High Adventure Corner
For Scouts age 14 and up and having earned First Class rank or higher, BSA offers several high adventure opportunities. Crews from all over the United States travel to the four high adventure bases every summer, and one even offers winter expeditions.
High Adventure is an added level to scouting, giving, older, more experienced scouts the opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally by participating in programs that go beyond earning merit badges. Planning these intensive trips takes time, and requires physical preparation, fundraising, logistics, and other skills that will not be developed in such detail at the troop meeting and camporee levels. These unique experiences build confidence and stay with a scout for a lifetime. Our troop does not expect every scout to attend high adventure activities! Many scouts will never have an interest in attending one of these camps. For those who do, these represent the pinnacle of the scouting experience and spark a lifetime of memories.
How it works: Entry to the BSA High Adventure Bases is done by lottery. Interested Troops and Venture Crews enter the lottery for a slot at the high adventure base usually 18 to 24 months out. Selected crews then register for their adventure and put down a deposit. Crews of scouts and adult leaders usually range in size from 8-12. There are also opportunities to go with a crew from another unit that has slots available on their trek.
Cost: The cost for high adventure base treks is typically much higher than summer camp. Adventures vary in price, and the cost does not include transportation to the base. Initial deposits are typically $100, and then leaders will decide travel arrangements and payment schedules based on expected costs. Depending on travel arrangements, a trek can average around $1500 or more per person. More information can be found below.
Physical Requirements: Scouts and leaders who attend BSA High Adventure Bases must be in good physical shape. Each adventure base has height and weight requirements, in addition to other requirements, such as swimming for some. In addition to Parts A, B, and C of the BSA medical form, Part D is also required for attendance at any of the high adventure bases. Crews will often plan several required conditioning and shakedown outings in preparation for the trek.
BSA High Adventure Home
Boy Scouts of America offers four National High Adventure Bases. Learn more about each from the links above, or from the direct links to each below.
Ocean-based adventures in Florida. Choose from a week of sailing, snorkeling, SCUBA, fishing, and tropical wilderness camping, or the Florida Keys Adventure which offers a little of everything. Sea Base offers eleven different adventures to choose from and are based out of the Florida keys and the Bahamas.
Wilderness canoeing, fishing and woods camping on the Minnesota/Canada border. Autumn and Winter Survival Expeditions also available. Northern Tier is the BSA's oldest national High Adventure program, outfitting scouting groups for canoe trips since the summer of 1923. Northern Tier crews paddle in almost 6 million acres of canoe-access only. Trips range in length from 6-10 days and usually include between 50-150 miles of wilderness travel.
High-altitude back country backpacking near Cimmaron, New Mexico. Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America's largest national High Adventure Base. It covers 137,000 acres - about 214 square miles - of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range of the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico. Philmont has high mountains with rough terrain and elevations that range from 6,500 to 12,441 feet.
BSA’s newest national high adventure base will open after the 2013 Jamboree in West Virginia. In addition to being the permanent home of the Jamboree, the Summit will offer adventures in whitewater rafting, zip-lining, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, hiking, and much more.
The Triple Crown
Scouts and Scouters who have participated in at least one program at each of the three national high-adventure bases operated by the Boy Scouts of American (Nothern Tier, Philmont, and Florida Sea Base) can earn the Triple Crown patch and certificate. To qualify, you must earn a high-adventure program participant emblem (patch) from each of the three national high-adventure bases.
Local and Regional High Adventure Treks
BSA offers a high-adventure program directory/database to locate local and regional treks of interest.