Philmont Offers the Zia Experience

An Adaptive Philmont Adventure for Scouts with Special Needs and Disabilities

June 27-July 3, 2021.

The Zia Experience is a modified BSA Family Adventure Camp at the Philmont Training Center focusing on giving Scouts with special needs and disabilities, their parent(s), family members, and/or caregiver(s) new and exciting Philmont adventures! This experience is designed to build bonds and create memories for the entire family through fun and interactive programs.

The Zia Experience embraces the Zia rayed Sun symbol, which has four arms each of which has four parts. ‘Four’ is an auspicious or sacred number for the Zia: the four points of the compass, the four periods of each day, the four seasons of the year, the four stages of life, and the four sacred obligations for one’s physical, mental, spiritual and social health.  The Zia Experience will be built around the four sacred obligations for each Scout, parent, family member, and caregiver.

Our team of Philmont staff and highly trained volunteers will support Scouts with a wide-range of functioning and abilities, from low-functioning to high-functioning.  The range includes Scouts who have physical, intellectual, emotional, and/or hidden disabilities.  Scouts who are verbal and nonverbal, as well as toilet-trained and untrained will be welcomed. Assistance may be provided for bathing, feeding, medicating, and supervising nighttime risks. Parents and caregivers will have some time each day to rest, for self-care, and for some outdoor adventure of their own while their Scout is cared for by qualified staff and volunteers. Our goal, as always, is physical and emotional safety, comfort, fun, satisfying experiences, and achieving the aims of Scouting!

Our team will finalize program registration long before the experience begins, so that parents/caregivers and Scouts can meet in-person, via video conference, or phone call with our leadership team one or more times before arrival.  The goal of these pre-experience conversations will be to understand the type of experience your family wants to have, as well as your Scout’s abilities, special needs, special health care challenges, medications, allergies, diet restrictions, housing and personal care needs, transportation and mobility issues, advancement goals, and other associated risk management issues. 

The Zia Experience is designed to work alongside other Philmont programs, including Training Center Conferences, NAYLE, PLC, Philmont Sneak Peak, and some trek arrival and departure dates.

The Zia Experience is limited to 15 Scouts and their parent(s), family members, and/or caregivers!  This program has an application and approval process to register and participate. To make sure we are able to give you, your Scout, and your family the best experience possible, families will apply to participate and we will reach out to you to discuss what your specific needs will be and to help create a positive Philmont experience with you. Not all of those who apply to participate will be selected.

No one Scout or family will have the same experience, but all will have a Philmont experience nonetheless! We’re prepared to meet your Scout’s and family’s needs!