In the old days, registered youth could enjoy the BSA’s national high-adventure bases alongside other Scouts and adult leaders, but their parents and siblings had to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Those days are close to being no more.
Now the entire family can enjoy some of the best outdoor experiences this country has to offer.
Instead of thinking of Philmont, the Summit and Sea Base as something only a Scout can do, we invite you also to think of it as something the entire family can enjoy together.
A Vacation in the New River Gorge …
One of the common themes of the family programs at all the BSA high-adventure bases is a more relaxed, laid-back atmosphere than what you’d typically find in Scout high-adventure programs.
In other words, it’s just like a family vacation.
Located near Beckley, West Virginia, the Summit is a place where families can camp in barebones “rustic” tents, luxury deluxe tents, hotel-style rooms or dormitory-style bunkhouses.
Activities include hiking, fishing, mountain biking, skateboarding, canopy tours, BMX biking and much, much more.
You can even use the Summit facilities as your home base, if you wish, while you explore the surrounding New River Gorge area on your own.
… Or the Florida Keys
Camp Jackson Sawyer, located on the very appropriately named Scout Key (formerly West Summerland Key), features views of the Gulf of Mexico to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. While BSA units typically enjoy rustic-style camping at Jackson Sawyer, families can opt for a luxury deluxe tent, complete with air conditioning, electricity and a real bed.
“Each family member had a favorite part of the experience,” says Sean Schwinghammer, 52, who attended BSA Family Adventure Camp at Sea Base this spring with his two sons, 20 and 13. “We participated in sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling, not to mention the s’mores campfire, shell collections, playing checkers and flying a kite.
“Mostly it was just being together. It was unrushed and fun.”
Beverlee Bohn attended BSA Family Adventure Camp at Sea Base with her husband and four teenagers.
“The best part of the experience was seeing my kids in their element,” she says. “Enjoying nature and time together as a family.”
Gabriele Savino went scuba diving, kayaking and sailing with her family. She says one of their favorite things to do was just “hanging around” on the porch of their tent.
That’s what’s so great about BSA Family Adventure Camp. You can go for a whole week or just a few days. You can camp more rustically or in luxury. Basically, you can build your own adventure, choosing activities appropriate for everyone from toddlers to grandparents.