Philmont, Seabase and Northern Tier are the three most familiar national High Adventure Bases, there are dozens of other Council Based Programs.
Thousands of Scouts participate in and enjoy the big three high adventure bases each year. I have colleagues in Scouting who recommend them highly. At the other end of the high- adventure spectrum are the Troop and Crew-based high adventure programs that explore less known territory.
Our rationale for building our own high adventure program is based of a few logistic and philosophic criteria;
Time and Money
Most of the established programs involve air travel and substantial ground fees at the base itself. From our Mid-Atlantic location the cost of participating is over $1000.00. Each also requires twelve or fourteen days including travel time. In comparison our trips cost approximately half as much and run from early Friday to the following Saturday night – consuming only six vacation days.
Roller Coaster Vs. Bike
Most of the national programs are preplanned, preset programs that involve a minimal amount of flexibility. The dates, activities, equipment and routes are usually predetermined. There is also a good deal of competition for the best routes and times. I liken this to lining up for a roller coaster ride; buy your ticket and get in line. Troop-based high-high adventure trips are more flexible; more like getting on your bike and heading out for a ride. Not that the roller coaster isn’t fun or challenging – it is just a different approach.
What does it take to put together a Troop based High Adventure Program? It is not so difficult as you may think. This week I’ll be writing about our experience with the process- tomorrow we’ll discuss how to get started.