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High Adventure Committee

Our Council’s High Adventure Committee (HAC) is dedicated to promoting high-adventure programs in all NCAC districts. Volunteer scouters, including District High Adventure Coordinators, meet at 7:30 pm on the first Thursday of September through May at the Marriott Scout Service Center.  The committee is responsible for:

For more information, contact:
John Blackwell  via email or call 301‐346‐0551
NCAC Staff (TBA) via email or call (TBA)

2020 Sea Base Adventures still available

Estimated cost of $1,950 includes all air and ground transportation, lodging, meals, sightseeing activity and the Sea Base fee. Download this application and send to:

2021 Northern Tier, Philmont & Sea Base Adventures Available soon

The High Adventure Committee (HAC) has an allocation of Philmont treks and Sea Base Adventures for units or individuals in 2021 as in previous years.

Trip logistics are totally handled by the HAC, freeing crews to focus physical and mental preparation. This is terrific if your unit hasn’t planned a High Adventure trip in a while or if you are newly-formed like the Girl Troops being created thru-out NCAC. Make your trip of a lifetime come true next year! Three Philmont dates and one Sea Base date are open now, but hurry these trips will go fast:


Cost includes all air and ground transportation, lodging, meals, sightseeing activities (whitewater rafting and other local outdoor tours) and the Philmont base fee.  In 2020 the cost was $2,550 and should be similar in 2021.  The applications will be available soon to be sent to:

Sea Base

Cost includes all air and ground transportation, lodging, meals, sightseeing activity and the Sea Base fee.  2021 cost should be similar to $1,950 in 2020.  Download this application and send to:

Northern Tier

Although there are presently no HAC-sponsored trips to Northern Tier scheduled, if you are interested in requesting one, download this application and send to:




12 Jan 2020 14 Mar 2020 6 June 2020
 12:30-16:30    Mt Olivet UMC  1500 Glebe Rd, Arlington VA
(same as Jan.) MSSC

Advisor Hikes
Sun. 22 Mar. 2020 Sat. 28 Mar. 2020
08:00  Catoctin Mt State Park Thurmont MD

Northern Tier
7 Mar 2020 28 Mar 2020 25 Apr 2020
09:00-14:00  Truro Anglican Church 10520 Main St, Fairfax VA 22030
Sea Base TBD

Other NCAC Training Opportunities:

Colonial District’s Carpe Adventure Trek will be held Saturday, 14 March 2020.
There are 40km (CAT-40) and 20km (HALF-CAT) hikes, and a 15km (CATNIP) option for Webelos.  Registration is now open at:  
The Alonzo Stagg 50/20 Hike is 21 March 2020 in Arlington. For more info, go to:

High Adventure Bases:

(Click the Base Name for more information)

Lenhok’sin High Adventure

Five-day treks either backpacking on the Goshen Scout Reservation and nearby national forest or canoeing on the James River for co-ed crews 13 & older.  2019 base fee was $375.  Highly recommended as a flexible introductory backpacking experience with a low cost.

Philmont Scout Ranch

Located near Cimarron, New Mexico, Philmont has seven to twelve-day trail treks using backpacks or pack horses with altitudes of 7,200 feet and higher.  Co-ed crews 14 and older with base fees in 2020 of $650 (7-day) to $1,025 (12-day).

Summit Bechtel Reserve

Paul R. Christen High Adventure Base offers seven-day summer programs to scouts 13 years and older by September 1.  Activities include zip lines, climbing, archery and shooting ranges, skate parks, BMX tracks, mountain bike trails, and kayaking and whitewater rafting on the New River.  In 2020, the fee for most programs is $825.

Florida Sea Base

Florida Sea Base offers seven-day sailing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, fishing, and rustic island camping for scouts 13 and older from two Florida keys and the Bahamas.  In 2020, base fees range from $7,600/crew of 6-8 persons to $18,500/crew of 18-20 persons with variations by program.

Northern Tier Bases

NCAC recommends 10- or 11-night summer wilderness canoe treks at Northern Tier, starting from Northern Minnesota, Northwest Ontario, or Northeast Manitoba.  Six million acres of wilderness combined with a highly-trained staff member (now called an Interpreter) provide a challenging and meaningful program for youth.  Crews must be 14 or older and can be coed.  In 2020, base fees are $670 to $1110 per night depending on canoes, crew size, and base chosen.  Northern Tier is considered the best wilderness experience National BSA high adventure offers.  An NCAC provisional trek is possible with paid reservations by December.

NCAC recommends the Okpik Holiday Stay Sampler winter program where you learn how to thrive while winter camping and then sleep away from the Ely base.  Depending on conditions, trekkers can snowshoe, cross-country ski, ice fish, be a “Zero Hero,” or stay in a snow shelter.  Dates are either Dec 27 through Jan 1,  or Dec 29 through Jan 3.  Base fees for the whole Holiday Stay trek are $3775 (6-8 trekkers) or $5200 (9-11 trekkers).  Okpik is considered the best winter wilderness experience in National BSA high adventure.  An NCAC provisional trek is possible with paid reservations by December.

Adirondack BSA High Adventure Programs

The Adirondack Park in upstate New York offers a wide range of high adventure opportunities. It encompasses 6 million acres, which is larger than Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Everglades National Parks combined and 45 times the size of Philmont. There are 46 peaks over 4000 feet with tails and climbs to challenge any experience level. For hikers and backpackers, there are 2000 miles of hiking trails. For paddlers, there are 3000 lakes and ponds and 6000 miles of rivers and streams. All of this is accessible to National Capital Area Council units with an 8-hour drive north.

Six BSA councils have high adventure bases in the Adirondacks with established programs or facilities to assist independent crews. Most programs include summer canoeing treks, backpacking treks, or a combination of paddling, backpacking, and mountain climbing. Some also provide programs during other parts of the year and other special programs including whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, and ice climbing.


Training Materials & Other Documents

Click the links for:

HAC Philmont Training Materials

HAC Recommended Local Prep Hikes

HAC and High Adventure Bases Promotional Flyer

Bryan on Scouting: 2019 High Adventure Base Previews


Wilderness First Aid Training

NOTE: All High Adventure crews must include at least one participant who is trained and certified in Wilderness First Aid, including CPR. Philmont requires two (two is not a bad idea for any crew going to any base).


High Adventure Committee Roster

 Name Position District Phone E-mail
John Blackwell Chairman, District Rep Goose Creek 301-346-0551
Dave Talbott Past Chairman   301-933-0048
Brian Gannon Previous Past Chairman   703-307-2267
Robert Kirk Transportation   240-676-7545
Virginia Ward Registration   571-643-2426
Tim McMahon Registration   240-688-7789
Ed Graydon Budget   703-625-1849
Mark Wray Training Coordinator, Aquatics Liaison
Bill Garmoe Training Staff   301-814-6938
Tim Atkinson Training Staff   703-853-5093
Vacant Secretary      
Matt O’Brien Advisor Hike Coordinator, District Rep Colonial 703-674-7575
Wm. Craig Dubishar Asst. Hike Coordinator, District Rep Powhatan 703-850-1751
Rick Gollhofer Web Padawan   202-434-1500
Scott Hoge
Adirondack Liaison   703-965-6487
Dale Johnson Maine HA Base Liaison   703-726-1189
Craig Reichow Northern Tier/Okpik Liaison   703-851-2210
Pete Stark Philmont Liaison, District Rep Prince William 703-203-4100
Dana Abrahamsen Sea Base Liaison   202-326-2906, 703-280-9782
George Gadbois Summit Liaison, District Rep Potomac 301-440-9248, 301-770-5386
TBA NCAC Staff Advisor      
Sarah Moses Camping Assistant   301-214-9188, 240-475-7130
Dave Green District Rep Chain Bridge 703-536-5189(h)
Tom Wheatley District Rep Francis Scott Key 240-446-1508
Marc Snyder District Rep George Mason 703-283-8382
Mike Nostrand District Rep Old Dominion 703-495-8221
Stanley Turk District Rep Patuxent 301-805-5074
Jim Merritt District Rep Sully 703-489-7805
Hank Brothers District Rep Washington, DC 202-253-6906
Robin McAlister District Rep Western Shore 301-862-2002
Tom Bonina At-Large
Tom Herrity At-Large   240‐344‐0312