Minnesota Scouts Are Prepared for Camping on a Polar Level

Alpha Lupus instructors teach Scouts camping skills for cold environments. (Photo Credit: Brainerd Dispatch)
Alpha Lupus instructors teach Scouts camping skills for cold environments. (Photo Credit: Brainerd Dispatch)

People across the North will be huddled in their homes this weekend, thanks to an impending blizzard, but this icy front is no match for a group of Minnesota Scouts.

The Alpha Lupus and Kota Scout campers from the Central Minnesota Council brought “cool campouts” to a new degree as they underwent a weekend of subzero survival training. The Alpha Lupus Winter Camp program offers different levels of training, allowing Scouts to build a mastery of subzero adventure.

During the first night of this trip, first-level Alpha Lupus campers trained indoors, then camped out the second night to put their new skills to practice. Scouts at the Kota level are well-trained and have developed their own outdoor polar prowess, as they demonstrated both nights of the campout.

Scouts can earn BSA’s Zero Hero award for camping in temperatures below zero degrees, but proper training is key.

Eager to earn the Zero Hero award, Alpha Lupus-level and Kota-level campers joined forces this January and journeyed to the brisk grounds of Parker Scout Camp. With temperatures dipping to 20 degrees below zero, the Scouts were in for a bone-chilling experience!

Alpha Lupus trainer Tim Sundberg told the Brainerd Dispatch that for more than 35 years, the Central Minnesota Council has taught Scouts how to safely spend a night in plunging northern temperatures.

“Central Minnesota Council’s Alpha Lupus program prepares Scouts to sleep outdoors in the winter by training them how to build a shelter, select proper clothing, select food and more over the course of the weekend,” Sundberg explained.

“You have to be prepared when it is cold outside,” Scout Brady M. told the Brainerd Dispatch, and true to Scout form, these campers were well-equipped for a wintry weekend trip.

Experienced Scouts also joined the excursion to share their expertise with the new campers. Life Scout Noah K. told the Brainerd Dispatch, “We train the Scouts on selecting a site, preparing their sleeping area and making sure they have proper protection from the cold.”

Scouts learned subzero camping skills such as how to dress to what to eat, but they also learned that some lessons go beyond the gear.

“The Scouts learn a lot about teamwork, learning how to look out for one another, and the buddy system is important with winter camping,” Sundberg reported.

On the last day of the trip, campers woke to find the temperature had dropped to a frigid 21 degrees below zero! Without question, these Scouts proved they have what it takes for winter escapades.

Be sure to read the Brainerd Dispatch story to learn more about how these Scouts braved the cold.


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Rochelle Randles is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She enjoys sharing incredible adventure stories within the Scouting community and beyond. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at