Philmont 2016

PHILMONT in 2016:

Friday 15 July
SWA #3452 
0910 PHL-DEN 1110
by the Southwest terminal curbside check-in

RETURN: Saturday 30 July
SWA #5460
1705 DEN-PHL 2235


  • Do I need to bring a school ID or other identification to get onto the airplane?  
    NO, you do not, unless you're over 18 years old (TSA rules)
  • Am I allowed to bring deodorant to Colorado?YES, PLEASE DO, and USE IT!  You are only prohibited from taking it on the trail.
  • How much money should I take and will you run a "bank" like at Summer Camp?
    NO BANK. You should not need much money on your way to Philmont (all your meals are paid for; snacks and extra drinks are on you). 
    Philmont tells us most Scouts spend from $100 to $150 on souvenirs at the Base Camp TRADING POST [LINK]. For example, the cheapest belt + buckle costs about $60 (branding is free). You can use a debit or credit card there. In the backcountry, you probably don't need more than $20 (money has to go into your smellables bag). If you need something more expensive while on the trail you can buy it on credit and settle up when you get to base camp. The Scoutmaster is used to making loans at attractive interest rates (good SAT word: USURIOUS).
  • Where can I keep my stuff that I don't take on the trail?You will leave your Colorado Bag, your carry on bag, and anything that you don't carry on the trail (like your phone) in your crew's rental van, which will remain locked in the Base Camp parking lot for the entire time we're on the trail. High-value items (like your wad of $100 bills) can be left in the Philmont security lockbox, but we advise against this because it's a complicated process.
  1. KNOW YOUR EXPEDITION NUMBER 718J1, 718J2, or 718J3Write it on everything you're taking, especially expensive things you'd like returned (rain jacket, expensive clothes, backpack, water bottles, hats, cameras).  TAKE OUT THE YELLOW CARD INSIDE YOUR PHILMONT GUIDEBOOK, WRITE YOUR EXPEDITION NUMBER ON THE CARD, AND LEAVE IT WITH YOUR FAMILY.

  2. For a Pokémon:
    What is the minimum distance in feet away from the BEAR-MUDA TRIANGLE you should set up your tents?
    First five correct answers get a Pokémon. Current Pokémon standings are on the spreadsheet HERE (Crew 3 way out in front!). 
    Mr. Trejo's personal favorite:

#2: Base camp elevation is 6,500 feet. You'll only go up from there, with Crew 1 peaking on Mount Phillips at 11,711 feet and Crews 2 and 3 on Mount Baldy at 12,441 feet. One of the reasons we're going to Colorado and New Mexico early is to help youacclimate. In spite of this, you might end up being affected by the altitude, with the worst case being Acute Mountain Sickness. Staying well-hydrated can help avoid AMS.

Make sure you bring a headlamp and put in new batteries before you leave (or bring new ones to put in at Base Camp prior to hiking).

Good to Know - On Saturday 16 July we'll be:
  • driving up to the top of Pike's Peak at 14,115 feet
  • eating lunch in Manitou Springs and walking around town
  • hiking up the Manitou Incline
  • going back to the hotel to relax and swim
  • eating dinner at Old Chicago
  • going shopping, if you need last minute items
For a Pokémon:

What are three symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)? Bonus Pokémon if you also define "lassitude".


#1: Make sure you're prepared to hike at Philmont. The ONLY THINGS you can't replace at all (or do so easily) are:
  • Your SIGNED BSA HEALTH FORM  - if you haven't turned it in please contact Ross Cleary at; please also turn in your signed Troop 98 Activity Permission Slip.

  • Your HIKING BOOTS - make sure you WEAR THESE ON THE AIRPLANE (with the appropriate socks; it's very easy to get blisters walking around airports and in Colorado after we land).
Good to Know - On Friday 15 July we'll be:
For a Pokémon:

For what three things must you bring LONG PANTS to Philmont (or zip off pants with the legs included)?

Laundry bag, backpack, Colorado bag, and carry-on bag

  1. Put all your BACKPACKING STUFF inside your backpack. Be sure to leave your Nalgene bottles UNCAPPED. You should be able to leave your backpack untouched until you get to Philmont (meaning all your travel clothes are in your Colorado bag).

  2. Wrap the HIPSTRAP (hipbelt) backwards around the front of the pack and clasp it and tighten it. Clip and tighten all other straps (like sternum and shoulder straps).

  3. Put all of your travel clothes into your COLORADO BAG. Remember to include clothes for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday (we don't start hiking until Tuesday), PLUS the trip home on Saturday 30 July. Include toiletries and a bathing suit, plus WARM CLOTHES and your RAINJACKET for our travel around Colorado.

  4. Using a Sharpie Marker, label your LAUNDRY BAG in a way that you can easily pick it out from the others in your crew.

  5. Attach your IDENTIFICATION TAG securely to your backpack and then put your backpack and Colorado bag into your Laundry Bag.

  6. Securely wrap and tie your laundry bag using its own string tie. A double clove hitch is a good finishing knot, and you can place Gorilla tape over the wraps for extra security. If you have a second ID TAG, attach it to the outside of the bag (tied into the strings).

  7. Prepare a CARRY-ON BAG for the airplane and van rides. Things to think about putting in this bag: important medicine, water bottle (empty), snacks, pillow, games, phone charger, book, sunglasses, camera, wallet. Things to NOT PUT in this bag: liquids, pocketknife/leatherman.

  • March 12-13: Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation
  • April 15-17: Horseshoe Trail
  • May 13-15: Appalachian Trail
  • June 17-19: Conestoga Trail


Troop 98 is Going Back to Philmont in 2016!


(if you already filled out a form for Summer Camp please repeat those entries on the new form)

Age requirement:  You must be 14 years old by July 19, 2016 (or 13 years old and have completed 8th grade). You must also be in good physical condition by the time you go.

Dates:  July 15 to 30, 2016 (definite)

Cost: $2,000 (approximate; last year we went for $1750) plus cost to outfit yourself (your gear)

$100 Deposit required by January 30th (non-refundable, although substitutions are possible)

We've sent crews to Philmont in 2010, 2012 and 2014.  Many of the boys and fathers who attended described it as “the experience of a lifetime.”  At Philmont, crews spend 12 days backpacking in the mountains of Northern New Mexico.  Along the way, they may pan for gold, ride burros, climb spar poles, throw hatchets, scale cliff faces or dance to banjo music in front of a fire.  They also endure physical challenge, develop as a team, encounter great natural beauty and transform in two short weeks from boys to self-confident young men.  It is truly a powerful experience.  See the links on the right of this page for more information or ask any of the 30 Scouts that went last summer.  We also have a lot of fun touring in New Mexico or Colorado on the way to Philmont and sometimes on the way back. Check out the pictures from 2014!

2016 may seem like a long way off, but we have to begin planning our adventure now.  The first step is to get a good idea of all who want to go (and to pay Philmont the deposit they need to hold our spots).  To be eligible, a Scout must be at least 14 years old by the time he arrives at Philmont (fJuly 18, 2016) or be 13 and have completed 8th grade.  In addition, a Scout must have achieved the rank of First Class before leaving for Philmont.  These are the minimum requirements.  

There are several more requirements that relate to physical condition and health, participation in Troop activities in general and our Philmont training program in particular, etc.  We will describe those in more detail later on.  But at this point, we want to get a sense of which boys (and adults) want to go.  We also need to be sure we have enough adult leaders to come along.  Each crew (of up to 10 boys) needs a minimum of 2 adult advisors (one 21 or older and one 18 or older).

Some things you might want to consider in deciding whether you want to go (or to let your son go):

    • Cost – you should plan on $2,000 per person.  We will ask for your NONREFUNDABLE deposit of $100 now.  We will ask for additional payments of $500-700 in September 2015, February 2016 and April 2016.  All of these payments will be non-refundable.

    • Equipment – in addition to the trip costs, you will need to have the right equipment.  Good boots ($100-150), a backpack ($100-150) and a sleeping bag ($100) are the big items, but there is probably another $100 of stuff you’ll need.
      PHILMONT IS EXPENSIVE, BUT DON'T LET COST STOP YOU!  If that is the only issue stopping you, we will try and find a way to help.  And 18 months is a long time for a scout to rake leaves, mow grass, babysit, etc.

    • Physical Condition – All participants have to meet height/weight requirements below and have a physical exam.  Unless a Scout has some special health issues, this is really a concern only for adults.  Philmont involves carrying a 40 lbs pack up and down mountains at 8-10,000 feet of elevation.  It can be very tough and requires preparation.  So both scouts and adults who sign up must understand that they are signing up for months of physical training not just two weeks of backpacking.  Any adult in reasonable shape can get ready.  They just have to be willing to take the time to do the training.
    • Scout Spirit – a successful Philmont trek requires cooperation, maturity and a sense of shared responsibility.  It requires that a Scout truly live the principles of the Scout Law and Oath.  It requires that he be a dedicated member of the team.  We judge all this by what a Scout does before he gets on the airplane to Philmont.  So we don’t allow Scouts to get on that plane who are not active participants in our Troop or who fail to live up to the Scouting ideals over the next year and half.
After you have considered these factors and asked our Philmont veterans any questions you may have, we need you to indicate your interest in participating.  If you are interested in going (either Scouts or Adults), you must deliver a check for $600 per person (the total payment due as of December 2015) made out to “BSA Troop 98.”  Please bring your check to a meeting and drop it in the Treasurer's box. 



Troop 98 
Picture Albums:

2014  -  2014

2012  -  2012
2012  -  2012
2012  -  2012

2010  -  2010