Obviously, you've already received your invitation from Council (or National, as in my case) to attend a conference, sent in the money and arranged transportation. I'll leave that to your own discretion and stick to arrival and the procedures to expect.
The PTC is in the same complex as Villa Philmonte, the house donated by Waite Phillips to the BSA as part of his second Philmont donation. It is found on the East side of the road that goes south from Cimmarron, past Administration, PTC, Camp Headquarters, Rayado and then turns east to I25. The PTC entrance is about 4 miles south of Cimmaron. If you've never been there, don't worry, you can't miss it. Pull in and park opposite the East tent city (and where the largest cluster of buildings is found). Toward the road (away from the tents in East tent city, or through the tents in South tent city) and past the buildings is a large green which is surrounded by the one way road that goes around Villa Philmonte. In this green is where you let your faculty for your class know you are here. ALso there, in frount of the administration building, is a bulletin board where all the family program schedules are posted. One side has the schedules for the various groups, the other has posting about various special things, like bus tours, sign ups for horse rides, etc.
If you show up after checkin time (1-5 pm), you go to tent city and move in, with checkin the following morning (they post your tent assignment on a board outside the back of the administration building).
Once you check in with your class, you'll be told which tent city you are in and you go to the building in the middle of your tent city for your tent assignment. The tents are large wall tents (or tent cabins) which have two twin sized bunks on spring frames (reasonably comfortable). There is a single light bulb and a small closet thing for hanging stuff. Each tent also had a single folding chair. Follow the guidebook as to what to bring, linens or sleeping bag, a piece of carpet, additional hangers, etc. Lots of people rearrange the tents (like putting the beds together). In addition to the tent, there is a common playground for the kids (swings, slides and such), and two common shower/restroom facilities. The facilities are quite adequate.
Dinner is in the dining hall. I didn't note what we had each night, but it was usually okay, about what you expect from cafeteria food. Vegetables always overdone, PB&J availalbe as an alternative at all meals. Dinner and Lunch always had a salad bar, breakfast always had a fruit bar and cereal available as an alternative. Portions were adequate for the kids, but I found I needed to occasionally go back for more. I lost about five pounds while there, though I always felt I had enough to eat.
Spend some time looking at the programs to make decisions on your free time. We chose to go to T-Rex on Wednesday morning (family day, for the most part no classes), but both kids and the wife had outings to trex in their programs. My wife lost her camera somewhere around there, so if anyone finds a Minolta Vectis 20, please send it to me :-).
Monday morning, after dropping off the kids, there is about a one hour meeting for all the adults where the staff is introduced and you hear about what is to happen for the week.
Tuesday night was western night, that was when branding took place. Be sure to have whatever you want branded with you by then. A lot of people got small leather pieces (suchs as rounds, or arrowhead shapes) to be branded, as well as boots and hats and things. Felt type hats take the brand well. I saw some baseball caps branded, and they seemed to do alright also.
The Koshare dancers were present on one of the nights, they did a fine job with various native american dances.
Wednesday is family day, with no programs scheduled for the family members. Some classes met, but most did not. A lot of people chose to hike the Urraca trail that day. Nice easy hike, 3.5 mile loop with a 800 foot elevation gain/loss. Plan on 2-4 hours, depending on ability. We did it in 2 and my wife found that pace too strenuous. By they way, there are patches for everything, such as urraca trail, t-rex, or PTC.
Tuesday night was dance night where we did line dancing and had a fun time.
Tuesday and Thursday night were cobbler nights at tent city, gathering in the tent city office having cobbler and ice cream while the staff played music.
Wednesday night was movie night, they showed "Follow me Boys". Great movie.
Friday night was skit night, only the family programs did skits, the classes did not.
Saturday morning breakfast is continental plus, i.e. cold cereal, danish, bagel, fruit bar, served from 6-9 am.
More on particular programs in later posts.
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