Updated Resources for Summer 2020

We have updated or added the following resources to aid in planning for your upcoming summer trip in 2020.

We recommend that you add:  mask(s), bandana, buff or some sort of face cover to your packing list.  We have also made updates to your first aid kit contents, so please review carefully.   Consider the current CDC guidelines on social distancing and travel as you start preparing for your trip and your travel to and from Northern Tier.

All participants and staff will have their temperature taken and health screened upon arrival.  We will not be allowing people on the property if they are potentially symptomatic, so please, if you are not healthy, stay home until you are better.  If you are sick, have been sick or have possibly been exposed to Covid-19 within 14 days of your arrival, we would ask that you don’t travel to Northern Tier.  

Please screen all participants prior to leaving home.  You can use this pre-event medical screening form.  

We understand that completing your Wilderness First Aid Training, swim checks and medical forms has not been easy or in some cases possible at all.  Please do not let those items slow you down or deter you.  Read through our frequently asked questions below fore more information.

Your expedition advisor can notify us of your crew’s plans here.

Please be patient with us, we are still working from home and we expect a high call volume over the next week. Leave a message and we will get back to you, it may take 24-48 hours.  Our offices are open Monday through Friday 8 am -5 pm central time.

Make sure to do an effective shake down with your crews.  This can be done virtually and you can check out this video on how to do it!

Here you can find a shakedown checklist for each scout to use while packing for their time at Northern Tier. Included in the checklist is information on the gear needed as well as Northern Tier trading post items that meet our requirements. You can use this to help plan what still needs to be purchased so that it can be arranged prior to arriving at Northern TIer

Equipment Shakedown Checklist for Crews

You can browse our online store here:  www.northerntiertradingpost.org

It is crucial that all scouts and advisors view the Northern Tier First Night presentation and Boundary waters video prior to arrival at Northern Tier during the 2020 season. We will not have the ability to present these once you arrive making prior completion especially important. These videos cover emergency procedures and policies at Northern Tier as well as rules and regulations in the places where you will be paddling this summer

We are a ‘no handshake zone’  this summer. Please understand that we are encouraging our staff to follow social distancing guidelines as much as possible, and to limit contact with individuals that is unnecessary.  We would ask that you respect those guidelines and follow them as well.

Trading Post will be curbside pickup only – please shop online before arrival – more information to come!

We will have adjustments to our dining plan while on base to insure that we can accommodate good social distancing, great hygiene and provide meals that are both healthy and taste good. 

Frequently Asked Questions

At this point, all bases are planned to be open, however most have delayed starts that may affect your crew’s plans. Please refer to your base’s official website for the most current information. 

If the Boy Scouts of America or a National High Adventure Base (HAB) cancels your program due to COVID-19, you can reschedule your adventure and apply fees to an alternate date later in 2020 or 2021 (and 2022 at PSR & the Summit) at 2020 pricing.  If it is not possible for you to reschedule, you will receive a full refund of fees paid.

If you cancel your program during the COVID-19 outbreak, you may select an adventure later in 2020 or 2021 (and 2022 at PSR & the Summit) at 2020 pricing.  If it is not possible for you to reschedule, you will receive a refund of fees paid less 10% (to support the program costs of operating the HAB).  See the HAB website for more information.

The best way to reach us is to call our switchboard at 972.580.3502.  We will direct your call to the best person to talk with you about those options.  Please be patient with us as we are expecting a high volume of calls for the next few days.  We will get back to you as quickly as we can.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm central.

Due to limited capacity in our Canadian Operations we are unable to move your reservation in 2020 to later in the season in Canada. 

  • If you would like we can accommodate at the Ely MN operation.
  • If you want to still go to Canada we can move the reservation to Summer 2021.

No.  If the border is closed, there will be no entry into Quetico this summer. 

If you are looking for an adventure closer to home and potentially within driving distance, we can recommend that you look at the availability within the other National High Adventure Bases.  If they can accommodate you at that facility, we will transfer your fees for you.  

Yes, we can move your reservation to a new set of dates in 2021, and move the fees paid over for you, keeping the trip at 2020 pricing.

Yes,  they may still attend as long as they are registered as an adult with the BSA, and follow all Youth Protection policies as an adult.  If this individual(s) puts your crew over the majority youth requirement, that can be waived for this individual(s) but registration and YPT requirements can never be waived.

No, your Unit has the reservation for a crew and can manage who attends at the Unit level. 

As a 2021 crew you will now assume the payment schedule for those crews.  You will have a ½ of the  remaining balance due on Oct 1 and your remaining balance due on the appropriate due date for your reservation:  Mar 1 for June crews, Apr 1 for July crews and May 1 for August crews.

Northern Tier has made many adjustments to their program and facilities to maintain the standards that are being recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Agency of Canada and State of Minnesota.  You can find those updates here:  www.ntier.org/resources-2020-covid19.  We do expect that the crew will take the time before arrival to properly prepare themselves for the trips following the new guidelines.  It will take both Northern Tier and the Crew to make this successful!

Northern Tier requires that all participants provide proof of completion of the BSA swim check prior to arrival.  It is up to the crew to validate swimmer status.  We would recommend looking back at the Scout’s completion of various BSA requirements over the last 12 months to confirm his/her swimmer status:  Did they complete a swim check last summer at camp?  Have they recently completed the canoeing, kayaking, rowing, sailing, lifesaving or swimming merit badges? (All have a requirement to complete the BSA swimmers test.)  Are they a competitive swimmer at their school or local recreation facility?  Crews will need to provide the completed Northern Tier Swim Classification form. We encourage you to assist your Scouts in finding the valid check off for that test.

All bases are monitoring guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and their local jurisdictions to adjust their operating procedures to protect the health of participants. As these guidelines are expected to evolve, please continue to monitor your base’s official website for the most current information. 

Northern Tier will be providing Wilderness First Aid Training to all its trail staff this summer.  Each crew will be accompanied by a staff member with training.  Additionally, we encourage each crew to seek out an online training that will give them another adult who can assist in responding to emergencies in the wilderness.  This exception will be good through Aug 31, 2020.

The BSA is offering a one-time exception in effect for portions of the AHMR until August 31, 2020, to facilitate long term camping. 

  1. If your last AHMR Part C was completed on or after Feb 1, 2019, the form will be considered valid through Aug 31, 2020, however parts A and B must be updated within 2 weeks of your departure for camp to insure an up to date health history.
  2. If you have not previously completed Part C or are a new member, you can attach to the BSA form a completed alternate exam (school, sports annual wellness exam) completed on or after Feb 1, 2019, however parts A and B must be updated within 2 weeks of your departure for camp to insure an up to date health history.
  3. We do recommend that in the summer of 2020, individuals with higher risk for severe Covid-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stay home. 


The expedition advisor on record can request a refund via email, info@ntier.org.  Northern Tier will review the request and if approved, and pro-rated share of the fee will be refunded to the crews.

Typical processing time can be 4-6 weeks.  Please be patient, there are a lot of moving parts right now and we are doing our best to push them through the system quickly.