Philmont Millennium 1

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Copyright © 2001 - 2014 Chip S. Elliott & Mike McAdams

Last modified: 01/27/14

The Arrowhead Award

The Arrowhead Award was first issued by Philmont in 1957. It is inevitable, that in the years since then, that some variations would occur. Features I did not take into account within each type are: thin and thick lettering, color variations and twill varieties. I believe that these are unintentional and  do not need to be catalogued.


In creating the Second Edition, the chapter covering these awards was completely rewritten due to the expansion of the programs that now receive different Arrowhead Awards. It is now organized by the programs that issued them. Within the 55 years’ worth of arrowheads, I was able to identify 14 primary TYPES of the basic Arrowhead Award. Any text across the bottom and twill direction was not considered. Some of the differences are obvious, the 50th Anniversary in 1988-99 (Type 7), the P2K in 2000 (Type 9) and the BSA100 arrowheads produced in 2010 (Type 13). My other goal in this update was to remove ambiguity in the definitions of the patches, so I have introduced the use of dimensions. Of course, not every Arrowhead Category has all 14 types. Types 1 through 7 (and some of 8) were all produced before 2000 when many arrowhead categories were introduced.

All 14 TYPES exist in the Camper and Staff categories, which makes sense since these Arrowhead Awards are manufactured every year. But since 2000 there have been Arrowhead Awards for some smaller programs which have not needed patches ordered for a particular year.

The 2013

75th Anniversary Camper Arrowhead Award

Type 14

The Border Styles

One distinctive feature of the arrowhead that will help in identification is the border. Amazing enough, over all the years this award has been made, they can all be characterized by these four border STYLES


The Back Side

In the Second Edition, the only distinction we use between backs is cloth back (CB) vs. plastic back (PB). Only the first three Arrowhead TYPES have cloth backs - all the rest are plastic. The newer plastic backed patches seem to have a new backing every year. So if you are one of the collectors who collect patch backs - good luck.


The New Numbering Scheme

Within the Arrowhead Award chapter, there are 10 sub-chapters, one for each program that provides Arrowhead Awards. The sub-chapter list is to the right.


The Issue Number

So with this chapter list, and the TYPE number, you now have an issue number. For example: A camper Arrowhead Award (sub-chapter 1) of TYPE 3, the issue number would be 103. For a Rayado Trek (sub-chapter 6) the issue number for the red bordered arrowhead (TYPE 9), would be 609.

A        B        C       D

    Border Styles


   “A” is types 1 through 7.

   “B” is types 8 and 9 - the              thin flat look.

   “C” is type 10 and 11

   “D” is type 12, 13 and 14

Arrowhead Sub-Chapters

  1. Camper
  2. Staff
  3. Mt. Trek
  4. OA Treks
  5. Trail Crews
  6. Rayado
  7. Cavalcade
  8. R.O.C.S.
  9. Ranch Hands
  10. Venturing

 Measurements:


The Measurements

To remove some ambiguity when identifying an arrowhead, we now rely more on dimensions of the features, particularly the text.