For Brentwood High School junior Jack Rittler, it’s all about the snow.
For his classmate Kent Babe, it’s the stars he's longing to see.
Regardless of what each may be looking forward to the most about their upcoming winter excursion to northern Minnesota near the Canadian border, it’s bound to be an adventure neither will ever forget.
Along with three other Brentwood High juniors, a sophomore from Curry Ingram Academy and two adult advisers, they leave the mostly moderate weather of Middle Tennessee Saturday for a wintry five-night trek of camping in snow caves, ice fishing, Nordic skiing and a little bit of dog sledding.
Rittler and Babe are both Eagle Scouts, as are their Brentwood High classmates James Smith, Trent McNeilly and Sean Glasgow. Currey Ingram’s R.J. Fort is a Boy Scout in Troop 418. Andrew Rittler and Matthew Smith are scoutmasters with Troop 418 and Troop 93, respectively.
“I’m really looking forward to just seeing snow, getting to build snow caves and things like that,” Jack Rittler said, lamenting the general absence of the winter precipitation in Brentwood. “This is something I’ll be remembering for the rest of my life.”
Babe can’t wait to get away from the city lights
“I always like looking at the stars when they’re real clear, because they’re so brilliant and fiery,” Babe added. “Unfortunately, around here with all the light pollution and stuff, you don’t really get a view of the stars like we’ll have on the trip.”
This winter outing, known officially as the Northern Tier High Adventure Base in Ely, Minn., is one of four High-Adventure Bases established by the Boy Scouts of America. Others are the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., and Florida Sea Base in Islamorada, Fla.
All of the teens have done at least one of the other excursions, and this will mark the fourth adventure for Rittler and Smith.
While the travelers are eager for the fun and adventure the trip will undoubtedly bring, it’s also meant to build character and instill life lessons.
“I think they’ll have a very strong bond,” said Smith, father of James Smith. “Obviously they’ll be working a lot together and will have a lot of collaboration and brotherhood out of this. It will definitely test their leadership skills. They will have to depend on each other. There will be a lot of verbal and nonverbal communication.
“I look forward to seeing them be successful and learn from the areas they need to improve on, and to be able to share their experiences with others.”