The pinnacle of Scouting experiences, high adventure typically involves several days of trekking, paddling, or sailing in remote, wild settings. Older Scouts challenge themselves mentally and physically through elite outdoor activities ranging from whitewater rafting to rock climbing to snowboarding to BMX. In the process, they learn to overcome hardship, work as part of a team, and live in harmony with nature.
GSMC High Adventure
The council offers two high adventure options at Camp Buck Toms.
CHALLENGING OUTDOOR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
The COPE Program is a weeklong adventure for older Scouts that teaches advanced team-building and problem-solving skills. Scouts learn to function as a team to meet a series of low course and high course COPE elements. Participants should be at least 13 years old and in sound physical condition.
The goal of Project COPE is to build leadership, self esteem, decision making, trust, and teamwork skills by progressing, as a group, through a series of increasingly physically and mentally challenging exercises.
Buck Toms offers one of the finest high ropes courses, a V Swing, and a multi-level climbing tower. When Scouts complete the course, they receive a special COPE T-shirt to let others know they have “Met the Challenge!”
The Mountain Man program is a demanding and exciting five-day expedition designed around East Tennessee’s mountains, rivers, caves, and trails. Adventures may include backpacking, caving, whitewater rafting/kayaking/canoeing, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, water sports, shooting sports, and more.
Expeditions are led by seasoned guides, but Scouts cooperate to plan their journey for the week. Mountain Man is open to All Boy Scouts and Venturers at least 13 years of age. Participants can register as individuals; your unit does not have to be registered for you to participate.
More details on joining the Mountain Man Clan in 2018 will be available in the Summer Camp 2018 guide.
BSA High Adventure Bases
In addition to the high adventure programs offered at Camp Buck Toms, the Boy Scouts of America offers a variety of expeditions at four high adventure bases around the country.
The Florida Sea Base, located in Islamorada and on Summerland Key in the beautiful Florida Keys, as well as Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, offers 15 different marine adventures, including sailing, scuba diving, inshore and offshore fishing, sea kayaking, tall ship sailing and much more.
The Northern Tier High Adventure Base is the gateway to adventure in the Great Northwoods. In the summer, scouts from Northern Tier’s three wilderness canoe bases explore millions of acres of pristine lakes, meandering rivers, dense forests and wetlands in Northern Minnesota, Northwest Ontario, and Northeast Manitoba. In the winter, Northern Tier is home to the Okpik Cold Weather Camping program, Scouting’s premier winter high adventure program. Fall programming is also available.
Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s largest national High Adventure Base, covering some 214 square miles of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico. With rugged trails, craggy peaks, and pristine meadows, Philmont offers adventures that combine the best of the Old West—horseback riding, burro packing, gold panning, chuckwagon dinners, and interpretive history—with exciting challenges for today—rock climbing, burro racing, mountain biking, and rifle shooting—in an unbeatable recipe for fast-moving outdoor fun.
The Paul R. Christen High Adventure Base at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in the mountains of West Virginia offers a variety of action sports adventures where participants explore the canopy via a vast array of high ropes courses, mountain bike on more than 30 miles of trails (including 17 miles of downhill), push the envelope in a modern skatepark , ride BMX at the The Trax, climb routes up to 5.11 at The Rocks, and reach speeds of nearly 60 mph on a 3,200 foot zip line. Adventures also include exciting and dynamic archery ranges; trap, five-stand, sporting clays, pistol, and rifle ranges; conservation programs, and multi-day whitewater paddling and mountain bike treks.