High adventure programs can easily be worked into your existing program, either in place of regular troop activities or as an option for older boys who are looking for new and exciting challenges. One option many units use is to utilize a summer camp that offers High Adventure activities. Many of these camps are registered as national High Adventure Bases. Other units find that offering more than one resident camping experience, one of which is targeted toward high adventure, can satisfy the needs of their youth.
Alternately, some units focus on a rotating schedule where once every two or three years, they go on a high adventure trip. While high adventure trips are exciting and sound appealing to youth, they tend to be more expensive and focus less on rank advancement than some other camps. Be sure that when offering high adventure trips, you are not leaving out younger Scouts, and those who may not have the ability or desire to participate in trips that have high physical and emotional demands.
The Boy Scouts of America have several nationally recognized High Adventure Bases. Currently, in Mid-America Council, Camp Cedars offers a Venture based week at camp. Also, our High Adventure Committee coordinates units who wish to participate in High Adventure trips, but do not have all the resources they require. You can also set up your own High Adventure trip at one of the Council’s existing camps. Please contact Scouter Services or call 402.431.9BSA (402.431.9272). for more information.
There are 3 National HABs and more than 70 Council HABs in the United States that offer pre-loaded programs for units to come and participate in. Some of these you can simply sign up for, like signing up for Summer Camp. Others require months of preparation, training and conditioning to prepare for. A list of these HABs can be found in, Passport to High Adventure, BSA publication # 4310, available in the Gotschalk Scout Shop. This website also lists HABs by council and region. Contact each base individually to find out about their particular requirements.
Successful treks start by answering a few questions to set the framework of how the trek will take place.
- Who will go
- Is this limited to only your unit?
- Are there age/rank requirements?
- Are other groups (church, school club, etc.) coming that may have different rules and regulations than the BSA?
- Start with a date far enough in the future to give adequate planning time.
- Plan around school, holidays and peak seasons for the area.
- Consider weather trends during that time of the year.
- How far are you traveling to participate in this event?
- Are you spending no more than 1/3 of your total time on travel?
- Will you be staying the night on the road?
- Who is your target audience?
- How will you contact them?
- Would you send your own child on this trip, based on the information presented?
- Will participants need equipment above and beyond what they would bring on a typical camp out?
- Is there any specialized group gear that is needed for this trek?
- Can this equipment be borrowed or rented locally, or do you have to transport it?
- Are inexperienced people able to participate in this trek?
- Will you have training sessions to familiarize participants in new techniques and equipment?
- Will physical conditioning be required to successfully complete this trek?
If you plan to conduct your own high adventure trek with your troop or crew, there are several resources available to assist you in your preparation. The National Boy Scout publication, Passport to High Adventure, contains a wealth of knowledge that should get you on your way. There are also hundreds of books that can help you conduct a successful trek. Companies such as NOLS, Mountaineers Books, Falcon Guides and even the Complete Idiots Guide series, have compiled easy to understand information. The council also has a High Adventure Committee, dedicated to providing resources necessary to conduct safe, fun and successful high adventure trips. Please contact Scouter Services or call 402.431.9BSA (402.431.9272). for more information on the committee.