On Friday, May 1st, the BSA National Office released their plans for summer treks at the National High Adventure Bases (Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base, and the Summit). In most cases, based on the nature of their expanded facilities and hundreds of participants arriving daily, the decision was made by them to delay the start of their summer treks to June 15th or July 1st. We were happy to hear that they did not cancel their summer programs, as their goal since the beginning of the pandemic, as has been ours, is to fulfill the promise of high adventure for the thousands of Scouts that have planned for months or even years for their treks.
Based on the decision of our leadership team, factoring in the unique nature of our program and facilities, we are happy to announce that Swamp Base will be operating it's 8th summer trek season as scheduled, starting on June 6th.

Please note, that as expected, there will be some new rules and requirements around participation. Swamp Base has made adjustments to the program and facilities to maintain the standards that are being recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and State of Louisiana.

  • We will not be allowing people to enter the hotel on their Arrival Day if they are potentially symptomatic, so if participants are not healthy, we ask for you to please stay home. We have included a “pre-screening checklist” for crews to go over with your members prior to arrival. We ask that all participants take the identification of symptoms very seriously.
  • If crew member are sick, have been sick or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19 within 14 days of their arrival, we would ask that they don’t travel to Swamp Base so as to not expose other members of their crew or our Swamp Base staff. 
  • Any participant or staff member in a high-risk category for protection from COVID-19 should not attend Swamp Base this year, because of established protocols by our country’s medical experts. 
  • We require that participants add: a mask(s), bandana, buff or some sort of face cover to your gear list. Swamp Base will require face masks be worn while in all common areas. This includes the hotel during your Arrival Day. Options may include a traditional cloth face mask, buff, neckerchief, neck gaiter, etc. Masks must cover the nose and mouth. The CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
  • We are also enforcing a ‘No Handshake Zone’ this summer. Please understand that we are encouraging our staff to follow social distancing guidelines as much as possible, and to limit contact with individuals that is unnecessary. We ask that Scouts and leaders respect social distancing guidelines and follow them as well.

Changes to the program:

  • Review the pre-screening checklist with crew members prior to departure to Swamp Base
  • All participants and staff will have their temperature taken upon arrival and all Health & Medical forms will be screened
  • All days in which Swamp Base had two crews arriving from separate locations have been eliminated, and one crew has been moved to an open start date. This allows the program to greatly reduce contamination between crews at the hotel, houseboats, and other program locations
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization in shared spaces, buildings, gear, and program areas 
  • Adjustments in our dining hall operations, including large gatherings for meals on Island Outpost will be limited or eliminated 
  • Additional measures will be implemented as they come out per the CDC guidelines or State of Louisiana

Gear Items NOW REQUIRED for all participants:

  • Face masks (this is a new requirement to the gear list as listed above)
  • 1-2oz personal hand sanitizer (this item was previously recommended, but is now required)
  • 1 roll of toilet paper in a zip-lock bag with the cardboard removed for easier storing (this item was previously recommended, but is now required)

We understand that completing First Aid trainings, CPR, Swim Tests and medical forms has not been easy or in some cases possible at all. Please do not let those items slow you down or deter you. There is still over a month before the first crews arrive, and guidelines in your area may become more open by then. At this time, if you have Swim Tests from 2019 or Health forms from 2019, we will accept those. The National Office will be providing more clarity on these requirements on May 15th. We will let you know if anything changes.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email at

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