Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Prep for Northern Tier Trip
Re: Prep for Northern Tier Trip
Calvin H. Gray
Thu, 26 Aug 1999 13:55:36 -0500
Ronald W. Fox wrote:
> Troop 69 has two 8-person crews going to Northern Tier for a 10 day canoe
> trip June 21 - July 1, 2000. Our PLC requires that all Youth attendees
> must be Star rank, 14 years old or entering High School in September, 2000,
> and have Camping, Canoeing, and Swimming merit badges.
> Can anyone recommend how we might arrange our program this year to make
> sure that our youth are prepared for this, our Troop's first High Adventure
> trip? Thanks.
I attended the Northern Tier several years ago where I was part of a
self-guided crew of 5 Scouts and 5 adults that took a 10-day trip. We
also had two other crews that took guides with them. Our crew couldn't
take a guide as 10 is the maximum crew size for a BWCAW group. Three of
our crew members had been to the BWCAW before so we didn't have any
problems getting lost, etc.
We made sure all of our Scouts had the Swimming and Canoeing badges
prior to the trip, and we did two shake-down canoing trips prior to the
adventure. We also worked on developing arm strength by lifting
weights. My wife and I used a NordicTrack instead of lifting weights
and this worked well for us.
One thing I did discover was that physical size and strength were much
more important during this trip than the other high adventures in which
we've participated, including several backpacking expeditions at
Philmont. Our crew had four canoes, and did quite a bit of portaging.
This is where "size" was important in carrying the canoes and personal
packs & food packs which weighed 80 lbs. or more.
Our five Scouts were high school juniors & seniors but we had two adults
who couldn't carry much equipment due to size and back troubles. So we
wound up having to do each portage trail twice. If we had one less
canoe, we might have been able to do each portage only once during the
latter part of the trip as the food packs weighed less by then.
After completing the trip, we decided to find an alternative to lake
canoeing which requires fewer portages than needed during a BWCAW trip.
Next summer, we'll do another canoeing adventure but it will be at the
Tinnerman Canoe Base in Candada which is operated by the Greater
Cleveland Council. This will allow younger boys (high school freshmen)
to participate since most of the canoeing will be on rivers and there
will be fewer portages.
By the way, there is a "Canoe Base List" to which you may want to
subscribe. For additonal information, see: http://www.bowline.org/
Calvin H. Gray
Scoutmaster, Troop 405
I used to be an Owl (WM-62-2-98 @ Philmont)