The program is a fourteen-day experience inspired by the traditions of the French and Canadian Voyageurs who ventured the northern wilderness during the 1700-1800’s. Traveling thousands of miles by water and portage, these Voyageurs were hired to haul goods and furs to trade with Native Americans and Europeans. In the spirit of these adventurers, Arrowmen will embark on a voyage that is twofold. One-half of the OA Northern Tier Wilderness Voyage focuses on portage trail and campsite maintenance within the Boundary Waters.

The remaining expedition is spent on a canoeing adventure that is planned and chosen by the participants in the program. In other words, each crew plans their own voyage! However, the program is not simply portage trail work, camping, and canoeing. The OA Northern Tier Wilderness Voyage is ultimately a journey that challenges Scouts mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Portage trail work is tough and serious. The worksite experience is full of long, strenuous days requiring a great deal of physical effort. Participants are expected to work with great diligence as the tasks being accomplished are designed to benefit generations of Scouts and non-Scouts in the Boundary Waters Wilderness. In addition to mastering portage trail maintenance techniques, Scouts will strengthen their leadership skills, learn advanced wilderness and low-impact camping skills, learn wilderness safety techniques, participate in many motivational activities, and receive special OA instruction. The projects’ mission is to maintain, reinforce, and intensify the purpose of the Order of the Arrow through Scout camping traditions. Participants are expected to use their experience to benefit their troop, chapter, lodge, and council programs.

The Order of the Arrow Wilderness Voyage program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the principles of Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service in action.