Scout troop makes movie while they backpack through the Three Sisters Wilderness

The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled many troops’ plans last year, including those for Troop 90 of Bend, Ore.

The Scouts had originally planned a 140-mile backpacking trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, but because of the pandemic, they opted for an adventure closer to home. The troop organized a 110-mile backpacking journey through Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness, aiming to summit all three dormant volcanoes.

Right before the troop departed, James Verheyden received word that the team putting together the virtual show for the Order of the Arrow Section W-1S conclave wouldn’t be able to film for it. A conclave is an annual gathering of Arrowmen within an Order of the Arrow section. Verheyden, who at the time was the section chief of W-1S, had an idea.

“Our troop produced a video of our trek with only half a day’s notice — it was filmed on a iPhone with a zero-dollar budget,” he says. “This journey shows how Scouting persists even in the hardest times.”

It would be a great way not only to document the troop’s epic trek, but also create entertaining content for the virtual event. The entire conclave show was posted on the Section W-1S YouTube page.

If your Scouts want to film an upcoming outing and need some ideas or pointers, check out the Moviemaking merit badge pamphlet.

For guidelines on producing and posting content online involving Scouts, please review this page. You must follow BSA’s Youth Protection policies. For more on digital safety rules and links for Scouting online, click here.

Read about another Three Sisters trek

Troop 282 of Eugene, Ore., had a similar idea last year, pivoting from out-of-state plans to a 40-mile trek in the Three Sisters Wilderness. Scout Life highlights the troop’s trek in September’s issue, focusing on how the Scouts made their backpacking plans to best enjoy the new journey.

Your unit can submit upcoming outing plans for consideration in Scout Life. Just fill out this online form.

About Michael Freeman 438 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.