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 Looking for fun and outdoor adventure in your life? Are you seeking a challenge that requires skills in backpacking, white water rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, communications, decision making, safety, leadership, teamwork, outdoor cookery, first aid and coping with nature's elements? 2010 Trip Information - Backpacking, Pecos Wilderness, New Mexico

Welcome to the 4-H Venturer Program!

Formed in 1997, the 4-H Venturers brings together teens and adults from 4-H, Boy Scouts, and other youth organizations from all over the state of Kansas who are interested in high adventure experiences. The program is offered to teens who are 14 years of age by January 1st or who have completed the eighth grade by June 1st . Adults must enjoy working with teens, thrive on adventure, and value group building experiences.

Click here to view our Introduction to Venturers Video! (8min length, Windows Media Video)

What does it take to be a Venturer? You've got to be willing to...

  • work with others as a crew member, to accept others as they are, to help make group decisions, to do your share of work and carry your share of the load;
  • absorb and share the wonder and beauty of the outdoors, to learn and practice low-impact camping techniques, to make a commitment to preserve and protect the wilderness;
  • condition your body, to endure sore and aching muscles, burning lungs, blisters, and bruised bones when the days can be long, hot, cold, wet, muddy, and dusty;
  • share laughter, hugs, songs, tears of joy and frustration, to make lasting friendships, to be the best person that you can be.
Leader Info
Shakedown
Gear & Equipment
Gorp & Glop
Stuff Bag
     
     
    

 
NEW!  Learn how to tie the knots you'll need for Venturing.

Go to photos and information from Previous Trips

Highlights of our adventures in the past....

2007 -- Rafting on the Green River in northeastern Utah! Life is Good! The ten-day trip included 7 days of rafting, putting in on the river at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir Dam, traveling through wilderness and wildlife areas, exploring rugged side canyons, discovering the artwork of prehistoric native peoples in the Dinosaur National Monument and taking out at Split Mountain near Vernal, Utah. We experienced big white water and mighty fierce winds. Very Nice, High-Five!


2006 --   The "Colorado Outdoor Extreme Adventure" featured white rafting on the Colorado River; mountain biking, hiking, exploring and fishing in the Flat Top Wilderness Area; hiking UP/DOWN to Hanging Lake; experiencing the Glenwood Caverns; and enjoying the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. We prepared lots of yummy meals featuring real food (not freeze-dried meals)! And, we experienced incredible weather --- storms and winds that broke our tent poles into small pieces, snowstorms that made the ground turn white and glorious sunny days while on rafting on the river. We learned that you've just got to be prepared for any kind of weather!


2005 --   Traveled to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in northern Minnesota where our two crews spent 7 days and 6 nights paddling the beautiful waters of the northern woodlands. One crew caught lots of fish and enjoyed cooking their bounty over the campfire most every evening! The other crew witnessed a loon being chased by another loon for a quarter mile chase around an island --- it appeared that the loons were walking on water! What a unique happening to see! Of course, we had the usual array of weather conditions including downpours of cold rain, phenomenal lightning and wonderful sunshine. We paddled lakes that straddled the international boundary line and got to take a walk on Canadian soil. Plus, we spent time at the International Wolf Center in Ely, a really cool place to learn about wolves, their habitats and their important role in the outdoor world. Can't forget about the stop for a yummy treat at Betty's Pies nor the opportunity to explore Gooseberry Falls State Park on our way to Ely.


2004 -- Whitewater Rafting:  The Venturers rafted 4 days on the Green River this year, putting in on the river at Lodore Canyon which is in northwestern Colorado. What a beautiful canyon!!! The teens were true explorers ---- once the campsite was set up each day, they hiked and explored the rugged side canyons and reached pinnacle heights which offered fantastic views! At Echo Park, those who didn't have a problem with claustrophobia explored a unique cave. We rafted through rapids with names like Disaster Falls, Hells Half Mile, SOB, Triplet and Schoolboy. The musical talents within the group was awesome --- made for some mighty special evenings alongside the river. Plus, we spent time at the Dinosaur National Monument Museum, which was truly a step back into time. And, we learned the significant and special meaning of the term, "river time." Great adventures for each and all this year!

Hiking:  Two crews traveled to Philmont and backpacked the rugged Sangre De Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico. One crew explored new territory by hiking into the Valle Vidal, which featured spacious high country meadows and forested areas without any trails! They followed impact camping techniques to the max and used their compass and map to make critical decisions. Laughter!!! Lots of laughter throughout the 7-day trek! The crew members had lots of talents and their creative words, actions and behaviors added a very special dimension to the adventure. No where else can a group of teens and adults go 7 days without a shower and still love to hang out with each other.


2003 -- Traveling via chartered coach to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in northern Minnesota, the three crews consisted of 30 youth and adults. We paddled for 6 days and 5 nights and endured 19 straight hours of rain. One crew had close encounters with 4 moose, pine martens, mink, beavers and of course, many loons -- they even caught enough fish for 4 meals! Cliff jumping was one of the special highlights, plus running a few rapids in the canoes on some of the portages. Along the way, we picked up last minute supplies at Cabela's in Owatonna, Minnesota, thoroughly enjoyed a bountiful slice of pie at Betty's Pies near Two Harbors, and toured the Split Rock Lighthouse. One of the most memorable experiences on the road trip to the northern waters was living through a fierce thunderstorm in the middle of the night and being jolted awake by a one honking big bolt of lightning at 5:30am! Many reported that this was one of the most relaxing adventure trips they had ever taken and they loved it!


2002 -- 25 youth and adults rafted the waters of the Green River in eastern Utah for 5 days and 4 nights. One of the biggest challenges the group faced was two days of strong winds that actually blew us back up the river! It took perseverance and incredible mental and physical strength to cope with and handle this challenge. We experienced slow water and fast water plus lots of water fights that helped us keep cool on those hot days. This was our first rafting adventure trip and we loved it. Real food, real teamwork, and real fun people! Our second Venturer's trip took us to Philmont, where we backpacked in the wilderness area of this legendary BSA high adventure base. One crew hiked in the north country, bagging Baldy, the highest peak in the area. The other two crews hiked in the central country and spent their last day hiking out on the Tooth of Time Ridge Trail --- 11 long miles filled with rocks and boulders of all sizes and shapes. Along the way, we stopped at the Santa Fe Trail Museum, Fort Larned and Bent's Fort ---- and learned a lot of history about the Santa Fe Trail and its many travelers.


2001 -- 47 youth and adults traveled to northern Minnesota where we paddled our canoes for 5 days and 4 nights amongst the loons, moose and fish in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area. We had 6 crews that traveled different routes on water and land, where they each experienced unique wilderness experiences.

Bear Report: Two of the crews encountered bears! One crew convinced their bear to leave their campsite, after lots of appropriate yelling, pot-banging and especially when Justin nailed the bear  between the eyes with a rock! The second bear convinced the crew to leave their campsite in spite of all their efforts to convince him to leave they tore down camp in mere moments and loaded up the canoes (with the pot of half-cooked spaghetti between Cathy’s feet) and they sought refuge in another campsite about a mile away!

Fishing Report: Lots of fishing took place and a couple of crews caught enough nice walleye, northern pike and small mouth bass for an evening meal!

Canoeing Report: One crew decided to set up a base camp in a couple of different locations so they could spend more time exploring, taking life a bit slower, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the backcountry. Another crew decided to canoe over 60 miles and portaged over 1000 rods to get keep into the backcountry. Swimming, jumping off of 40' high rock ledges into the water, exploring  waterfalls and seeing mile after mile of “windfall” trees as a result of the July 4, 1999 storm.

Mosquito Report: 8:45 pm every evening, right on the dot, kajillions of mosquitos would appear and it was always wise to be in your tent with the door zipped up tight at 8:40pm!

Cabela’s Report: Stopped at this awesome store both coming and going .... wow, what a place!

Our 2001 trip was at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota.


2000 -- traveled to Colorado to raft the white waters of the Poudre River and backpack in the Rawah Wilderness Area. Viewed amazing elk herds, moose, and pristine northern Coloardo backcountry. Climbed the Pinnacle at the REI store in downtown Denver, watched the National Lumberjack Competition at the Territorial Park in Laramie, Wyoming and explored the vast Cabela's store in Sydney, Nebraska.


1999 -- traveled to northern New Mexico where we backpacked in the wilderness area of the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch. Hiked the trails at the National Capulin Volcano Monument and checked out the 100 million years old dinosaur tracks at Clayton Lake State Park.


1998 -- traveled to South Dakota to backpack in the Black Elk Wilderness Area at Custer State Park, explore Wind Cave in the Wind Cave National Park, and hike in the Bad Lands. Also spent two days canoeing on the Niobrara River in northwestern Nebraska.


1997 -- traveled to northern New Mexico to experience the high adventure program at Philmont Scout Ranch and backpacked nearly 30 miles in the backcountry wilderness areas.