Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (SAA)

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Triple Crown Award Patch

Triple Crown of High Adventure Award

Triple Crown 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 program at each of the three National High Adventure Bases operated by the Boy Scouts of America. These Bases are Philmont Scout Ranch (including the Double H Ranch), Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases (Ely, Atikokan, and Bissett), and the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base.
The SAA created the Triple Crown Award in 1996 to both promote all National High Adventure programs (Philmont, Northern Tier, and Sea Base) 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. Notice: You may have seen Triple Crown "6-inch" patches listed on eBay. This is not the award recognition patch. This patch is not rare as there are no restrictions on the number of large (6-inch) patches (well over 5,000) recipients can order. The retail and resale value is only $10.

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?

All High Adventure programs at each of the Boy Scouts of America’s National High Adventure bases qualify. This includes any satellite bases and former bases now closed.   For example, a summer or winter High Adventure program at Northern Tier’s Ely, Atikokan, or Bissett satellite bases qualify.
  • The basic rule is that if you received a High Adventure program participant emblem (patch) from the National High Adventure base during your program it qualifies as your participation requirement for that base.
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 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 small award patch is provided with the $9 award application fee. This is limited to one per award recipient. 

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 or congratulatory letter, and request to the address on the application. Once we review the certificate/letter and our records, we will send the patch to you.

How many times can I earn the award?

You can only earn the award 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 High Adventure Award or authorized by the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association.

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

I am an award recipient 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 or congratulatory letter, and request to the address on the application. Once we review the certificate/letter and our records, we will send the patch to you.

Will programs at the proposed "The Summit" Bechtel Family National Scouting Reserve high adventure base quality for the award? How is the award changing?

The proposed High Adventure programs at The Summit currently do not quality for an award. The Triple Crown of High Adventure Award is not immediately changing. We do evaluate feedback on a regular basis. Any decision will not be announced until after the program has been established.

© Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc., PO Box 428, Ely, Minnesota, 55731