About the BSA

High Adventure

A high-adventure experience includes several days of trekking in wilderness and other rugged, remote locations.  The Boy Scouts of America operates four national high-adventure bases and local council high adventure bases that provide outdoor adventure opportunities for older Scouts and Venturers.

Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base at the Summit Bechtel Reserve

Programs at the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base at the Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR) opened June 2014. Activities revolve around four program tracks: the River — rafting and kayaking, Helmets and Harnesses — climbing, zip, and ropes courses, the Marksman —  shooting sports, and Wheels — mountain biking, skateboarding, and BMX.

High-adventure participants also experience activities centered on the SBR’s core mission areas: adventure, sustainability, leadership, and service.

Located in the New River Gorge region of West Virginia, the SBR sits on 10,600 acres of forested mountains adjacent to more than 70,000 acres of the New River Gorge National River area.

Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s largest national High Adventure Base. Its 34 staffed camps and 55 trail camps provide an unforgettable adventure in the high country along hundreds of miles of rugged, rocky trails.

Born in 1938 as Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp, today’s Philmont Scout Ranch is a bustling center for high adventure and training. Over the course of many years, Philmont has been a famous stop on the Santa Fe Trail, the home of Jicarilla Apache and Moache Ute Indians, a prospecting community and a working cattle ranch.

Today, 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.

Florida Sea Base

In 2013, the Florida Sea Base will celebrate 33 years of providing Scouts and Scouters from across America ocean adventures that make a lifetime difference.  Scouting’s most complete aquatic facility, Sea Base offers a complete variety of water activities from scuba diving to sailing “Tall Ships”.

Sea Base now operates eleven different adventures out of three different locations: two in the Florida Keys, and one in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas.  During their time at the base, participants have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and fish among the most beautiful coral reefs in the northern hemisphere.

Northern Tier 

Northern Tier is the Boy Scouts of America’s gateway to adventure in the Great Northwoods.  Northern Tier is the BSA’s oldest national High Adventure program, outfitting scouting groups for canoe trips since the summer of 1923. The Charles L Sommers Base has been home to the program since 1941.

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.

Local Council High-Adventure Bases

Local councils operate a number of high-adventure bases across the country which are available to older Boy Scouts and Venturers.  Activities may include backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking, horse packing, mountain climbing, ski touring, rafting, kayaking, or a host of other outdoor adventures.