Rayado is a prestigious and secretive twenty-day backpacking program held every summer in two sessions at Philmont Scout Ranch. Rayado crews, accompanied by two of the Ranger Department's best qualified members, are put together by Philmont staff, and consist of people from different parts of the country. A person may only be a Rayado participant once; a ranger may only be assigned to a Rayado crew once; and staff members are disqualified from participation in Rayado treks except as rangers.
The Rayado Program, once known as the Kit Carson Program, was originally modeled after the Outward Bound Program, but it has begun to more closely resemble the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Participants experience a number of challenges geared toward personal growth, and develop a sense of stewardship for the environment and leadership skills. Also, they receive instruction in advance wilderness skills and learn teamwork among a diverse group. They are asked to expand their personal limits and they participate in the Personal Challenge and the Mountain Challenge; both of which are long standing Rayado Program traditions.
- Provide a mental, physical and spiritual challenge that encourages personal growth
- Foster a sense of stewardship for the natural environment
- Develop leadership skills
- Learn advanced outdoor skills including:
- -Wilderness Backpacking Skills
- -Navigation and Travel Techniques
- -Expedition Behavior & Group Dynamics
- -Advanced Cooking Skills
- -Wilderness Stewardship to include Leave No Trace Skills & Ethics
- -Wilderness First Aid & Backcountry Emergency Procedures
Rayado scholarships, presented by the Philmont Staff Association, are annually awarded to deserving campers who wish to take part in the Rayado program. Scholarships generally cover the full cost of the Rayado Program, but a number of smaller partial scholarships are also available and all Rayado participants are encouraged to apply. Transportation to and from Philmont is the responsibility of the camper and is not covered in the scholarships.
- Philmont Staff Association (PSA)
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