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Troop 79 Returns from the North Woods

Those who’ve been longtime readers of this forum know that Troop 79 is fortunate to participate in at least one high adventure trip every summer. These treks are typically no vacation – there’s planning and preparation to be done, usually some amount of physical conditioning, and then the trip itself.

Summer of 2021’s high adventure was a return to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, starting at the BSA Northern Tier canoe base near Ely, MN. This location is a gateway into the country’s most popular wilderness area, a special place that’s carefully managed by the US Forest Service to minimize human impact on nature.

Unfortunately this year’s scenery was somewhat dulled by drought and wildfire smoke from Canada and the US West. But it didn’t stop the two crews from T-79 from going the distance.

In case you haven’t paddled with a Northern Tier crew, here’s how it goes:

  • Day 0 is all about getting there. In this case, the destination was a youth hostel in Duluth, MN. The guys settled in for the night after filling themselves with pizza.
  • Day 1 continued the journey, anticipation building as the crews made their way another couple hours north to Ely. Greeted at the base by BSA staff, they went through medical checks, gathered equipment and staged their gear for an early morning departure.
  • Days 2-7 were filled with adventure as the two crews each followed their own self-determined route of 50-75 miles, guided by a BSA staffer. They navigated, paddled, setup camp, swam, cooked, cleaned and relaxed.
  • Day 8 the crews were reunited on base. Let the embellished stories and ironic humor continue!
  • Day 9 was just a long drive back to Chicago. Honestly, we’d rather forget about the last day.

But at the end of it all, high adventure instills an ethos of humble confidence in the Scouts and adult advisors. While nobody knew exactly how the trek would unfold, as they say, luck favors the prepared. And when the headwinds pushed them back, or long muddy portages slowed their progress, the crews rallied behind their leaders and got where they needed to go.

Member of our Google Group? Check out more photos at the link here.

[PHOTOS] Northern Tier 2021 @boylessix

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