Adventure Tracks combine technical merit badge requirements, outdoor skills, challenging, exciting activities, and team-building opportunities, that provide well-rounded experiences for Scouts. These two day tracks (Monday-Tuesday, and Wednesday-Thursday) emphasize fun and thrill-seeking, while experiencing the great outdoors in a structured learning environment. The earth is the classroom and laboratory… a perpetual field trip. For example, the Adventure Track “Above and Below” where boys are not only outdoors, but under the stars, where they learn and experience star gazing, weather observation, and earth science. Adventure Tracks allow for youth to connect in a unique way with their Creator, as well as with fellow Scouts, and their leaders.
Here are a few things I overheard from youth:
“This is the most fun that I have ever had at Scout camp.”
“We did interesting activities that were very enjoyable.”
“I want to do more of this when I get back home from camp. This was really cool!”
Leaders commented on their exit survey:
“We can’t wait to come back next year.”
“This was by far our most enjoyable and stress-free Scout camp experience as leaders. We just needed to drop the boys off each morning, and then they were off and running for each two day adventure track. Thank-you!!!”
Adventure Tracks are classified like ski runs—green, blue, and black diamond (e.g., basic, intermediate, advanced). Green tracks focus on merit badges. Blue tracks are all about adventure and thrill-seeking. They are designed more for older boys who are not focused on merit badges, but who are looking for an extraordinary experience. (Leaders sign up and participate with the boys in the blue tracks). Black diamond bumps the experience up even higher, focusing on multi-day, outpost campouts, and activities.
We offer multiple Adventure Tracks at Tifie, Thunder Ridge, and Scofield. Popular tracks include: Survival, Search and Rescue, Thrill Seeker, Images, Waterlogged, Paddle Straight and Arrow, Crawdads, Above and Below, and Critter Encounters.
Paddle Straight and Arrow, a green track, focuses on boating and archery skills, actually shooting from a canoe at archery targets on the shoreline… Davy Crockett style. Thrill Seeker, a blue track, combines the best of COPE( Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) cubes, zip lines, and challenge courses with an exciting climbing and rappelling package. Our black diamond adventure tracks can include a series of custom-designed activities (planned out by the Scout leader and Scout camp director) including fishing, climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, and backpacking.
You can get more information about our Adventure Track’s by going to each camp’s website on the Utah National Parks Council website utahscouts.org, click on “Camping“ tab, select the camp you are interested in on the state of Utah overlay map, click on “Leader’s Information“ tab; click on “Program Guide” hot-link.
2015 was a prototype year for launching and assessing adventure tracks. We are all about innovation… providing new experiences, and improving on traditional programs. We have learned a lot from this summer, including great feedback from our camp staff who ran the tracks, and the Scout troops and leaders who participated. New ideas and improvements will make this next year’s 2016 Adventure Track programs even more exciting. We expect 2016 to SIZZLE. We can’t wait to see you there!
Author: Steve Sutherland | Camping Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. 801.361.2508