Aside from summer adventures, The Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base hosts the Okpik Cold Weather Camping Program, the premier winter camping program in the Boy Scouts of America. The Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base is the site of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Cold Weather Camping Development Center.
All trips are fully outfitted and provisioned, including almost all of the personal gear necessary to stay warm in the winter. A highly trained staff member, called an Interpreter, accompanies all crews on their trek.
Okpik Cold Weather Camping, Northern Tier’s winter offering, is the BSA’s premier winter camping program. At Okpik, Scouts experience a true Northwoods winter: learning how to thrive in subzero temperatures, travel across frozen wilderness lakes and construct their own sleeping structures out of snow. Four types of Okpik experiences are currently offered: Cabin Stays, Okpik Weekend Samplers, Okpik Treks, and Dogsled Trips.
Partnering with the Michigan Crossroads Council, Northern Tier also offers Okpik – Kapvik. The program is hosted at the Gerber Scout Reservation, A Northern Tier partner in Cold Weather Camping, outside of Muskegon, Michigan.
Crews explore the Gerber Scout reservation and Owassippe Scout Reservation. Two camps offering an expansive wooded area of solitude and Winter Adventure; no city lights, no noise, simply wilderness
Okpik-Kapvik participants learn how to cross-country ski, snowshoe, ice fish, build snow shelters, fat tire bike, and enjoy life in extreme weather conditions and temperatures. Crews can also experience winter climbing and rappelling.
The Kapvik program is an official Northern Tier program aimed at bringing the premier Cold Weather Camping Program of the Boy Scouts of America and world class winter camping experience to more scouts than ever before.