Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (SAA)

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Triple Crown Award Patch

National High Adventure Awards

Triple Crown of National High Adventure Award

The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (SAA) in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America have authorized the issuance of a special certificate and patch to honor those Scouts and Scouters who have participated in at least one qualified high adventure program at three National High Adventure Bases operated by the Boy Scouts of America. The SAA created the Triple Crown of National High Adventure Award (Triple Crown) in 1996 to both promote all National High Adventure programs and help identify those Scouts with a thirst for High Adventure who may potentially be interested in serving on the staff of the Northern Tier and other High Adventure programs. The Boy Scouts of America's National High Adventure Bases are: Northern Tier High Adventure Program (Northern Tier), Philmont Scout Ranch (Philmont), Florida National High Adventure Sea Base (Florida Sea Base), and Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base (The Summit).

Recipients of the award receive a Triple Crown (3-inch) award patch with a design reflecting the three National High Adventure Bases where they participated in a high adventure program. An individual may only earn the award once in their lifetime and is only eligible to receive one award patch reflecting the three bases they attended. There are four award patch designs that represent the combinations of the National High Adventure Bases. The symbols on the patch are loon for Northern Tier, bull for Philmont, dolphin for Florida Sea Base, and black bear for The Summit. The "original" Triple Crown award patch design will only be available to those who complete programs at the bases depicted on the patch (Northern Tier, Philmont, Florida Sea Base). An optional large (6-inch) patch is available to all award recipients for purchase for personal use (on packs, jackets, etc.). For the large patch, any combination of design and quantity may be requested.


Important: Currently we are not accepting and processing applications that include Paul R. Christen until we receive the necessary award patches. Mailed applications will be returned. We apologize for providing information earlier that indicated applications were being accepted.We expect to post an update on our website in early to mid-November.

Triple Crown Award Paches

Grand Slam of National High Adventure Award

The Grand Slam of National High Adventure Award honors those who have participated in at least one qualifying high adventure program at all of the Boy Scouts of America's National High Adventure Bases: Northern Tier High Adventure Program (Northern Tier), Philmont Scout Ranch (Philmont), Florida National High Adventure Sea Base (Florida Sea Base), and Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base (The Summit).

Recipients of the award receive a Grand Slam (3-inch) award patch and special certificate. An optional large (6-inch) patch is available to all award recipients for purchase for personal use (on packs, jackets, etc.).


Important: We're excited to launch the Grand Slam! The application and patch design for the Grand Slam of National High Adventure Award will be released in the near future. For now applications and requests for the award are not being accepted.

Common Questions and Answers

I do not have all the information requested on the application, what should I do?

Please provide as much information as possible. We will use what you have to evaluate the application and contact you for any additional information we may need. If you do not know your crew number, check your crew photo as it often contains it.

What programs are eligible for the award?

High Adventure programs at each of the Boy Scouts of America's National High Adventure Bases qualify. For example, a summer or winter High Adventure program at Northern Tier's Ely, Atikokan, or Bissett satellite bases qualify. For specifics download the list of qualified high adventure programs.

Programs offered at a National High Adventure base that are not a High Adventure program do not qualify for the award. For example, attending training such as Wood Badge, National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE), or similar programs do not qualify.

Can I earn the award if I am an adult?

Yes, you can earn any portions of the requirements as both a youth and adult. For example, you may attend Philmont and Florida Sea Base as a youth and then attend Northern Tier as an adult leader.

Can I earn the award if we do a trip on our own or through an outfitter?

You can only earn the award by participating in a High Adventure program offered through Boy Scouts of America's National High Adventure bases.

Examples that do not qualify:
  • Canoeing the Boundary Waters or Quetico when not participating through a Northern Tier program;
  • Backpacking the Carson National Forest or Sangre de Cristo mountain range when not participating through a Philmont program;
  • Sailing the Florida Keys or Bahamas when not participating through a Florida Sea Base program;
  • Training programs including Philmont Training Center (PTC) programs, Wood Badge, Philmont Leadership Challenge (PLC), and National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE);
  • Order of the Arrow (OA) ArrowCorps or SummitCorps;
  • BSA Jamboree experiences or 2012 Summit Jamboree Shakedown.

How long does it take to receive my award packet?

Please allow 8 weeks for your award and patches to arrive. Since the SAA is an all-volunteer organization, we have no paid staff to handle the review of award applications. We endeavor to review your application and mail the award packet within 8 weeks of receipt.

If you have not received your award packet after 8 weeks, please contact us. Be sure to provide the names of the applicants. We will research the matter and respond as soon as possible.

Can you rush the processing of an award application due to a Court of Honor or Eagle ceremony?

First, congratulations to the Scouts who have earned merit badges for your Court of Honor. We also are thrilled to offer our congratulations of the new Eagle recipient. It is a substantial accomplishment.

However, to assure all award applicants receive an accurate and timely review of their application we must decline requests for rush service. We endeavor to review and approve (or return rejected) applications as quickly as possible. Please submit your requests at least 8 weeks before you will need the award to assure you receive the award packet in time.

Can we apply for our awards in advance since we will be completing our last National High Adventure base this summer?
We do not accept "pre-orders" for individuals or groups. Applications can be submitted only once the applicant completes the requirements.

How many patches can I order?

The Triple Crown small award patch is provided with the $9 award application fee. This is limited to one Triple Crown (3-inch) award patch per recipient.

Triple Crown applicants when applying can also obtain large (6-inch) patches by sending $10 for each patch requested. The number of larger patches ordered for personal purposes (for use on backpacks, patch jackets, etc) is not restricted. For the large patch, any combination of design and quantity may be requested. Unless specifically requested, those requesting a large patch when applying for the award will receive the large patch reflecting the National High Adventure Bases they attended.

Those who have already received the Triple Crown can obtain large (6-inch) patches. Unless specifically requested, those requesting will receive the a large patch depicting the original design (Northern Tier, Philmont, Florida Sea Base). Send the payment, a copy of your certificate, and request to the address on the application. Once we review the certificate and our records, we will send the patch to you.

How many times can I earn the award?

You can only earn the Triple Crown and Grand Slam awards once, regardless of how many times you have attended a High Adventure program at a National High Adventure base.

What is the difference between the Order of the Arrow (OA) High Adventure "Triple Crown" award and the official Triple Crown of High Adventure Award?

The OA High Adventure "Triple Crown" award is not affiliated with the official Triple Crown of National High Adventure Award or authorized by the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association.

Those who complete an OA Wilderness Voyage or Canadian Odyssey (Northern Tier), Trail Crew (Philmont), or Ocean Adventure (Sea Base), and Summit Experience (The Summit) may count their experience towards their High Adventure program requirement for the base participated through to earn the Triple Crown and Grand Slam. Past experiences such as "SummitCorps" and "ArrowCorps" do not qualify.

I am an award recipient of the Triple Crown before 2005 but did not receive a small award patch, how do I get one?

If you were an award recipient before 2005, you paid $3.00 and received a certificate. We have maintained the records of those who applied before the introduction of the small award patch.

You can obtain the patch by sending $6.00 and a copy of your certificate or congratulatory letter. You can also obtain large patches by sending $10 per patch requested. The number of larger patches ordered for personal purposes (for use on backpacks, patch jackets, etc) is not restricted. Send the payment, a copy of your certificate and request to the address on the application. Once we review the certificate and our records, we will send the patch to you.

Do programs at the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base (The Summit) quality for the award?

Yes, qualified high adventure programs at Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base (The Summit) qualify for both the Triple Crown of National of High Adventure and Grand Slam of National High Adventure. Note, the BSA National Jamboree does not qualify as it is not a high adventure program.

Can I count my experience working at a National High Adventure Base towards the awards?

Employment at Northern Tier, Philmont Florida Sea Base, and The Summit can be substituted in lieu of participating at one of the qualifying programs at each program as discussed. To be eligible, an individual must have been employed under a written contract as a staff member (Staff Member) at Northern Tier, Philmont Florida Sea Base, and The Summit. Volunteer staff at the BSA National Jamboree does not qualify. On a one-time basis, the Staff Member can substitute his/her employment in place of the qualification requiring participation at such program. This substitution is allowed regardless of the Staff Member's position or title but the Staff member must have fulfilled his/her employment contract obligations. To be eligible to earn the Triple Crown Award or Grand Slam Award, the Staff Member must still participate in qualifying high adventure programs for the remaining National High Adventure Bases.
© Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc., PO Box 428, Ely, Minnesota, 55731