High Adventure

The Boy Scouts of America offers many different High Adventure opportunities for older Scouts and Venturers to participate in. Whether its hiking in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, Canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota or learning how to sail in the Florida Keys, Scouts are sure to have an experience they’ll take with them for a lifetime!

Here is information for how you can participate in these High Adventure opportunities!


Planning a High Adventure trip can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. We want to help every unit be able to participate in the exciting High Adventure opportunities that the BSA has to offer!

To help units plan and execute a High Adventure trip, we have compiled several resources as a starting-point to help show that an AWESOME High Adventure experience is accessible to Scouts or all backgrounds and experience levels. Here are some resources for you to use when planning a unit-based high Adventure trip:

  1. Consider joining as part of a Council Contingent for your first trip. The council offers annual council contingents to Philmont, and we have begin to offer trips to Northern Tier as well. We take much of the planning and logistics work off of the unit leaders – their main responsibility becomes advising the youth attending to be sure they are physically ready for the experience, ensure their safety, and help develop them as leaders. Learn more about these opportunities further down on this page.
  2. If you want to plan a trip yourself to give you more flexibility, each of the High Adventure Bases has unit-based experiences to choose from throughout the year based on the base you are attending and when you want to do the trip. Here is a list of resources to help units develop and plan a High Adventure Trip.

I’m sure you are asking – “But what about the cost?!” Yes – High Adventure trips are expensive, but they can be accessible and possible for youth of all financial backgrounds. The key is in how much the youth is willing to work to make the experience possible. In addition to the fundraising done at the unit level, the High Adventure bases also have financial aid available for those Scouts who demonstrate a need. In addition, the Cradle of Liberty Council has financial aid specifically designated to help more Scouts participate in High Adventure.


Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s oldest national high-adventure base. It covers 137,000 acres – about 214 square miles – of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range of the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico.

Thirty-four staffed camps and 55 trail camps are operated by the ranch. Philmont has high mountains dominating rough terrain with elevations ranging from 6,500 to 12,441 feet.

Philmont Scout Ranch provides an unforgettable adventure in sky-high backpacking country along hundreds of miles of rugged, rocky trails. Program features combine the best of the Old West – horseback riding, burro packing, gold panning, chuck wagon dinners, and interpretive history – with exciting challenges for today, such as rock climbing, burro racing, mountain biking, and .30-06 rifle shooting. It’s an unbeatable recipe for fast-moving fun and the outdoors.

Philmont means camping with your own unit as well as meeting and sharing experiences with other crews from all over America and from other countries. This is an opportunity for fellowship and understanding unequalled anywhere in America.

Participants must be at least 14 by September 1st of the year attending Philmont.

Northern Tier for a whole new level of adventure, up north! From incredible canoe journeys to wild winter wilderness camping, Northern Tier promises the Scouting adventure of a lifetime in the Great North Woods of northern Minnesota and Canada.

The New River Gorge region of West Virginia will become home to a premier Scouting destination – offering a new high-adventure base and national leadership programs, and a permanent home to the National Scout Jamboree.

The 10,600-acre site near Beckley, to be named “The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve,” will realize the vision of a national center of Scouting excellence. The development of the site is made possible by a $50 million gift, the largest in BSA history, from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base is owned and operated by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to offer unique educational aquatic programs to our members. Located in Islamorada and on Summerland Key in the beautiful Florida Keys, as well as Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, the heart of the Florida Keys, the near shore reefs and crystal clear waters offer unparalleled opportunities for long term and short term programs year round.

The council staff will be working remotely and, as always, you can reach out the to helpdesk@colbsa.org.

Please stay safe!

Due to inclement weather, the Firestone Scouting Resource Center and Valley Forge Scout Shop will be closed on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.