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  1. From a general view the point of a wilderness area is to explore on your own. This means minimizing your impact on the wilderness and others in the area. If you want to travel as a large group, that is fine, but a wilderness area is probably the wrong place. There have been problems with unprepared units in the Boundary Waters that go on their own through an outfitter. (Note, there are also a lot of well prepared units.) They are simply not prepared as they are not educated in the purpose of a wilderness area or the regulations that must be followed. Keep in mind it's not really about the regulations -- it is more about being respectful of others where you travel. As mentioned before, the Boundary Waters allows groups of 9 and 4 watercraft. You also cannot travel with another group. The ticket for either is quite expensive and it is very unlikely you will not be caught. This should be practiced everywhere, for example, only one group should be on a portage at a time. If another group is on a portage you should wait until they push off. In Quetico Provincial Park you can have a group up to 9 and travel with another group. This is not recommended and the problem is finding campsites on the same lake that can accommodate two large groups.
  2. I understand the plan to replace the membership and financial systems is in progress. But be patient as it can take a long time to successfully upgrade a large system. Also, as far as what you have heard what is coming, remember this is from council staff seeing presentations on possibilities and not what is being done immediately.
  3. I've had crews for many years consisting of all ages of Scouts that have gone into the BWCA and Quetico very safely without any issues. High Adventure is great for all scouts, younger or older. What I have found with younger scouts it that their high adventure experience motivates them to stay in scouting longer than their peers who have not. Your crew will need to adapt based on the abilities of everyone in the crew. Also, it is often not the younger scout the crew will have to adapt for. This may mean someone taking a lighter pack (not all the packs weight 85 pounds, the food pack does) or taking a pack instead of canoe if they do not have good balance. If you have a physically weaker crew you will want to choose a route that is not as strenuous -- shorter and less portages. It is both a learning opportunity about the ability of the crew and an opportunity for people to step up to help others. As for 'setting an age requirement', Northern Tier has already set the requirements to participate. They have done a good job at this for the last 90 years. Its time to stop adding more requirements that meet what you prefer. I have no concerns with those who take the initiative to sign-up first that both meet Northern Tiers requirements and understand what the trip involves.
  4. Basementdweller, that is correct.
  5. This coming weekend is the Canoecopia expo in Madison, Wisconsin. This event features many outdoor vendors, outfitters, and presentations. Northern Tier which will be in attendance with a booth to allow you to learn more about the program or ask questions. The best part of the expo are the three days of presentation sessions on a wide range of topics from skills to different areas of the country. Northern Tier Committee member Chuck Rose will be presenting twice: Kayak Camping - For the Canoeist (Fri 7:30pm-8:20pm) and Sea Kayaking with Boy Scouts (Fri 7:30pm-8:20pm). The cost for attending all three days is $25 for an adult. It is free for ages 17 and under. You can find out more at http://www.canoecopia.com For alumni and friend of Northern Tier: The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association in-conjunction with the Philmont Staff Association will be holding a reunion dinner on Saturday at 6:30 PM. Information can be found at http://bit.ly/zH7squ
  6. The requirement is "13 years of age by December 31st of the year they are attending." I've also asked about the age requirement as I was confused. The clarification I received reflected the more specific description (above) that is printed on Page 2 of Northern Tier's Expedition & Route Planning book. http://www.ntier.org/filestore/NorthernTier/pdf/ERPG.pdf
  7. Like nldscout mentioned, I would highly recommend the basic economy paddles sold by Carlisle (~$20). These paddles are very durable and light enough for basic trip paddling. Remember to order an appropriate paddle length, generally you will want paddles that reach conformable in the water, not toe-to-chin. So shorter than you would think, we use a lot of 48-52" paddles. For a Type III PFD I would recommend something from Stearns or Extrasport. Stearn's Comfort Series Life Vest ($25-35) are popular with organizations. The design is durable, long-lasting, easy to put on, and the upper part is mesh allowing easier movement. It comes sizes S to 3XL. A few places may have the Adult Classic Series Life Vest for slightly less but it does not have the upper mesh (it does go town to XS). Some S/XS designs may still be too large for some Scouts, if you have smaller scouts under 90lbs you will need a youth size (such as the Youth Sportsman's Life Vest ~$20). I would suggest avoiding universal size PFDs as these will be way too larger for many Scouts. Please do not order Type II PFD. So many lives have been lost from people not wearing or not wearing correctly. Untold numbers of lives have been spared through the development of the Type III PFDs. Note, the USCG does not require Type IV PFD approved throwable flotation devices or signalling device. Your state may have different requirements, but I have not found this to be common.(This message has been edited by ScoutMKE)
  8. Hello, The Triple Crown of High Adventure award (TCA) is not being discontinued or immediately changing. The purpose of the award is to promote all National High Adventure programs to our youth members. Not to simply purvey an award patch. We also want to have an award for youth that is reasonably within reach to earn. While the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (SAA) will likely issue a new award for those who have been to all four national high adventure programs, it will not be used to change or shift away from the purpose of the TCA. However, the fact there will be a fourth high adventure base is not really new since there have been several National High Adventure programs that have opened and closed that qualify for the award (Wisconsin National High Adventure, Maine National High Adventure, and Land Between the Lakes National Outdoor Center). In the future when the new national high adventure base opens (expected around 2015) the Board of Directors of the SAA will likely choose to recognize High Adventure programs at The Summit as an option for the award. This only applies to High Adventure programs, Jamboree experiences would not qualify. You can find out more at http://www.holry.org/triplecrownaward.php#Summit Thank you!
  9. As mentioned, AHG has been very comprehensively discussed already. This is not very unique, the BSA has memorandums of mutual support with many organizations (American Canoe Association, Knights of Columbus, etc). The difference is that AHG has effectively used the agreement for public relations purposes and there is nothing wrong with that.
  10. @le Voyageur - The Summit property is heavily focused on economic development of the area. As a result believe the current plan is to outsource much of the high adventure program similar to Sea Base, where a commercial outfitter will be used. The upfront cost to independently develop a rafting program is too high for a program that has no footing yet.
  11. Philmont consists of many land acquisitions made over time. I am sure each transaction had different conditions. The land donated by Phillips is deeded to the National Council but had conditions such remaining an operating ranch. Bechtel Summit will be the seventh National High Adventure program. There are National programs that have closed due to declining participation (Maine, Wisconsin, and Between the Lakes). While there have been closed programs, there is no chance of the current programs being discontinued. All three programs are very, very busy as it is. In the past to allow increased participation the existing programs have been expanded with satellite programs (Bahamas, Atikokan, Bissett, Okpik, Kanik). All these programs have (or had) the opportunity to allow increased participation. I suspect these programs may be at some risk when the new high adventure base opens.
  12. Like Pack212Scouter mentioned, the purpose of transferring mineral rights is to avoid having to grant access to the property for mineral exploration. This is an issue as you must the mineral rights owner on the property and can result in safety issues. The focus is on the 2013 Jamboree. Other programs at the facility such as the High Adventure program are secondary. This post was made on the Facebook page by the administrator: "until after the 2013 National Jamboree, so 2014 at the earliest". It also does not make sense to open another High Adventure program right now with the economy and declining registration at Philmont. Last year Philmont had a almost 50% cancellation rate and went through the entire wait list. If your unit is looking to try a National High Adventure other than Philmont, don't wait to find out when the Summit will open. Check out Sea Base or Northern Tier -- there are a lot of incredible smaller programs most never get to experience like Bahamas, Atikokan, and Bissett.
  13. National is not paying the salaries of council employees. The financial system is still original (terminal, 'green screen'). Before the upgrades in the late 90's each council ran this application on their own server (mini). As part of the upgrade this was centralized. This made a lot of sense (not having a server in each council for financials) and did not change functionality. To print paychecks you need a thermal laser printer. If I remember correctly, there is also an option to have National (actually a vendor) print and mail the paychecks. The funds in both places are still issued by your council.
  14. The Northern Tier Trading Post is clearing its inventory of "BSA 100" patches. (These are the patches you see folks trying to sell for $20 each on eBay...) The cost is $6.95 for large "Back Patches" and $1.75 for regular "Non-restricted" patches. Link to the online store: http://bit.ly/agstiC
  15. Re: Insect bombs. As packsaddle mentioned, these are ineffective and highly advised against as it apparently only exacerbates the problem. Building a cabinet with heaters is excessive, particularly as many outdoor materials cannot handle very well the 2 hours (minimum) at 120f to kill bugs. Bed bugs are becoming a bigger issue when traveling also. The best option is to not spread what you traveled with until it is inspected. If you find a bug it can be killed (crushed, etc). When returning have clothes in plastic bags and place directly in the laundry (highest temperature for washing and drying). For camps, like hotels, an infestation of bed bugs (or any bug) can be avoided if they have procedures to monitor for it. http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/housingandclothing/M1196.html
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