Roundtable: High Adventure Materials

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Tonight at Boy Scout Roundtable, District Commissioner Jeff Heck led a discussion of high adventure for boy scouts and venturers. He talked about the opportunities for units to provide high adventure and its benefits to the program.

  • Provides marketing panache to incoming families, allowing dreams and visions of great adventures to come.
  • Provides solid leadership development opportunities for crew contingent youth leaders.
  • For participants of all ages, builds personal and long-lasting connections with nature and their travel companions.
  • Fosters self-reliance, flexibility of mind, and perserverance.

Jeff encouraged units to keep their minds open to high adventure and not get stuck on the notion that High Adventure is expensive or remote. With the four national high-adventure bases, they each offer camperships for units, so most boys can find a way to go with some advance planning and aggressive unit popcorn sales.

Often troops and crews don’t do high adventure because it seems complicated or remote.  He provided a long list of local council reservations that have high adventure programs. Many of these are closer than the national bases and have cheaper tuitions.

But high adventure does not have to be done on BSA related properties. Scheduling a long series of hikes along the Appalachian Trail or in Michigan or Kentucky can be done reasonably cheaply. Most of the cost is fuel and food.

Jeff referred to several resources that he has used for these programs. They are posted here:

  1. Lists of local council offerings in high adventure
  2.  Budget spreadsheet for Ely, Minnesota trip (convertible to other trips)

It is also not unusual for one or two boys from a unit to have the time, resources, and desire to any one particular trip.  The District should offer and the Council does offer trips for these boys.  For example, John Wiebke, Roundtable Commissioner, and I are interested helping organize a trip to Konderstag, Switzerland’s International Scout Centre in the coming year.  John was on staff there for two years as a boy. This not likely to be a trip for a single troop. Consequently, we are looking at the possibility of putting a District Contingent together.

Similarly District Contingents could organize to do a long trip down the White River over a school break, or go hiking in the Kentucky or Tennessee mountains. Our new District Unit Commissioner Darryl Lloyd is a native Tennesseean and regular visitor to the Gatlinburg, Tennessee entry to the Smoky Mountains. He can help coach units or contingents on what opportunities may await them.

Focus first on creating a vision of what activity you want to conduct. Then let us know what you or your unit are thinking. Maybe we can put some ideas together.