Organizing Your Crew

Scouts getting their crew photo taken

A well-qualified Scout or Venturer should be selected as crew leader before training begins. The crew leader is a key person for a successful Philmont expedition, and the adult adviser must work closely with this person.

Adult Advisor

The adult adviser is responsible for the following:

  • Arranging transportation, overnight stops, and meals en route to and from Philmont
  • Ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone in the crew
  • Addressing crew conflicts that may require appropriate discipline
  • Serving as a counselor and coach and giving appropriate guidance to the crew leader

Crew Leader

The crew leader provides leadership for the following:

  • Making itinerary selections based on the desires and physical abilities of the crew
  • Choosing routes during the trek based on the capability of the crew
  • Setting up and breaking camp
  • Establishing a duty roster
  • Seeing that "smellables" are properly stored and that other precautions are followed to avoid encounters with bears and other wildlife
  • Ensuring that the Philmont Wilderness Pledge is upheld and that every campsite and fire pit is left clean

If a crew member has earned a religious award in Scouting, consider asking that person to serve as chaplain's aide (see below).

Roles of the Philmont Ranger, Adult Adviser, and Crew Leader

The adult adviser's role is to counsel the crew leader and crew. If it becomes necessary, advisers should be prepared to discipline a crew member, without verbal or physical abuse. With the advice of the Philmont ranger, the adviser is responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of every crew member. As far as possible, the adviser should let the crew leader lead the crew. The more capable the crew leader, the more the adviser should remain in the background, giving support only when needed.

The crew leader is responsible for developing the crew as a team, assigning, duties, and making decisions. Ideally, the crew leader discusses ideas and alternatives with the entire crew to hear everyone and to arrive at a consensus before action is taken.

The Philmont ranger serves as a teacher and a resource for the crew and helps to coach the crew leader and the entire crew. The ranger assigned to serve as a resource for the crew may be either male or female. The adviser and crew are expected to treat the ranger with respect regardless of the ranger's sex. Philmont and the Boy Scouts of America prohibit language or behavior that belittles or criticizes members of the opposite sex, unwelcome advances, racial slurs, chastisement for religious or other beliefs, or any other actions or comments that are derogatory in nature. We need to lift people up for the good things they do and refrain from putting them down for mistakes or poor judgment.

Chaplain's Aide

Philmont strongly recommends that one crew member be asked to serve as chaplain's aide. Someone who has earned or is working on a religious award should be considered. The chaplain's aide will be asked to lead daily devotionals and other appropriate religious services and promote and administer the "Duty to God" patch program. During the training session upon arrival at Philmont, a kit of worship services, including the booklet Eagles Soaring High, will be provided for use along the trail.

Wilderness Pledge Guia (Guide)

Each crew is asked to select a Wilderness Pledge Guia (Spanish word for Guide.) The Guia will help the crew understand the principles of the Philmont Wilderness Pledge and Leave No Trace. This person will help the crew focus on camping practices that will adhere to the wilderness ethics outlined in the two approaches.


About Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America's premier High Adventure™ base, challenges Scouts and Venturers with more than 214 square miles of rugged northern New Mexico wilderness. Backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs offer young people many ways to experience this legendary country.