Jump to content

Self Run Rafting/Backpacking/Climbing Trips?

Recommended Posts

I have two separate questions for you:


1. I've been looking for years for other units that run their own self supported - non commercial adventure trips and more especially the technical trips. OK, we're lucky to have the expertise and experience to run our own whitewater rafting, climbing/mountaineering, caving and of course backpacking programs, but who else does these or other really cool trips? I found one in WA that does high altitude mountaineering too so I know you've got to be out there!


OK, I and some Scouter friends are also adventure outfitters and teach customers all summer (even youthgroups) so we have some good expertise. But we started as first interested and later experienced private outdoorsmen. There has got to be more of us out there who don't mind taking Scouts along and more importantly teaching them in our fun!


SO - Basically, we're looking for other units to maybe partner on some joint trips?? Will even trade rafting for mountaineering, etc.


So, Whos out there??? What do you do? Could we organize a special section? Maybe more important, lets maybe organize a trip!




for those interested in a more substantial discussion too:


On the more philosophical side - well, yes - I really do believe that the youngsters should be taught to do these skills, learn the safety requirements, practice all the skills and do it. This formula has of course worked well for us with boy retention, the kids love it. Sure, some Scouts are not interested, but the ones that are stay with it. We have one who is now an Asst SM and still active. We run a small (maybe too small) Troop/Crew, but spend the extra time on their skills.


Which I guess boils down to: What do you think about self run vs. commercially hired high adventure or BSA Base run adventure which is much the same thing?



Link to post
Share on other sites



I wish I could offer you a high adventure trade. For those units that have access to internal qualified experts to run trips like rafting or climbing I think it's a great idea. However, the vast majority of us volunteers are weekend outdoorsmen at best and while we can confidently take a group of boys on a weekend outing to a group campsite, and an occaisional backpacking trip, we would be well beyond our areas of expertise to try and run a whitewater rafting or climbing trip. In those cases I would encourage units to use the high adventure bases and commercial outfitters and guides to ensure qualified technical assistance. To do otherwise would be foolhardy, if not negligent. As Dirty Harry(Clint Eastwood) once said, "A man's got to know his limitations."



Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeh should try over on da Scouts-L list, eh? A friend who frequents that says there are quite a few wild an' crazy types that post fairly serious technical trips.


Don't know of any units in my area that fly solo. Most work packaged outfitter trips.



Link to post
Share on other sites



This isn't exactly what you were looking for, but might be helpful.


Our council has an annual high-adventure rally that has become very good.

They review all of the tour requests on file every year and invite troops with unique, interesting trips to come set up a simple booth to share their experience and spread the word. They always have picture boards and handouts to describe what they did and how they did it. Some have videos or slideshows running.


There are always some groups representing BSA's high adventure bases - telling about their experience there. These are very useful information for those troops who haven't made the move beyond local state parks, etc., but the really great ones are the troops that put together their own trips. Those folks are a wealth of information and very inspirational.


We always take a group of our older scouts who are interested in high adventure and they come away excited. "If those guys can do it, so can we! Let's go!!"


After making contacts at the H-A Rally, I've taken a team of my scouts to visit other units to give them a presentation and get them started on their own trips.


Several years ago, while paddling the Boundary Waters with my group of scouts, we ran into a group from Troop 1, Alexandria, LA. I really enjoyed talking to their grizzled SM, who I only remember as Mr. O. He told me they had been bring their whole troop up every summer for many years and had 4-5 crews on the water at that time. He was with the youngest group (11 & 12 yr olds) who paddled in a bit, set up a base camp, and took daily excursions to explore the surrounding area, without hauling all the gear. He said every year they come back a little older, bigger, and experienced - ready for more. His oldest group that year hit the water with plans to cover over a hundred miles. The most amazing part was the cost: less than $300 per boy and adults were free. They had invested in the gear (Duluth packs, etc.) and bought all their food in bulk. Had a team of scouts and adults that repackaged the 50-pound bags of rolled oats, beans, etc. into crew food packs. The only expense they had at the border was renting canoes. (Also, of course, had to pay the wilderness camping fees non trivial.) Simply amazing!


If you can pull off a "roll your own" trip, I'd definitely recommend going for it. However, something like wilderness canoeing can be pretty daunting. Even more so for white water or real mountaineering. If you think your guys (and adults) are interested in making something like this an annual trip, its worth the investment. If your guys want to sample different things every year, it might be more difficult to get the core group properly trained and equipped to do it all.


Your mileage may vary. Happy trails!




Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses!

Scoutingagain!...well I havn't found but that one group, but my Troop/Crew does take on other groups. My "day job" keeps me in OK for the fall and spring, and I've tried to subvert (well, they wern't hard) a Crew there who are coming with us on Deso Gray (Green River 82 miles) at a relative cost with gas of about $300/person - cheaper from WY where my summer job is. Anyway, it is more common for us to work with other groups...so, you got an idea for a trip?


Beavah - what is the L-list???


and Mike, where and when is the HA Ralley?? These all seem like fun. The HA Ralley sounds like the "International Climber's Festival" that they run in Lander WY each summer, and to which my Scouts are addicted. They get to see expedition climbers up close and even get to climb at Wild Iris with some of them. Quite an experience for the Scouts, and the climbers are always impressed that Scouts would be mostly competitant climbers!


Today, I'm taking my 2 newest boys out on the mild Upper Colorado R to learn about rigging rafts to flip, running rapids, learning water and just camping out (they have only been out once) and need to get started. There is not enough time this summer for me here. I'm trying to recruit more adults to just run the Troop and Crew and that is hard. Got plenty of the outdoor types, but not enough organization types (their boys have aged out).



Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...