“Dad, can we come back here next year? This was the best family vacation ever!” The Philmont Training Center doesn’t claim to be a Disney vacation, but Varsity Scouters and their families discover that even more fun, learning, adventure, and “together time” can happen at the Philmont Training Center (referred to as PTC). And when you add Varsity Orange to the week, the fun and excitement just get better. Such were the feelings after the first Varsity Scouting for LDS Leaders Conference held in 2015. Springboarding off last year’s success, the 2016 Varsity Scouting Conference, titled “Leading Varsity Scouting in LDS Teams,” promises to be an even better family vacation, mountain-top training experience, and PTC high adventure for Varsity Scout leaders and their families.
Philmont Training Center is located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico. Scouters and their families gather each summer to experience the magic of Philmont. Waite Phillips donated his ranch property to the BSA in 1938, with the dream that Scouts would come from all over the world to experience the adventures of the outdoors. He truly believed that the only things you really keep are the things you give away. His dream has been fulfilled again and again since 1938. There are over 140,000 acres with trails, outback camps, a working ranch, family camp cities, and wonderful training facilities. The whole family can experience horseback riding, archery, hiking, making crafts, sitting around campfires, and even touring the Waite and Genevieve Phillips Villa Philmonte.
During Varsity Conference week, July 31 through August 6 (Philmont Week 9), Varsity Scouters begin their adventure with an introduction to Varsity Scouting specifically for LDS teams. How Varsity Scouting works hand in glove with the Aaronic Priesthood, strengthening teachers quorums, is a main focus of the instruction. The model team is formed with adult leaders being assigned to squads. The squad method is one of the foundations of Varsity Scouting. Each member of the squad is important and the duties, stewardship, and leadership are learned and practiced. During the day the team members gather in classroom settings and out of doors to learn how the Varsity program works. Varsity Scouting is designed to give every Scout opportunities to improve Scouting skills, to practice Scouting values using the Varsity aims and methods, and to operate the team program through the five fields of emphasis. Using the squad method makes the learning fun and exciting. In the evenings families gather back together to relax, share their experiences, and enjoy the tent city cracker barrels.
Both the PTC staff and the Varsity Conference week staff are ready to help you enjoy the best vacation ever. Please mark the week of July 31 through August 6, 2016, on your calendar.
Please visit the Philmont Scout Ranch Conferences 2016 website to register. Go to Week 9 and click on “Leading Varsity Scouting in LDS Teams.”
Contact Steve Baugh firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Contributed by Bry Davis, Great Salt Lake Council