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Boy Scouts of America

jpl logoTroop 509

Est. 1952                         La Cañada Flintridge, CA   

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High Adventure

High Adventure outings are the most physically challenging in Scouting, and are therefore limited to older scouts. These outings can be troop-organized, like climbing Mt. Whitney, or they can be programs run by BSA, such as the four national High Adventure programs:

Troop 509 has historically been a regular participant in High Adventure outings, especially Philmont. The troop's current plan is to go on a High Adventure outing each summer: Philmont every two years and Sea Base and Northern Tier every four years.

Scout Qualifications. To attend national High Adventure programs scouts must be at least 14 at the time of the outing, or 13 and have completed 8th grade. After they turn 18 scouts can still attend, but as an adult leader. Sisters of scouts can go if they are a Venture scout and we have a female adult in the crew.

Adult Qualifications. Parents - both dads and moms - can go to the national High Adventure programs. Every crew is required to have a minimum of two adults, who must be registered with BSA and have completed Youth Protection training, plus get the same doctor clearance and meet the same height/weight requirements as the scouts.

Signing Up. The troop typically takes sign-ups for national High Adventure programs a year and a half before the outing, because that is when these programs distribute their available dates through a lottery: Philmont in Nov., Northern Tier in Jan. and Sea Base in Feb.

Cost. The estimated cost for Philmont and Northern Tier is $1,400, and for Sea Base is $1,600. These sums cover all expenses including transportation to and from the High Adventure program, but not the participant's personal gear like backpack, boots and dry-bag. Financial aid is available from the programs, but is generally limited to about $300. The programs collect a $100 per person deposit when the troop makes its reservation, then the balance is paid to the programs in two equal installments in the fall and winter, followed by a payment to the troop in the spring for transportation and miscellaneous.

Preparation. For Philmont we have training hikes carrying increasing loads over increasing distances and increasing altitudes, starting about five months before the outing. Sea Base doesn't require any preparation, and the best preparation for Northern Tier is to lift weights on your own to strengthen the arms and shoulders to more easily lift a canoe over your head and carry it on your shoulders.

Awards. Scouts and adults who attend three of the four national High Adventure programs qualify for BSA's Triple Crown award, and if they attend all four they qualify for BSA's Grand Slam award.

BSA used to have High Adventure programs in Maine (1970-91) and Wisconsin (1940-83).

More information about Philmont can be found on Philmont's website, its YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram account and Twitter feed.

More information about Northern Tier can be found on Northern Tier's website, its YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram account and Twitter feed.

More information about Sea Base can be found on Sea Base's website, its YouTube channel and Facebook page.

More information about Summit can be found on Summit's website, its YouTube channel, Facebook page, Flickr account and Twitter feed.