Northern Tier’s Response to COVID-19

Covid-19 Update 4/9/20 Northern Tier

The staff at Northern Tier found out yesterday that the Stay at Home Order for the State of Minnesota has been extended until May 4.  So please continue to reach us at our home offices – the contact information is located here:

Our team continues to work hard to ready our facilities for your arrival.  As always if anything changes, we will provide that information here. 

There will be another joint update from the High Adventure Team on April 15 and if there are any updates or changes from us before that, we will continue to post them at this location:

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this tough time.

Covid-19 Update 4/3/20 Northern Tier

While none of us have ever experienced anything like the last few days, weeks and months, there is one thing we can all be certain of; the situation will continue to be everchanging for a while longer.  We cannot offer today, any more concrete information or updates then we have previously, as there are many moving parts that we still need to evaluate including, the various ‘stay at home’ and ‘shelter in place’ orders that impact almost all states across the US, how both domestic and international travel regulations will continue to change and most of all how this has impacted you.

For those crews currently signed up for an international experience in 2020 out of one of our Canadian Bases, we would like to remind you of the opportunity to move your trip to our Ely Base or shift your trip to 2021 with no financial impacts (we will honor the 2020 fees in the 2021 season).  At this time, the order to close the border only extends to April 21, and we have no information that states that will be extended, but we know that many of you are trying to finalize travel plans and we want to help make this as easy as possible for you.  If your crew falls in this category and would like to take advantage of this offer – it is probably easiest to send an email to our registrar at  He will look at your reservation details and will direct one of our team to give you a call back to help you in making updated arrangements for your crew.  Please make sure to include in your email, your crew or expedition number.

Our staff that live onsite at Northern Tier, continue to ‘self-isolate’ on the base, but are working hard to ready the facility for your arrival this summer.

There will be another joint update from the High Adventure Team on April 15 and if there are any updates or changes from us before that, we will continue to post them at this location:

Covid-19 Update 4/1/20 Northern Tier

As you are aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a significant health concern, one that the BSA takes very seriously. The Boy Scouts of America’s High Adventure Bases (The Summit Bechtel Reserve, Northern Tier, Philmont Scout Ranch and Sea Base) are committed to providing a safe and high-quality program for the tens of thousands of young people who are planning to attend this summer.

The Coronavirus situation continues to change frequently. These updates are intended to inform your Crew regarding its summer 2020 High Adventure program.

Future updates are scheduled for April 15th and April 30th. These will be posted on the website of each High Adventure Base (HAB).

See the full update here:  High Adventure Base update regarding summer of 2020 Update No. 2_04-01-2020


Covid-19 Update 3/29/20 Northern Tier

Due to the State of MN Shelter in Place Order, we have had to close our administration offices to allow our staff to meet the requirements of the order.  The limited staff that live at the facility will continue to work to ready the base for summer programs.  The remaining team members have relocated to home offices and are still working to meet the needs of our customers.  You can find updated contact information for our home offices here:  Our office hours remain the same, Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm central time.  


Covid-19 Update 3/21/20 Northern Tier

While many are worried about the closure of the Canadian Border and how that effects program, we received some good news today.  The official order of closure is for 30 days – this has the border reopening on April 21, well in advance of the summer season.  We understand the situation is quickly evolving and will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update as necessary.  

If you feel it is in your units best interest to make immediate changes to your travel itineraries, please contact us for available options at our Ely, MN location.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact us at 218.365.4811 or with further questions or concerns.

Covid-19 Update 3/20/20 Northern Tier

Knowing that units are not meeting right now and that it might be tough to collect final payments from your individuals coming to Northern Tier this summer, we will be extending the final payment deadline by 30 days to allow more time for units to collect their final payments.  

In the meantime, please feel free to contact us at 218.365.4811 or with further questions or concerns.

Covid-19 Update 3/19/20 Northern Tier

We know how much effort goes into planning a trek to a BSA National High Adventure Base. We’re doing everything we can to ensure that your crew’s hard work is rewarded with an outstanding wilderness experience.

We are continuing to monitor the Covid-19 virus progress as it relates to travel and the Canadian border.  We understand that some of our earlier arriving crews may be concerned about their abilities to get to our Canadian locations.  We want to assure you that we are developing a plan to accommodate your crew.  If you feel you need to make immediate changes to your travel itineraries, please contact us for available options at our Ely, MN location.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact us at 218.365.4811 or with further questions or concerns.

Covid-19 Update 3/12/20 Northern Tier

As always, your safety and the safety of all our participants, guests, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect programs at Northern Tier. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.

BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness

The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist. As part of the National Camp Accreditation Program, Northern Tier has response plans in place for communicable diseases, which are updated regularly.

Status of Upcoming Programs

No summer programs have been canceled or affected at this time. We will continue to monitor and consult with experts and provide updates as they become available. It is important to continue everyday prevention measures. As you prepare for your Northern Tier adventure, decisions about unit meetings and trek preparation activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines.

We do ask that you follow the following steps:

Step one:

Don’t travel if you or someone in your household has had the following symptoms within the last 24 hours.

  • Fever (100.4 F or greater)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Step two:

While traveling to and while at Northern Tier practice good hygiene and self-care practices.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your face or mouth whenever possible.
  • Cover your cough and wash your hands after coughing.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items, and wash your hands after using shared items.
  • Avoid crowded spaces whenever possible, and try to keep a 3-foot circle of personal space around you whenever possible.

Upon arrival at Northern Tier, a medical screening including checking your temperature may be performed by a trained Northern Tier staff member to ensure that all participants are symptom-free upon arrival.

Everyday Preventive Measures

Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Additional Resources