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The National Boy Scout High Adventure Bases have provided Scouts with challenging outdoor experiences, fostering leadership skills, and promoting a love for nature and adventure.

The idea of high adventure programs for Boy Scouts began to take shape in the early 20th century, as Scout leaders recognized the need for more challenging and immersive outdoor activities. In 1938, the first national high adventure base, Philmont Scout Ranch, was established in New Mexico. Covering about 220 square miles of rugged terrain, Philmont became a mecca for Scouts seeking backpacking, camping, and wilderness survival experiences. Its creation marked a turning point in Scouting, emphasizing self-reliance and outdoor skills.

In the 1960s, the BSA established its second high adventure base, the Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases, located in Ely, Minnesota. This base focused on canoeing and wilderness exploration in the pristine lakes and forests of the Canadian border region. With its emphasis on water-based activities, the Northern Tier provided Scouts with unique challenges and opportunities for camaraderie.

The third addition to the National Boy Scout High Adventure Bases came in 1980, with the creation of the Florida Sea Base. Situated in the Florida Keys, this base offered Scouts the chance to participate in sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and marine science programs. The Florida Sea Base appealed to Scouts with a passion for aquatic adventures and marine ecosystems.

Chattanooga-area Scouts have attended programs at these bases, sometimes as part of a Council-organized expedition, a troop adventure, or with the Order of the Arrow.


1953-10-30 - Explorer Scouts Will Visit Ranch

1955-01-24 - Cherokee Area Boy Scouts' Chief Says 1954 Their Best Year So Far


1956-06-24 - 5 Vacancies Remain for Scout Excursion

1956-08-11 - Explorer Scouts Leave for Camp


1956-01-31 - Western Trip is Plan for Explorer Scouts

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