Northern Tier is the Boy Scouts of America’s gateway to adventure in the Great Northwoods. In the summer, scouts from Northern Tier’s three wilderness canoe bases explore millions of acres of pristine lakes, meandering rivers, dense forests and wetlands in Northern Minnesota, Northwest Ontario and Northeast Manitoba. In the winter, Northern Tier is home to the Okpik Cold-Weather Camping program, the BSA’s premier winter high adventure program. Fall programming is also available.
Northern Tier offers wilderness canoe trips. There are no lodgings along these trips, and aircraft and motorboats are heavily restricted. Typical treks may cover 50 to 150 miles and take 6 to 10 days. With each crew is a staff member called an “Interpreter”, formerly known as a “Charlie Guide.”
Northern Tier is the BSA’s oldest national High Adventure program, outfitting scouting groups for canoe trips since the summer of 1923. The Charles L Sommers Base has been home to the program since 1941.
North America’s Canoe Country, a vast series of navigable lakes and rivers spanning thousands of square miles, is one of the last great wildernesses on the continent. This boreal forest of waterfalls and bogs, bears and wolves, granite crags and waist-deep mud remains nearly as much of a wilderness as it was for the first fur traders who explored the area in the 1600s. Two centuries after the fur trade’s peak in the early 1800s, our participants still follow in the footsteps of the French-Canadian voyageurs, paddling the same waters and straining over the same portage trails.
PO Box 509
Ely, MN 55731
14790 Moose Lake Rd
Ely, MN 55731