thunderstorm... From all 8 of us nearly getting dehydrated coming off of Big Red to the sweat lodges right after our solo... My time spent out at Philmont was by far the most character building experience I've ever had, and I would be such a different person (for the worse) had I never had those experiences.

Nov 26, 2010
by: Anonymous

I've never had such a time as I had at Philmont... my family and freinds cut me off now when I start a sentence with "Well when I was at Philmont..." The highlight of my Scouting days and non-Scouting days was and always will be Philmont.

Between getting caught in a hail and sleet storm going to Wild Horse, getting an ingrown toenail halfway through a hike (PAINFUL!!!), coming within throwing distance of a big mama bear, "mini-bears" stealing my food, crewmember spraining an ankle and us carrying him a few miles down a mountain...


Nov 24, 2010
my husband, son and I all had magical moments.
by: Janice Payeur

Husband was in training and felt all that Boy Scouts fellowship can offer. My heart-patient son conquered his first longer hikes and inspired others to persist and persevere. I met three other wonderful friends and nearly conquered the high ropes. I've never smiled so much with such a big bruise. The sunrise at Lover's Leap, the afternoon sun, the quiet sunset, the AMAZING staff. Magic

Nov 24, 2010
I'll start it off!
by: David Stevenson

I want to go back to Philmont because the two 11-day treks I've been on in 2006 and 2009 were two of the hardest tasks I've ever done physically and were also two of the most rewarding tasks I've ever done.

Working through the various challenges with a team of people who are taking care of each other is an amazing thing to experience.

And standing on the top of Mount Phillips with my son Dan was truly a high point in more ways than one -- completely worth the effort!

I don't know if I'll make it back there again, but there is no doubt that I'd want to go if the opportunity came up again.

I wanna to go back to Philmont!

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