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69RoadRunner

High Adventure Ideas for 2020

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Our troop hadn't done high adventure for a few years when we joined. This year, we did Sea Base.  Next year, we're going to Philmont.

I want to present ideas to the troop for 2020. Obviously Northern Tier would get many of the boys the Triple Crown, but I want them to consider more than that.

Summit by Disney is probably not one we'd do.

MOHAB sounds like a great option. I'd definitely like to present that to the scouts.

We're in Northern Virginia, and I'd like them to be able to experience things very different from what we have in our area. Sea Base and Philmont are certainly geographically different from our area.

Any other good places in Utah, Wyoming, California? I wouldn't rule out Alaska, too. Some people have mentioned Swamp Base. This makes me think of 2000% humidity, 150 degrees and pterodactyl-sized mosquitoes.  Maybe I'm wrong.

I'm looking for high adventure, not standard base camp.  Backpacking, packrafting, kayaking, etc.

If you have recent experience with MOHAB or something else, I'd love to hear about it. 

Thanks!

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Our troop went to Grand Teton National Park in July.  We have been many places and this has been the most challenging and most rewarding trek we have ever taken.

Sounds like you use the High Adventure bases quite often.  Have you ever considered rolling your own?

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I understand the desire to get them thinking big but I would suggest that you not present any ideas.  Rather - challenge them to come up with ideas by asking what they want to do.  Do they want to canoe?  hike?  fish?  raft?  bike?  swim?  sail?   You could say something like "Ive heard great things about XYZ"  or "I know of a Troop that did THIS and had a great time" to give them someplace to start.  But in my experience, if you present some ideas they will pick one of those because it is easy.

Another approach is to set some limits first - usually cost or duration (how much vacation time adults can take).  Then research to find cool things within those bounds.

 

That said - boundary waters is a great trek.  One of my favorites for hiking was Isle Royale.

 

Edited by jjlash
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We have a very successful mulch fundraiser that results in scout bucks for each scout based on the hours worked by the scout and family/friends they provide. Scouts then write "checks" to the Treasurer to pay for activities. The average scout can cover every activity and much of a HA trip with scout bucks.

I'm not sure if he was serious or not, but one of our ASMs mentioned Camp Alpine in Switzerland.  ☺️

I like the idea of mentioning activities and you're right about them leaning toward the easy.

I showed my son the MOHAB promo video on YouTube and he thought it looked great.

I don't mind organizing a trip for us. It would help if someone else had blazed the trail or maybe had an outfitter that made sure we could meeting GTSS rules.

Before we joined, our troop had done canoeing in Maine and reports were positive. None of the current scouts have done that.

Alaska sounds awesome!

I want it to be boy led, of course. But, there are some aspects that kids this age aren't going to consider like visiting places that are like nothing they've seen before. Things they'll remember the rest of their lives.

We do a survey before the PLC does the annual plan so they can do activities the troop likes. We could do the same for HA.

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1 hour ago, NealOnWheels said:

Our troop went to Grand Teton National Park in July.  We have been many places and this has been the most challenging and most rewarding trek we have ever taken.

Sounds like you use the High Adventure bases quite often.  Have you ever considered rolling your own?

We've done a mix of our own and official high adventure bases.  Each has a different flavor, but I'll never forget all the ones we did on our own.  

Our selection was mainly triggered by what was within an interesting driving distance.  Sometimes that distance was 10+ hours.  

Edited by fred johnson
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  We had a crew go to Swapbase this summer the heat and humidity wasn't bad until it was time to sleep.  The mosquitoes were almost none existent I didn't see any until our last night. We spent a bunch of time taking breaks for swimming since I over estimated the difficulty of the trek and we spent a lot of time canoeing before our trek.  If you are looking for an outdoor adventure do trek 2 its camping outside every night in hammocks rather than house boats and cabins.

   We are looking at getting a crew together to go to MOHAB for 2019. I recommend giving them a call or send an email with any questions. One of the guys gave me a call to answer a few questions I had and we end up talking to close to an hour.

 

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16 minutes ago, my_three_sons said:

  We had a crew go to Swapbase this summer the heat and humidity wasn't bad until it was time to sleep. 

 

That would be hell for me.  I absolutely HATE trying to sleep in the heat and humidity. I say try because I rarely succeed.  Our other ASMs have said the same thing. You can get warmer when it's cold, but when it's hot, you can only get so naked.

Quote

We are looking at getting a crew together to go to MOHAB for 2019. I recommend giving them a call or send an email with any questions. One of the guys gave me a call to answer a few questions I had and we end up talking to close to an hour.

Right now, of the established HA camps, MOHAB is my personal favorite. I'm trying hard to find options so it won't be my personal choice. Adults do have veto power, though. 😄

Edited by 69RoadRunner

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2 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Summit by Disney is probably not one we'd do.

My scouts think the same about Summit. 

We have rolled our own to Isle Royale, Porcupine Mt and SHT but we are looking forward to Sea Base 2019 and Philmont 2020. The scouts pick from a list of options based on what activity they want to do. If we roll our own they pick the route and plan the food.

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I'll lend my recommendation to anything in Alaska. 

After being a scout in the Panama Canal Zone, and lots of desert camping in Southern Arizona, we moved to AK when I was about 15.  It's an amazing state.  I went on a High Adventure trek north of Anchorage the last year I was a scout.  Our troop camped/hiked/backpacked one weekend minimum every month, and twice in December, regardless of the weather.

You know it's high adventure when you are backpacking in a state that still has mountains, glaciers and lakes that haven't been named yet....

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All of these other suggestions have so much going for them, that these might seem trivial, but if your scouts haven't done them, they might bite on these backdoor challenges:

  • bike to Cumberland Gap, then on to Pittsburgh
  • raft the Potomac
  • bike around a Great Lake
  • hike the Standing Stone trail in PA
  • kayak in Pamlico Seabase
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9 hours ago, qwazse said:

All of these other suggestions have so much going for them, that these might seem trivial, but if your scouts haven't done them, they might bite on these backdoor challenges:

  • bike to Cumberland Gap, then on to Pittsburgh
  • raft the Potomac
  • bike around a Great Lake
  • hike the Standing Stone trail in PA
  • kayak in Pamlico Seabase

I would not call any of those ideas trivial. Personally, I'd love to do any of them and I'm sure our scouts would, too.

We have a meeting tonight. I'll see if I can start getting an idea of what this group is thinking. It's hard when we've barely started Philmont stuff for 2019 and kids change so much year to year.

Some of those things are activities we could consider for next scout year. Of course not in full, but an exposure to them.

The scouts who went to Sea Base said some very good things. For most, it was an experience like nothing they'd done before. Yes, it was far easier than other HA activities, but it was still something they'll always remember.

We have the means to do some of these long distance trips thanks to the very hard work they do delivering mulch. I know the other adult leaders and the parents I've spoken with agree.

On the build your own side, taking them to see the giant redwoods would be fantastic. I keep looking west because I know a lot of scouts have traveled the east by car.

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17 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

I'm not sure if he was serious or not, but one of our ASMs mentioned Camp Alpine in Switzerland.  ☺️

 

Kandersteg. If you want to meet lots of scouts from lots of different countries, and have high adventure, this is the place. I haven't been myself, but everyone I know that has been has raved about it. One of my ex-explorer scouts was staff there, a "pinkie", he loved it. Of course, you'll all need passports. And you'll probably have to fly via New York or something. A quick google suggests 12-16 hours on planes and in airports, then it's another 2-3 hours from Zurich to the campsite.

 

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43 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We have a meeting tonight. I'll see if I can start getting an idea of what this group is thinking. It's hard when we've barely started Philmont stuff for 2019 and kids change so much year to year.

Maybe pushing one every year is too much?  These trips can take a year of planning and fundraising to make happen, which is why most troops do every other year or every three years on these types of trips.  If you pump them out every year, how much input and planning do the Scouts really have versus letting the adults plan it?

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29 minutes ago, ianwilkins said:

Kandersteg. If you want to meet lots of scouts from lots of different countries, and have high adventure, this is the place. I haven't been myself, but everyone I know that has been has raved about it. One of my ex-explorer scouts was staff there, a "pinkie", he loved it. Of course, you'll all need passports. And you'll probably have to fly via New York or something. A quick google suggests 12-16 hours on planes and in airports, then it's another 2-3 hours from Zurich to the campsite.

 

Before we had kids, my wife and I went skiing in Davos, Switzerland with the Baltimore Ski Club. We were on the European red eye in seats that had the least amount of leg room of any flight I've ever taken, and I'm 6'3". Luckily, I was in my mid-20s at the time.

I felt beaten like a rented mule when we landed.

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