Imagine riding a 3/4 mile zip line. Canoeing on the lakes of Minnesota. Snorkeling in the Florida Keys. Or watching the sun rise from the summit of a 12,441-foot mountain in the Rockies. High adventures like these are a major part of Scouting, and the Boy Scouts of America operates four national high adventure bases to make these opportunities available for Scouts.
Situated in the wilds of West Virginia, the Summit is a training, Scouting, and adventure center for the millions of youth and adults involved in the Boy Scouts of America and anyone who loves the outdoors. The Summit Bechtel Reserve is also home to the National Scout Jamboree and the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base. The Summit’s many high adventure activities include whitewater kayaking and rafting, climbing and rappelling, zip line canopy tours, a challenge course, shooting sports, skateboarding, BMX biking, mountain biking, and more.
The Florida Sea Base offers unique aquatics programs in sailing, scuba diving, fishing, or rustic camping on an undeveloped barrier island. As Scouting’s most complete aquatic facility, Sea Base offers a variety of water activities from scuba diving to sailing “Tall Ships.” All participants have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and fish among the most beautiful coral reefs in the northern hemisphere.
Northern Tier is the Boy Scouts of America?s gateway to adventure in the Great Northwoods. In the Summer, scouts from Northern Tier?s three wilderness canoe bases explore millions of acres of pristine lakes, meandering rivers, dense forests and wetlands in Northern Minnesota, Northwest Ontario and Northeast Manitoba. In the winter, Northern Tier is home to the Okpik Cold Weather Camping program, the BSA’s premier winter high adventure program. Fall programming is also available.
Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s largest national High Adventure Base. Its 35 staffed camps and 55 trail camps provide an unforgettable adventure in the high country along hundreds of miles of rugged, rocky trails. More than 1 million Scouts, Venturers, and leaders have experienced the adventure of Philmont since the first camping season in 1939. Youth and adults take advantage of the Ranch’s camping, training, and work programs. Most activity takes place during the summer, but Philmont also offers Autumn Adventure and Winter Adventure programs.
Other High Adventure Bases
In addition to the BSA-operated high adventure bases, there are several other bases which are operated by local councils. The Louisiana Swamp Base offers treks through the Atchafalaya Swamp via canoes, airboats, and houseboats. Sea Star Base Galveston offers sailing, aquatics, and specialized programs for Sea Scouts. Closer to Kentucky, the Latimer Reservation in Tenessee focuses on climbing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and shooting sports.