100 Years of High Adventure

In 1923, just 13 years after the birth of Scouting in the United States, organized Scout groups made their first trips into the Minnesota-Ontario border Wilderness country. 

Northern Tier is the BSA’s oldest National High Adventure Program, outfitting scouting groups for canoe trips since the summer of 1923.  While the first trips were sponsored by the local Council in Virginia, MN, H.F. Pote, out of St. Paul, MN saw the potential in the program.  “He sensed the great potential of the adventure and suggested it become a regional project.”  Region 10 (one of 12 Regions at the time) took over the project and managed it until 1972, when the Regions were reorganized and Northern Tier would come to fall under the National Council.  

We invite all Scouts to join us in celebrating 100 years in the 2022 and 2023 summer seasons!

What should we expect in the 100th Anniversary?

The Paul Bunyan Award is a special award which recognizes the special role that the Region 10 played in the first 50 years of BSA Wilderness Canoeing (1923-1972).

This award is a reconstitution of the original participation award. This award will be available during the 2022 and 2023 summer canoeing seasons to crews and individuals from the current Councils that make up the area that once was Region 10 or crews participating in specialty programs during those seasons.  The specialty programs are listed below.

  • The Charles L. Sommers Trek – A trip honoring the first chairman of Region Ten, Charles L. Sommers.  The 1930 Eagle Scout Trip.  When registering for Northern Tier 2022 – select a 7-night trip.  The Sommers Trek reservation will be made open at permit reservation time in Dec. 2021 – and will be limited by permits available.

  • The Paul R. Christen Trek – A trip honoring the final chairman of Region Ten, Paul R. Christen; and the namesake of BSA’s 4th High Adventure Base at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Circumnavigating Hunter’s Island (12-day).  Registration for this trip will open with individual program early in 2021.

  • Any 2022 or 2023 Northern Tier summer canoeing crew that completes 100 miles of canoeing and portaging (as verified by their Interpreter and Advisor upon completion).