ATV Riding Program
ATV riding is fairly new to Scouting. And some people are often a little confused about how exactly it fits into the BSA. Well, let me tell you. By having Scouts learn to ride ATVs in a Scout setting, they can learn to participate in this activity safely and responsibly. Polaris, the company that loans the BSA their ATVs has strict safety rules in place. At Beaver, participants first go through a detailed safety and training process in order to follow these rules. They wear protective gear and follow the required safety regulations set out by Polaris.
Participants also learn how to be responsible ATV users at Beaver. Because they learn to ride only on trails and to be careful of wildlife, they are more likely to be responsible ATV users in the future. This is one great effect of the BSA incorporating ATVs into Scout Camps! If people are going to ride them, they should at least learn to do it the right way.
After their training sessions, it’s time for the riders to take off! First, they spend time practicing around a dirt course. They start off slow, but once they begin to gain confidence and skill, they can turn up the speed. After mastering that course, they can hit the trail. The ATV program at Beaver is a long day of riding, but the trail ride at the end of the day is worth it. Participants get to use their new skills to conquer the mountainous, forested course that runs throughout the camp site at Beaver. The sound of revving engines and distant clouds of dust signal to the rest of the camp that some new ATV riders are having a great day.
I have to admit, leaving the Frontier settlement at Beaver was very difficult for me. This hidden gem is reason enough to choose Beaver High Adventure Base for the summer. If you haven’t heard of this program, now is the time to learn!
As I explored Frontier, I was able to talk to a troop visiting Beaver High Adventure Base all the way from California! They had been to Beaver in previous years and returned again to participate in the Frontier program. It was one of their favorite parts of Beaver, and they were excited to drive all the way from California for it!
At Beaver High ADventure Base, the Frontier program is designed to teach participants about the settlement of the west in a hands-on way. When you reach Frontier, which they lovingly call “Sout Fork Settlement,” you feel as if you have traveled back in time. You descend upon the beautiful little meadow where the settlement sits, sprinkled with wildflowers and camp-goers who are hard at work. A few frontier-style cabins sit next to each other. Some campers are working on the cabins themselves, restoring the roofing as they get ready for winter. Other participants are chopping wood, stripping off bark, or practicing their skills with the 2-man saw. The staff onsite are dressed in frontier style clothing and guide the campers as they learn new skills.
Frontier sports are another exciting program that happens down at South Fork Settlement. Here, participants can enjoy a mountain man experience shooting black powder rifles and doing other frontier activities and games. SOme of these include knife and tomahawk throwing. These sports take a lot of skill, and many compete to see who can become the reigning frontier sports champion!
If knife-throwing isn’t your thing, there are still more options for frontier-style activities. Frontier programs also include blacksmithing and metal working. First, Scout learned to build a fire hot enough to smelt metal. In traditional frontier style, they used coal to build their fires. Then, I watched Scouts make new things out of the metal they heated over their fire. They took turns hammering the hot, burning orange metal until it was in just the right shape. Scouts also kept the fire going to learn how to smelt lead, to creat their own bullets!
The Frontier program totally immerses camp-goers in frontier life. It is an opportunity no group should miss! Not only is it educational, it is exciting and unique. And, it is set in the most beautiful, peaceful location. Once you get to Frontier, you will never want to leave!