Jump to content

Best non BSA High Adventure Options


Recommended Posts

My Troop has two crews headed to Philmont this year, and we are considering HA options for 2022 and 2023.  Given the risks in bankruptcy, I think we should be looking at non BSA properties (just to be safe).

We have gone to BWCA, kayaked to Apostle Islands and canoed in the Wisconsin River as our non BSA owned high adventure trips in the past.  Do you have other recommendations?  I've pieced together some from past postings but thought I would see if there are ideas I am missing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have canoed on the Manistee River in northern Michigan through a private outfitter, and for a less strenuous High Adventure we have rented a houseboat and cruised on Lake Cumberland Kentucky for a week.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Growing up, the city my troop met in, and one in Canada became "twin cities," and we had groups coming and going for a few years. When I did my 64 mile canoes trip in Canada, it was partnered with 2 troops there that acted as guides.

When I was in the UK, folks would connect with troops they would be visiting, and use them as guides.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been to a HA base. Backpacking lots of places in the Rockies and Oregon. Rafting the Green River. Kayaking in Peugeot Sound.  Backpacking the Grand Canyon. Biking in the Black Hills (there's lots but we did the Mickelson Trail). There are also programs, kind of like Philmont, at a lot of scout camps - and they cost less than Philmont. Tall ship sailing out of LA with the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. I've wanted to canoe the Apostle Islands but the scouts voted and I lost.

These all start by asking lots of questions and making lots of phone calls. There are good times to go and bad times (like 2 weeks after the first thaw in the Wind River area in Wyoming when the mosquitos are horrendous (we should have asked)). There is gear to be got, organized, rented, whatever. Just know your abilities. We've fortunately had a lot of river rats in our troop. That's one place I wouldn't do it on my own unless I had someone with considerable experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let the PLC discuss what they might want to do, no limitations.  Total freedom of ideas.  

All the HAB and such are ultimately "canned" adventures.  Pick a trek.  Ask the outfitter.  

My family ultimately benefitted from my expertise , however limited it is,  in seeing possibilities.  When dear wife announced she had a job convention to go to in Reno, I took out the maps and Googled AMTRAK  time tables and presto, we had a family vacation out to the west coast, and drive back to Murlin. Two BIG weeks.  The kids went along, (they had to) but heck wife had three days in Reno, we had the Grand Canyon, and LOTS of other places.  Loose adventure.  

Europe?  Bike /history tour  thru Netherlands/Belgium. Hosteling in the Alps.  Hike the Camino in Spain.

US of A?  Great Allegheny Trail (200 miles of almost flat, down hill from Pittsburgh to Washington DC.  Campgrounds, history all along the way.

Anybody got some farm fields ? Plan your own summer camp, two weeks of "roughing it" can be had and the parents will enjoy being the Staff.  Play the What If game,  Think about what you need.... Others have done it. Yeah, some family vacation /work leave time has to be used.  So? 

Canoe trip?   Shennadoah,  Potomac,  James.... What you got out west? 

And think about it.... the Older Scouts can stretch their wings working things out with the Oldsters guidance. Isn't this what it's about? Or supposed to be about?  

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Let the PLC discuss what they might want to do, no limitations.  Total freedom of ideas.  

All the HAB and such are ultimately "canned" adventures.  Pick a trek.  Ask the outfitter.  

My family ultimately benefitted from my expertise , however limited it is,  in seeing possibilities.  When dear wife announced she had a job convention to go to in Reno, I took out the maps and Googled AMTRAK  time tables and presto, we had a family vacation out to the west coast, and drive back to Murlin. Two BIG weeks.  The kids went along, (they had to) but heck wife had three days in Reno, we had the Grand Canyon, and LOTS of other places.  Loose adventure.  

Europe?  Bike /history tour  thru Netherlands/Belgium. Hosteling in the Alps.  Hike the Camino in Spain.

US of A?  Great Allegheny Trail (200 miles of almost flat, down hill from Pittsburgh to Washington DC.  Campgrounds, history all along the way.

Anybody got some farm fields ? Plan your own summer camp, two weeks of "roughing it" can be had and the parents will enjoy being the Staff.  Play the What If game,  Think about what you need.... Others have done it. Yeah, some family vacation /work leave time has to be used.  So? 

Canoe trip?   Shennadoah,  Potomac,  James.... What you got out west? 

And think about it.... the Older Scouts can stretch their wings working things out with the Oldsters guidance. Isn't this what it's about? Or supposed to be about?  

This was essentially what I decided to do.  My last PLC I listed out a bunch of ideas (both BSA and non BSA) and various adventures.   Mountains in Africa to canoeing in Wisconsin.   I told them to look at these and go research some on their own.  Then, come to the next PLC with their ideas.  If they pick Sea Base and sailing ... fine .. now, I wouldn't recommend that we go with Sea Base, but we can then look for outfitters that provide similar services.  A lot of good ideas in these posts (and in Scouter.com).  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many troops canoe in BWCAW with private outfitters rather than Northern Tier. We did NT last summer with BSA and had a great time, but you have options there.

@MattR did you use a guide company in the Wind River Range or plan it all on your own? I'd love to do that.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, mashmaster said:

Our scouts paddled the Buffalo River in Arkansas two years ago.  They had a great time.

I should mention it was scout led and planned.  Not guide service needed, they owned the process from beginning to end.  The only adult help planning was helping to contact local troops in the area who lent us the canoes.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Many troops canoe in BWCAW with private outfitters rather than Northern Tier. We did NT last summer with BSA and had a great time, but you have options there.

@MattR did you use a guide company in the Wind River Range or plan it all on your own? I'd love to do that.

We did it on our own. I'm not sure there are any guides. It's fairly simple. But there's really no way to resupply. Our only mistake was the timing. Go later when the skeeters aren't around. It was absolutely beautiful, and just as steep. My GPS said we were doing 500' vertical, up or down, per mile. Even if that wasn't too accurate it was stunning scenery.

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

We always use North Country Canoe Outfitters in Ely for our BWCA trips.  Their owner, John, is a veteran scouter for years and treats scouts very well.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of great opportunities.

Our first trip into the Boundary Waters was through the BSA northern Tier base. The rest of them have been with private outfitters once we had the skills and confidence to go on our own. We have enjoyed the Gunflint Trail south of Ely a lot.

Great trips in the past to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain High Adventure Camp.  Rode Amtrak out of Chicago to Denver which was an experience in itself (both very good and very bad). Stayed in beautiful Salida, Colorado. Rafted the Arkansas River, rode mountain bikes on a world class trail, hiked to near the summit of one of North America's tallest mountains, explored ghost towns and panned for gold. Did another trip on our own without using the base but instead a motel and did a series of adventurous day trips. That was a very good combination for us. Hard, active days hiking, rafting and biking and nights with great food, pool, sauna and soft beds. The Scouts were very experienced and capable campers but wanted their time being spent on activities rather than camp duties. 

Trips to Washington D.C. by Amtrak, plane and bus over the years. Great fun and educational place to visit. 

Recently did a multi-day canoe trip in South Carolina with a private outfitter and camped at night on platforms. 

A couple of trips into Canada (pre-pandemic) to attend an international camporee that is held every two years. Very modest camp but superb experience. 

Trips to Philmont, Seabase, most national  jamborees since 1977 and a visit to the international jamboree at the summit.  Have made a "scouting" trip to Kandersteg in Switzerland in hopes of a troop wide European trip (we have lots of international student Scouting friends who have taken part with our troop). However, the pandemic has put those discussions on indefinite hold :( . 

BTW, we are not a wealthy or large troop by any stretch of the imagination (downtown troop) but have good Scouts, parent support as well as exceptional church and community support.  And we work very hard to try to include every Scout who wants to attend. 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
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...