High Adventure Week: Northern Tier for 2022-2023

This year marks 100 years since Scouts made their first treks into the wilderness on the Minnesota-Canada border. Scouts will be going on special Northern Tier High Adventure treks this year, celebrating the Minnesota base’s 100th anniversary.

Scouts can go on these special treks in 2023, too. Registration for 2022-2023 Okpik and 2023 summer programs opens at 9 a.m. CST on Jan. 12. The 2022 summer trek spots are almost full, but you can still check for availability.

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

Northern Tier registration 

To register, crews will choose between two trip options depending on the base they are attending:

  • Sommers Base in Ely, Minn., for seven- and 10-night trips.
  • Rogert’s Base in Atikokan, Ontario, for eight- and 10-night trips.
  • Northern Expeditions Base in Bissett, Manitoba, for eight- and 10-night trips.

You can log on to the BSA’s Find Your Adventure info portal to register.

To Be Prepared for the best possible experience on registration day, make sure your My.Scouting account is up to date.

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 (Black Hills Area — Rapid City, S.D., Central Minnesota — Sartell (St. Cloud), Minn., Gamehaven — Rochester, Minn., Montana — Great Falls, Mont., Northern Lights — Fargo, N.D., Northern Star — Fort Snelling (Twin Cities), Minn., Sioux — Sioux Falls, S.D., Twin Valley — Mankato, Minn., Voyageurs Area — Hermantown (Duluth), Minn.) 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 seven-night trip out of Ely; 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).

You can read about Scouts who went on the Charles L. Sommers trek in this Scout Life story.

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. Crews arriving with inadequate footwear can purchase boots in the trading post before 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 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 304 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.