The highest level of Scouting Adventure within the Boy Scouts of America can be found at the four High Adventure Bases: Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier, Florida Sea Base, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve. These camps can be experienced at an even higher level when you attend through the Order of the Arrow! The Order of the Arrow High Adventure Program is a perfect mix of high adventure and cheerful service!
Experience Philmont as a member of an Order of the Arrow Trail Crew for a unique fourteen day adventure! Spend seven days working on trails and become a part of Philmont! Then spend the remaining seven days on a trek that you and your crewmates get to design! This is a Trek like no other!
This trek will last 14 days and will cost $325.
Attending Florida Sea Base as a member of the Order of the Arrow Ocean Adventure is an amazing way to spend nine days! These nine days will be spent at the Dry Tortugas National Park, completing projects necessary for the unique ecosystem of this park to survive for generations to come! After your service work is completed, you can spend your time in the amazing waters surrounding the park, or even journey into Key West with your crewmates!
This will last 8 days and will cost $500.
OA Summit Experience
Summit Bechtel Reserve, high in the mountains of West Virginia, is home to some of the largest events in scouting, namely the National Jamboree. But it is also home to the Order of the Arrow Summit Experience! This eight day program spends half of its time performing service work at Summit or in the New River Gorge National River Area, and the other half enjoying all of the amazing activities throughout the Summit!
This will last 7 days and will cost $275.
There are two Order of the Arrow High Adventure Treks available at Northern Tier. The first trek, the Order of the Arrow Wilderness Voyage, takes place in the beautiful Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. The first week of this trek provides restoration of the portage trails of this scenic location, while the second week of the trek is planned entirely by the crew! The second trek, the Order of the Arrow Canadian Odyssey, is almost identical to the OA Wilderness Voyage, except that it takes place in the spectacular Quetico Provincial Park of Ontario!
This will last 14 days and will cost $200.
High Adventure through the Order of the Arrow is an experience like no other. Benjamin Winter, one of the Foremen for the program, had this to say about his first trek: “Going to Northern Tier for the first time as a participant opened my eyes to what the OA and high adventure had to offer. I had a one-of-a-kind trek that I still talk about today. Being able to return as a Foreman and continue that legacy, sharing some of the same experiences that I had as well as making new ones all while making bonds of brotherhood has been the best.”
Once you are at a base, your positions on the outside do not matter. No matter who you are off the trail, everyone is equal on the trail. Just ask Taylor Giles, who attended Philmont in 2017 while serving as the Central Region Chief. He says that, “As the Central Region Chief, I was worried that I would be treated differently out on trek. After our work week on Mount Phillips, some of the crew members had recognized me and connected the dots that I was somewhat out of place. Between the work week and the trek week I sat the crew down with the foremen and told them that I was a national officer. To my surprise, many of the crew members didn’t even know about national officers. Being treated as just a normal arrowman for 2 weeks during my term was so refreshing. It truly embodied what high adventure is all about. Everyone is on the same level in the backcountry. Nobody cares about titles.”
The single largest part of an Order of the Arrow High Adventure is the people that you meet and interact with along the way. Joshua Reddick, who has served the program at Northern Tier for multiple years, agrees with this sentiment: “It is one of the best experiences a youth can have within Scouting and brings the program back to its core, getting young people to experience nature. Every crew I have been with, I have formed friendships and brotherhood with people from all parts of the nation that I would probably not have gotten the chance to meet otherwise. When you are in a constantly physically demanding experience with someone for two weeks, you really get to know them, as conversation often fills the silence that accompanies the wilderness”
When attending a High Adventure Base, one must decide whether to attend with their troop or with the Order of the Arrow. Dan Rogan, who has served as a Foreman at Philmont for three years and as the Director of the OA High Adventure Program at Northern Tier, suggests attending with the OA: “Honestly, both types of treks have merit. Having done trips to Philmont, Northern Tier, and Sea Base all through OAHA AND with a Troop and/or Venture Crew contingent, both are great ways to do something incredible. At face value, the easiest thing to say is “It’s cheaper!” which almost everyone has heard. The truth, though, is that I believe OAHA to be more meaningful, more moving. Not only do you go from total strangers to a brotherhood in such a short time with your crew, but you also band together to do service for a place you will come to feel is like another home with people who will
become like family.”
Going to any of the Order of the Arrow High Adventure Treks is an amazing way to spend a summer. Registration for the 2020 Treks are still open! If you would like to sign up, you can do so at this link: https://registration.oa-bsa.org/ These are trips that you will remember for the rest of your life! So don’t delay, sign up today!
OA Trail Crew (Philmont)-14 Day Trek for $325
OA Ocean Adventure (Sea Base)- 8 Days for $500
OA Summit Experience (Summit Bechtel Reserve)- 7 Days for $275
OA Northern Tier (Northern Tier)- 14 Days for $200