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Boundary Waters

July 21, 2018 - July 28, 2018

Boundary Waters

Scouts, Venturers, and Parents,

We now have our permit to enter the Boundary Waters on Sunday, July 22. We will be entering at Snowbank, where we have entered before. All the permits for Lake One, our hopeful point of entry, were taken by 6pm the day permits opened, so we defaulted to Snowbank. Likely we will continue to Thomas and then deeper into the BWCA, exiting at Moose Lake as in previous years, perhaps for a 50 miler. We will leave West Dundee around 7am, Saturday, July 21, and return around 5pm, Saturday, July 28, 2018.

The cost for the trip will be $400 per voyageur, with a $100 deposit by April 15th   to hold your spot. The deposit is non-refundable, with the balance paid by July 10. If we end up overbooked and the Scout or Venturer does not get a place, then all money will be returned, but if they are offered a spot and can’t go, the deposit non-refundable. The price includes transportation up and back, one night lodging in Ely before and after the trip, all food while travelling and in Ely (including the mandatory celebration ice cream), and everything in the wilderness. The only money Scouts will need is some spending money for souvenirs and maybe snacks in town when we come out on Friday. Friday, July 27th is Blueberry Festival time in Ely, so the Scouts will be wandering around the exhibits together. Just as a note, if we did this through Northern Tier, the cost would be about $1,100 per Scout without transportation to and from Ely.

We have only 6 spots for youth since the maximum party size is 9, and we will have three adult leaders. I am particularly excited about our adult team and the quality trip we can give the Scouts. This will be Gary Rimm’s third trip to the BWCA with Scouts. Marian will be making her second trip to the BWCA, but she has done numerous other wilderness paddling trips including Alaska, Sylvania Wilderness, and circumnavigating Cumberland Island. As for me, well, I stopped counting BWCA trips because I’m old. In terms of safety, both Marian and Gary have taken Wilderness First Aid and I am a Wilderness first Responder. We will dramatically improve your voyageur Scout’s canoeing and camping skills, as well as teach bear bag hangs, leave no trace, and wilderness navigation, an art of its own.

This will not be an easy base camping trip like Sylvania Wilderness last year. Our first day will likely have 7 portages, ending at Ima Lake. The next day, heading to Thomas and on to Fraser, we will have 5 portages. The trip will test both the mental and physical resolve of the voyageurs, but will leave them with a deep sense of accomplishment. It is a challenging trip with 7 portages the first day. If you sign up for this trip be prepared to work hard, and be proud at the end. AJ, Tyler, Austin, Sean, Henry, or Devin can talk more about the trip.

This opportunity will be offered to both Scouts and Venturers. They must have a completed Part C Northern Tier Physical, be 14, and ready physically and mentally for challenges. Scouts (not Venturers) need to be First Class as well. Participants must have passed the BSA Swim Test since this year, (I can test them), and they need to paddle some with the leaders before the BWCA, unless they have gone before to Sylvania or the BWCA. Challenges would include carrying a 60 pound pack or a 55 pound canoe over rough portages up to ½ miles and paddling up to 12 miles in a day. With a tough mental attitude, Scouts and Venturers can rise to the challenge. Again, talk to the Scouts that have gone before. Some off my Boundary Waters trips have come off as planned, and others have had real challenges. The picture below shows what we faced in 2016, with many portages trashed from a storm a couple of days before. That was seriously hard work on just our second portage.

As a final note, given we have only 6 places, we may end up overbooked, especially as this trip is open to both Scouts and Venturers. As selection criteria, we will consider the following:

  1. Scouts and Venturers that are aging out and heading off to college, and this is their last chance for high adventure.
  2. Scouts and Venturers that have been most active in the respective programs on outings. These criteria will be considered rather than just rank, since some Venturers do not hold Scout ranks.

Please feel free to ask any questions. Deposits for Scouts should go to Marian Chase, Treasurer of T32, and Crew 32 Venturer deposits should come to me.


Bob Faber


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July 21, 2018
July 28, 2018
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