Detailed preparation is the key to any successful high adventure program.
State, provincial or national parks are the most likely destinations. Each will have it’s own particular rules and procedures. Information gleaned from the web is a good start. Online trip reports and reviews can be quite informative. I’d suggest that once you have the information you think you need pick up the phone and call someone at your destination and confirm that the information you have is correct. Outfitters or other local businesses serving folks who visit your destination are other excellent sources of information.
Mileage is meaningless unless it is in the context of terrain. A mile that gains two thousand feet in elevation is quite different from a flat mile. Trail conditions, water , weather, and camping regulations all effect the time and effort required to cover distance. Begin route selection by determining what the crew wants to see and do rather than how far they want to go.
Route selection is perhaps the most crucial choice in making or breaking your trip. It must be gauged with the crew’s ability and familiarity with the terrain.
Crews should of more than five and less than twelve seem to work best. Many destinations will regulate a maximum group size. Ratios of youth and adults are also important. We usually have crews of seven or nine with a maximum (and minimum) of three adults over the age of 21. This way the Scouts always outnumber the adults. I am careful to explain that the adventure is for the Scouts and adults are along for the ride. One of the adults in each crew must have the training and experience to advise the crew chief.
Getting There and Back
Transportation has its own set of details. Rentals, fares, timetables, drivers, group rates, insurance, accommodations will all demand your attention.
Rented, purchased by the group or by individuals? Probably a mix of all three. The quality and utility of your gear is important and will require a good bit of research. What looks expensive and indulgent at home may prove to be cheap and indispensable in the back country.
Planning the appropriate weight, quantity and nutritional value of a back country diet is a big task on its own let alone buying and packing it.In my experience it is best to have two or three crew members assigned to this task.