What special awards are available for my crew?

The following awards are available to participants in Northern Tier's Summer and Autumn programs



    At the heart and soul of Northern Tier’s mileage award program is the BSA’s national 50-Miler Award. All crews participating in a Northern Tier expedition should try to earn this award. What better time than during a BSA National High Adventure program?

    The 50-Miler Award is presented to each qualifying individual for satisfactory participation in an approved trip. In order to qualify for the award the group of which the individual is a member must fulfill all of the following requirements.

    1. Make complete and satisfactory plans for the trip, including the possibilities of advancement. Congratulations, your crew is already doing this!

    2. Cover the canoe route of not less than 50 consecutive miles; take a minimum of five consecutive days to complete the trip without the aid of motors. Just ensure when you are route planning with your Interpreter that your route will cover at least 50 miles.

    3. During the time on the waterway, complete a minimum of 10 hours each of group work on projects to improve the trail, springs, campsite, portage, or area. (There should be no unauthorized cutting of brush or timber.) This is easily accomplished by cleaning campsites that you inhabit or clearing downed branches/limbs off of portages.

    4. Unit or tour leader must then file a 50-Miler Award applicatoin application with the local council service center for their records. Northern Tier does not require your crew to submit this form in order to purchase the patches. The form is simply for your council’s use so that they can record that your crew members earned the award. 50-Miler Award patches are available for sale in the Trading Post.

    Special Northern Tier Mileage Awards are available for subsequent miles – in 25 mile increments up to 200 – traveled while on your trip. Patches and plaques are available from the Trading Post.





    Every participant at Northern Tier should be able to leave capable of navigating canoe country. Our GEO CACHER Program provides an extra challenge to navigating using your maps a compass and, if desired, a GPS unit. GEO Caching at Northern Tier is a little bit different than what most think of when considering the activity. Due to the nature of the wilderness area in which we travel we must utilize natural and historical points of interest as our “caches.” One might think of the activity at Northern Tier as more of a navigational scavenger hunt.

    Through completing this program your crew will be able to visit sites of historical interest such as locations mentioned in Alexander McKenzie’s diary, a 1926 Buick Roadster, pictographs and logging era points of interest as well as sites of geographical and natural interest such as rock formations and the oldest cedar tree in Minnesota.

    The requirements for the program are simple. Your crew must locate 10 “caches” from a list of over 60. Each crew member must take the role of navigator for at least one of the 10 “caches” found in order to earn the award.

    Crews are encouraged to complete this challenge by combining the contemporary thrill of GEOCACHING with the traditional Scout Skill of using their map and compass. For the more industrious crews however, a limited number of Garmin Legend GPS units are available at the Bay Post free-of-charge on a first-come, first-served basis. If you opt to use a GPS unit, always remember that GPS units are intended to be used in conjunction with a map and compass when traveling in the back country.

    Crews who successfully complete the Geo-caching program are able to purchase the Northern Tier GEO CACHER emblem in the Trading Post.





    Our Lake Monitoring Program provides your crew with an experience to learn about the water quality in the lakes of Northern Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario and how it changes. It also provides a community service opportunity for your Scouts as the data collected is used by government agencies and scholars to monitor water clarity and provide an assessment of suspended material in the water (often algae). Long term monitoring provides scientists with valuable data to detect trends in water quality and detect signs of degradation to a lake.

    To participate in the program, your crew must check out of the Bay Post a white disk (Secchi Disk) on a calibrated line. This must be lowered into the lake(s) you are monitoring making note of the depth at which the disc is barely visible. The lake name, location on the lake, and depth at which the disk can be seen is recorded on a card. The cards from at least 5 locations are then turned into the Bay Post to be sent to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (lakes in the BWCAW) or local scholars (lakes in the Quetico or other areas).

    To earn the award at least 5 cards must be turned in by your crew. The patches are available in the Northern Tier Trading Post.





    This program is administered by the Quetico Provincial Park. Crews who complete the program will likely fulfill the requirements of the S.C.E.N.E. Program and the 50-Miler award described above.

    Quetico has in excess of 2,000 campsite locations scattered around the Park on over 600 lakes. Maintaining all of these on a regular and continuous basis is an impossible chore for our park staff. The Adopt-A-Lake program was initiated so you can help.

    To become involved your party can maintain at least 5 campsites per person on one or more lakes in the park. This involves only a few common sense tasks:

    • clean and pick up litter
    • remove foil from fireplace

    If you want to spend a day or two paddling the shoreline of a favourite lake and undertaking these tasks we will be glad to provide a supply of garbage bags for you from the ranger station at your point of entry. This garbage you collect, if it cannot be burned in your campfire, must be packed out to a disposal site outside the park.

    You will receive a special Adopt-A-Lake crest [patch] for every person in your group who contributed to this effort.

    A Volunteer Agreement must be submitted prior to participating and an application must be submitted to receive the crests. Both forms may be found on the Quetico’s website at www.quetico100.com.





    Due to the rich historical significance of canoe country, Northern Tier expeditions are a great time to earn this National BSA award. To earn the award, members of your unit must plan and participate in a historic activity. A unit historic activity requires members to:

    1. Locate a historic trail or site and study information relating to it. There are many historic sites and routes in the BWCAW as well as the Quetico. Northern Tier has a wide variety of resources available at our Trading Post for your crew to learn more about these areas.

    2. Hike or camp two days and one night along the trail or in the vicinity of the site. Easily accomplished on a Northern Tier trek.

    3. Cooperate with an adult group such as a historic society to restore and mark all or part of this trail or site. (This may be done during the hike or overnight camp.) Or cooperate with such a group to plan and stage a historic pageant, ceremony, or other public event related to this trail or site - such event should be large enough to merit coverage by the local press. To complete this requirement, Northern Tier crews are encouraged to present a story, skit or other dramatization about what they learned at Northern Tier’s Grand Rendezvous the night after you get off the water. Please keep presentations to under five minutes.

    4. Your unit leader must then file the Historic Trails Award application with your council service center. Northern Tier does not require your crew to submit this form in order to purchase the patches. The form is simply for your council’s use so that they can record that your crew members earned the award. Historic Trails award patches are available for sale in the Trading Post.





    While at Northern Tier, you will encounter divine handiwork on many occasions. The Duty to God program will help you reflect on these special moments.

    Upon completion of the following items, the Chaplain’s Aide must turn in the form to the Bay Post to verify completion of the award. Patches for the award are available in the Northern Tier Trading Post

    Youth and Adult crew members are eligible to participate in the program.

    1. Participants must complete the following items
    a. Attend a religious service or event while at the Northern Tier. An evening vespers is held every night on base. Your crew may attend the night before you go on the water, the night after you get off the water or both.
    b. Participate in at least three daily devotionals while on your trek. Every crew may request a copy of Northern Passages, the official Northern Tier multi-faith devotional booklet. Official Northern Tier New Testaments with Proverbs and Psalms are also available by request.
    c. Lead grace before a meal. Take advantage of the solitude and majestic beauty of the north woods wilderness and use that inspiration to lead a meaningful thanks for your crew.





    The Triple Crown of National High Adventure and Grand Slam of National High Adventure awards can be earned by youth and adults who have participated in qualified high adventure programs at the Boy Scouts of America’s National High Adventure Bases: Northern Tier High Adventure Bases (Northern Tier), Philmont Scout Ranch (Philmont), Florida National High Adventure Sea Base (Florida Sea Base), and Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base at The Summit (Paul R. Christen).

    For more information and an application, visit http://www.nationalhighadventureawards.org.


    About Northern Tier

    Come to Northern Tier for a whole new level of adventure, up north! From incredible canoe journeys to wild winter wilderness camping, Northern Tier promises the Scouting adventure of a lifetime in the Great North Woods of northern Minnesota and Canada.