I havent been to Philmont since the eighties and the Rayado Trek has changed in length. When I did it, it was fifteen days nonstop. Now, I believe it is longer, like twenty days or something.
It was never advertised purely as a leadership camp that I ever saw. Sure, they advertise it as teaching outdoor leadership and "group dynamics" AKA teamwork, but as far as being a purely leadership school, like say, Philmont's National Junior Leader Training program, Rayado is not. The National Junior Leader Training Program is held at Philmont (or was) and when I was on staff in base camp one summer while still in high school, I saw the program up close.
That is one program I never went thru in the BSA and it is one program I regret not taking part in. Again, its another one of those little known BSA programs held at Philmont that is an individual, not a crew event and is held at the National BSA level and not the local council level or even regional BSA level.
My personal opinion is that quality of anything BSA is going to be much higher at the National level, AKA Philmont and similar programs, than most council and local programs. I wasnt too impressed with most of the local, council sponsored programs in my old BSA council. There were a handful of council programs I went thru that I considered very high quality, but they were few and far between.
But thats just me.
Others will take offense to such statements and I mean no offense anyone. I just found National level stuff to be more, "professional" you might could say.
Getting back to Rayado Trek, there is a strong leadership training aspect to it, but I really cant divulge specifics as Philmont is serious about keeping the nitty gritty details of the program a secret.
I can divulge a few more publically known facts about the program. It is coed (at least it was when I did it). Although the crews were kept separate...female participants stayed in female crews and were led by female "Rayado Rangers." And same for male participants....most participants were male when I did it.
Another well known fact that Philmont likes to publicize is that successful completion of the Rayado Trek will (almost) guarantee you to be accepted as a Philmont Ranger at some point after high school graduation. Providing of course, that you attain your Eagle Scout rank. Not all Philmont Rangers are graduates of the Rayado Trek program, but many are.
All I can tell you is that if you want to know more about that program, you would have to be a member of the BSA, probably go to Philmont as a Scouter and maybe ask questions.
I think that program is a good alternative for boys in the BSA who are very interested in backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing and such activities, but maybe their parents cant afford to send them off to a very expensive Colorado Outward Bound or NOLS session. Mine were not willing to pay for anything like Outward Bound of NOLS (my father was very critical of me "wasting" my time and money going to Philmont...he saw it as a mild form of rebellion). My Dad thought Scouts was a "waste of time" until I made Eagle, when he suddenly started acting very proud of me. I paid for all my Philmont trips when I was in high school, airfare, gear, clothes, boots...everything. My parents didnt pay jack.
The cost for the Rayado Trek is much lower than Outward Bound or NOLS.
I can tell you that the Rayado Trek emphasized lighter weight backpacking, I suspect now they are maybe doing UL. But thats just speculation on my part, I have no idea what they are doing out there anymore.
Thats all I can tell you bd, sorry man.
My advice for anybody comptemplating that program would be:
1) get in shape
2) show up with well broken in boots
3) get a base tan before you show up, so you dont get sunburned in the first few days of the program...you will already be in enough pain.
4) wear your boots on the plane to Philmont, that way if you lose your pack and gear on the flight, you at least still have your broken in boots with you.
5) try to get acclimatized to 7-8 thousand foot elevations before you arrive, if that is possible. Particularly if you are coming from sea level elevations. Its a shame if you are all psyched up for the program, are in shape, arrive and then end up with altitude sickness. Big bummer.
6) get in shape
7) get in shape
8) get in shape
May I ask why the interest in that particular program? You have a teenager in Scouting or something?