2021-2022 preview: Northern Tier National High Adventure

Nearly 100 years ago, Scouts made their first treks into the wilderness on the Minnesota-Canada border. You can register for special Northern Tier High Adventure treks in 2022, celebrating the Minnesota base’s 100th anniversary.

Canoeing and fishing is a major part of the Northern Tier National High Adventure program during the summer, while Scouts can enjoy snowshoeing, ice fishing, skiing and dogsledding in the winter.

Summer adventures offer the opportunity to explore millions of acres of lakes, waterfalls, forests and wetlands in northern Minnesota, northwest Ontario and northeast Manitoba. In the winter, Scouts and Venturers can travel across frozen lakes and sleep in the snow as part of the Okpik program.

The 2021 summer and winter treks are already nearly full. You can check for availability by clicking here.

Northern Tier registration 

Registration for 2022 summer Northern Tier treks opens October 29; winter program registration for 2021-2022 opens January 19.

Registering for future treks will be easier, thanks to a new, streamlined process. Crews will choose between two trip options depending on the base they are attending:

You can log on to the BSA’s new Find Your Adventure info portal to register. Different from the previous ways to register, you will be required to log in with your My.Scouting credentials.

Registering for a life-changing high adventure base expedition is an exciting and sometimes competitive experience. To Be Prepared for the best possible experience on registration day, see more information here and this checklist for making sure your My.Scouting account is up-to-date.

Check out what summer and winter treks look like in the videos below:

The 100th anniversary

Scouts can work to earn a special award for Northern Tier’s 100th anniversary: the Paul Bunyan Award. This award is a reconstitution of the original participation award. It will be available during the 2022 and 2023 summer canoeing seasons to crews and individuals from the current councils that make up what was once Region 10 or crews participating in specialty programs during those seasons. The specialty programs include:

  • The Charles L. Sommers Trek – A trip honoring the first chairman of Region 10, Charles L. Sommers, and the Eagle Scout trips of the 1920s and 1930s. Limited trips will be available, based on permits. Crews will need to book a 7-night trip out of Ely and then when permit applications become available, this trip will be a choice in permitting.
  • The Paul R. Christen Trek – A trip honoring the final chairman of Region 10, Paul R. Christen, and the namesake of BSA’s fourth high-adventure base at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Limited trips are available and will be reserved through the base’s individual programs system.
  • Any 2022 or 2023 Northern Tier summer canoeing crew that completes 100 miles of canoeing and portaging (as verified by their interpreter and advisor upon completion).

Other Northern Tier news you need

  • Participants must be 14 or have completed eighth grade at the time of attendance.
  • All summer participants must wear boots that have full ankle coverage, a rugged stitched or vulcanized sole, and drainage at the instep. Boots should not be waterproof. (Read why here.) Crews arriving with inadequate footwear can purchase boots in the trading post prior to their departure on the water.
  • Northern Tier can fully outfit you and your crew for winter programs. You will need to provide your own base layer, and Northern Tier will provide the rest. This means you won’t have to invest in lots of expensive winter gear you may never use again.
  • Northern Tier makes special accommodations for Scouts with special needs. The bases have specialized equipment to serve Scouts with physical disabilities.
  • Participants can work with a staff member to plan a route through the wilderness that works for their abilities and interests.

About Michael Freeman 213 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is associate editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.