A crew advisor’s primary responsibility is for the health and safety of each member of the crew.
The Watchu Experience provides the framework and time-tested methods to help you prepare and train the members of your crew for a successful trek. Each advisor is expected to attend the four Advisor Briefings, in official BSA uniform, where essential information will be presented to assist you in preparing your crew.
Communication with your crew, including the parents of youth crew members, is critical. Creating a crew family network will allow you to share Watchu Grams and other information by e-mail. Everyone must understand what is expected of them and what a Philmont trek is, especially that it is not "just a hike."
The Crew Preparation Checklist in this guide is an outline of the items necessary for preparing your crew. These items include:
Medical: You must be familiar with the medical condition of each crew member by reviewing their completed Philmont Annual Health and Medical Record.
Equipment: Each crew member must have the proper personal gear for a rugged mountain backpacking trek. Crew equipment provided by Philmont (such as pots, tents, etc.) must be obtained for training purposes. Other crew equipment not provided (such as backpacking stoves, water containers, etc.) is needed for both training purposes as well as for use at Philmont.
Crew Development: Philmont crews are youth-led. Through shakedown hikes and other crew activities, you provide the opportunities for all youth of your crew to both experience the leadership positions and to view the performance of the other crew members in those positions.
Trek Preparation: Shakedown hikes and other crew activities provide the opportunity for you to teach your crew Philmont backpacking and camping techniques.
Trek Selection: You must be familiar with the specifics (programs and physical challenge) of the available pre-planned Philmont itineraries. This information will allow you to be a knowledgeable coach to the youth of your crew as they proceed through the process of selecting the five itineraries best suited to their abilities and interests.
You are also responsible for recruiting Scouts and Scouters so you have a full crew of 12, with no more than 4 over 21-years-old. An unfortunate fact is every year some who plan to go to Philmont must drop out of the contingent, and you should be prepared to fill such openings in your crew, if necessary.
Lastly, the Lead Advisor will work with the Contingent Administrator to make sure all administrative requirements for participation, detailed in the Watchu Passport, have been satisfied.