Bryan on Scouting

How to register for a 2017 or 2018 high-adventure base trip

It’s the third-annual High-Adventure Week here on Bryan on Scouting. It’s time to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime experiences offered at the BSA’s four national high-adventure bases — and give you tips on how to secure your spot in 2017, 2018 and beyond.


What a week! The blog just visited all four of the BSA’s national high-adventure bases in just four days. Readers and I went zip lining in West Virginia, sailing in Florida, hiking in New Mexico and paddling in Minnesota.

Random thought: Does that mean this blog now qualifies for the Grand Slam of High Adventure?

Anyway, today is all about looking back on the week that was.

Here are the highlights, including info on how to register for each of these high-adventure bases in 2017 and 2018.

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

Where: Glen Jean, W.Va.

What: The BSA’s fourth and newest national high-adventure base. Program areas include world-class venues for whitewater rafting, zip lining, shooting sports, climbing, skateboarding, BMX biking, mountain biking, canopy tours and more.

2017: The Paul R. Christen base will offer its high-adventure programs in 2017, even though SBR will also host the 2017 National Jamboree next summer. The base will be open four weeks in 2017: June 11 to 17, June 18 to 24, June 25 to July 1 and July 2 to 8. Register and learn more here.

2018: Details about registration for 2018 will be available soon. As always, your best bet for staying up to speed on all things SBR is to like the Summit Bechtel Reserve Facebook page.

Read more: In this post for High-Adventure Week.

Website: Click here.

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base

Where: Islamorada, Fla.

What: Fourteen world-class aquatic adventures, each promising a unique, challenging and downright awesome experience for Scouts and Venturers. Sail or dive the beautiful Keys reefs. Explore exotic places like the Bahamas or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Spend a week on an undeveloped island camping, fishing and snorkeling. Or enjoy the new Marine STEM Adventure.

2017: Select adventures for February through December 2017 are still available. The list updates regularly as units cancel, so go here for the latest info. And if you’re the kind of Scouter who likes getting information before everyone else, be sure to like the Florida Sea Base on Facebook.

2018: Yes, it’s time to start thinking about 2018. Slots for 2018 will be allocated using an online lottery, held Jan. 15 to Feb. 15, 2017. You can enter the lottery by logging onto bsaseabase.org. There’s no advantage to entering early; as long as your entry is submitted during the window you’re good. Winning units will be notified by March 1, 2017.

Read more: In this post for High-Adventure Week.

Website: Click here.

Philmont Scout Ranch

Where: Cimarron, N.M.

What: Philmont Scout Ranch offers seven- and 12-day backcountry treks that challenge participants both mentally and physically. The treks, which include stops at several of Philmont’s staffed backcountry camps, offer a pinnacle experience that participants will remember all their lives.

2017: The online lottery for 2017 slots closed in 2015. However, select slots are open for 12-day treks in July and August and for seven-day treks in August. You can see a live list of availability at this link. Clicking a date will prepare an email to go to a Philmont registrar.

2018: Slots in 2018 will be allocated through an online lottery. The lottery window opened at 9 a.m. MDT on Oct. 26 and closes at midnight MST on Nov. 16. The lottery-based registration process gives everyone an equal chance at some of Philmont’s most popular adventures, most notably seven-day treks throughout the summer and 12-day treks in June. Interested? Register during the lottery window to give you the best chance. Enter the lottery at this link.

Read more: In this post for High-Adventure Week.

Website: Click here.

Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases

Where: Ely, Minn.

What: A magical canoeing retreat spread among three Northern Tier bases: Ely, Minn.; Atikokan, Ontario; and Bissett, Manitoba. Northern Tier is canoe country. Scouts and Venturers who enter Northern Tier’s wilderness each summer get to explore a vast series of navigable lakes and rivers on 6- to 11-night journeys.

2017: The lottery for 2017 spots occurred in January 2016. However, some spaces are still available. Go here to see availability and details.

2018: The 2018 Northern Tier registration lottery opens at 9 a.m. CT on Jan. 3, 2017. It closes at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2017. Click here to enter or learn more.

Read more: In this post for High-Adventure Week.

Website: Click here.