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June 25 - August 1, 2015

2015 High Adventure:  The Northern Tier


Northern Tier is the BSA's 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.


​Northern Tier is the BSA's oldest national High Adventure program, outfitting scouting groups for canoe trips since the summer of 1923. The Charles L Sommers Base has been home to the program since 1941.


North America’s Canoe Country, a vast series of navigable lakes and rivers spanning thousands of square miles, is one of the last great wildernesses on the continent. This boreal forest of waterfalls and bogs, bears and wolves, granite crags and waist-deep mud remains nearly as much of a wilderness as it was for the first fur traders who explored the area in the 1600s. Two centuries after the fur trade’s peak in the early 1800s, our participants still follow in the footsteps of the French-Canadian voyageurs, paddling the same waters and straining over the same portage trails.


We're assembling three crews of adventurers for a week of canoeing at Northern Tier next summer.  Save the date:  July 25th - August 2nd, 2015. 


As of 3/1/15:  we have openings for 3 more scouts/adults


Important Links:

Northern Tier Medical Form

Equipment List



Flight Information

Day, Date       Flight      Departure City and Time        Arrival City and Time         

Sat, 25JUL15   UA4253   DENVER, CO                        MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN

                                 (DEN) 8:00 AM                     (MSP) 11:00 AM ERJ-145


                                 (MSP) 5:00 PM                     (DEN) 6:15 PM ERJ-145



Updates from Planning Meetings:

  • 9/11/14 - We just had the kick-off meeting for the trip.  There is lots of interest with the scouts and adults.  We will be locking down the roster and crew members very soon.  Check out the PDF file below with the presentation from the kick-off meeting.  Lots more information is also available on the Norther Tier web site.  Please let Mr. Tarr know in September if you are interested in participating.  Our next planning meeting is October 16 during the Troop meeting.







  • 10/23/14 - Here are the notes from our October planning meeting.  The image below is a copy of our notes on the white board.

    • Current roster is 5 scouts and 6 adults.  We decided to take 2 crews so the maximum number of attendees is 16 with a minimum of 12.  Scouts need to recruit 5 more scouts/adults.  (Note: These are new numbers.  One scout and one adult dropped since the meeting.)

    • Payment plan

      • Oct - $200

      • Dec - $300

      • Feb - $300

      • May - $200 or balance depending on final cost

    • Upcoming meeting topics

      • November

        • Travel - Darius

        • Crews and crew leaders - Ian

      • December

        • Gear - Brian

        • 10 Point Plan - Brian

      • Training for the trip

        • Canoe skills, physical fitness, BSA required, etc.  - Jacob

    • Jeff M will determine the adult training requirements;  YPT, Safety Afloat, wilderness first aid, etc.

    • Larry A will be in charge of the medical records for the trip.  (Sorry Larry, but we elected you for this even though you weren't there.)  :)

    • The next planing meeting is November 13.


  • 11/13/14 - Here are the notes from the November planning meeting.

    • Discussed a numbers of things related to the type of trip the scouts want to take.  These were used to help form the crews.

      • Interest in going into Canada

      • Interest in fishing

      • Interest in earning the 50 Miler Award

      • How challenging the trek

      • Interested in taking a day off

    • We decided on these crews

      • Crew #1

        • Jacob M

        • Andrew C

        • Brian H

        • Jeff M

        • Douglas C

        • Mark H

      • Crew #2

        • Ian T

        • Darius M

        • Preston N

        • Chris A

        • Jonathan T

        • Larry A

    • Jeff will coordinate Wilderness First Aid training.  This will be scheduled in February.

    • Larry will put together two first aid kits based on Northern Tier's content list.

    • Talked a little about travel but Darius was not in attendance so we tabled the topics until next month.

    • Upcoming agenda topics

      • December

        • gear (Brian)

        • shirts / hats (Jacob)

      • January - 10 point plan (Brian)

      • February - History of the area (Preston)

      • March - Fishing (Jeff)

    • Next payment of $300 is due at the December meeting.

    • The next planning meeting is December 11.


  • 12/11/14 - Here are the notes from the December planning meeting.

    • The second payment was due.  This will bring the total paid to $500.

    • Northern Tier will not allow us to drop the 3rd crew.  We have a total of 14 scouts/adult attending so we need to recruit at least another 4 participants.

      • Scouts will reach out to others scouts in Troop to recruit

      • Jonathan will send an email to the Jamboree troop.

    • Darius discussed travel options

      • RT airfares are about $200.  Looked at United, Frontier, Delta

      • Gas for travel by car is around $400 per car

      • Group decided air is preferred means of travel

      • Jeff M to investigate bus service to/from MN airport and Ely

    • Brian reviewed gear list for individuals and crews.  Here is the link to gear listing.  Note that special boots are required.  We also discussed the important of having paddling gloves.  Here is the link to what NT sells.  It is also a good idea to buy mosquito head netting.

    • Jacob reviewed options for crew shirts.  Decided to order crew shirts.  Preferred long sleve nylon.  Here is the link to the NT store.

    • The next planning meeting is January 15, 2015.  

      • Brian will go over the 10-point plan.

      • Jacob to provide details on shirt options

      • Jeff M to cover ground transportation from MN airports to/from Ely


  • 2/12/15 - Here are notes from the February planning meeting.

    • Plane tickets have been purchased.  See top of page for flight information.

    • Ground transportation has been purchased.

    • Discussed fitness for trip.  Conditioning should focus on aerobic conditioning and strength in core, lower back, shoulders and obliques.  Jeff M will provide information to everyone on suggested exercises.

    • Discussed shirts.  Everyone will be provided with one crew T-shirt from trip budget.  Scouts/adults will purchase long sleeve shirts & pants on their own.

    • Topics for upcoming planning meetings.

      • March

        • Fitness Program - Chris A & Mark H

        • Fishing - Brian H and Jeff M

      • April

        • History of the area - Ian T

    • Next planning meeting is March 12


  • 3/12/15 - Here are notes from the March planning meeting.

    • Chris A. presented his exercise/conditioning plan.

      • Basic arm stretches, over chest and over back with both arms (10 seconds each)

      • Touch your toes without bending your legs (15 seconds)

      • Arm circles (20 seconds forward and backward)

      • Use dumbbells with a weight of choice, slowly lift above head, slowly bring back down (2 sets of 7, increase by 2 lifts or more every week)

      • Lift dumbbells outward, hold, and bring back in (2 sets of 5, increase by 2 or more lifts every week)

      • Curls (3 sets of 7, increase by 2 or more lifts every week)

      • Regular situps/crunches (20, increase by 4 or more every week)

      • V sits (60 seconds): sit with your hands under your rear end, with legs and head lifted

      • Wall sits (60 seconds): sit as if in a chair against a wall

      • Plank (60 seconds)

    • Non-resident fishing licenses for MN can be purchased on-line at  Non-resident MN fishing licenses are required in order for scouts & adults to fish.  A 7-day non-resident license is $39.

    • Topics for upcoming planning meetings.

      • April

        • Fishing Brian H & Jeff M

        • History of the area - Ian T

    • The next planning meeting is April 23.


  • 6/18/15 - Here are notes from the June planning meeting.

    • Douglas C leaves for MN on 7/21 and returns on 8/5.  He will carry items that cannot be taken on the airplane; first aid kit, knife, fishing poles, etc.  Watch for more information about getting gear to him.

    • MN requires only those 16+ years old to have a fishing license.  Younger scouts can fish without a license.

    • Provide medical & training records to Larry A.

    • Dates for canoeing practice

      • Tuesday, 6/30 @ 6:30

      • Wednesday, 7/8 @ 6:30

      • We will meet at Bow Mar beach.

    • We are currently not planning to have another planning meeting in July.

    • Here is the roster with cell phone numbers.  Please share with your families.






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