Program Description

A Coureur des Bois (or Coureur de Bois; English translation is Runner of the Woods) was an independent entrepreneur who journeyed to the interior of North America at the beginning of the 18th Century to take advantage of the Fur Trade. Eventually these Coureurs would join the licensed company crews of Voyageurs who at the time were pushing deeper into the untamed regions of the Northwoods looking for more furs. Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan High Adventure Base invites you to join the ranks of Coureur from history as you journey into the Northwoods of Wisconsin and take an independent look at what the region has to offer. Scouts who sign up as Coureurs will spend each day out on an adventure both in Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation and at locations throughout the Northwoods. Each day will bring a new adventure and new challenges for the Coureur. Participants in the Coureur des Bois Program will be picked up at their sub camp office each morning after breakfast and rejoin their units at dinner. They will be able to take advantage of evening programs throughout camp! The Coureur des Bois Program provides Scouts with an introduction to the MSR High Adventure Base opportunities as well as being a fun and exciting alternative to the merit badge program.

Costs and Fees

ADDITIONAL FEE:  Scouts participating in the Coureur des Bois program do pay an additional $25 fee on top of their scout summer camp program fee.  The council website’s registration system is set up to collect those fees.  Since space is very limited, so these fees must now be prepaid online.

NOTE: We are hoping to provide merit badge sign-up through the council website in 2019, which means you will also be able to sign up for the Coureur des Bois program at the same time you pay.

IN PLACE OF BLOCK SCHEDULE OFFERINGS:  Instead of taking merit badges or participating in programs offered at each sub-camp, scouts will be taken off on a high adventure trek each day. See below for this five-day program’s schedule.


Coureur des Bois starts each morning at 9:00 am at the Administration Office located at the front of camp. The program will run through the entire day and conclude before dinner each night. Participants will have the ability to participate in evening programs on camp. We will also be asking for the help of a few adults to get us from place to place during the exciting events through the week.


This day will consist as an introduction to the week with time spent climbing the MSR Tower, biking on MSR trails, and learning backcountry skills. Participants will end the day with Black Powder shooting.


Spend your day at Gardner Dam Scout Reservation learning and participating in the ATV program. Participants must have a signed ATV Hold Harmless Release form to participate in the program and wear ankle high boots, long pants, and a long sleeve shirt. An additional fee may be applied for this program.


Journey into Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and learn the lore and history of the Northwoods. Hiking along sections of the Ice Age Trail. Coureurs will climb to the top of a 100ft Fire Look Out Tower.


Strap on your sandals for this crazy day of white water canoeing. Class II and III rapids await as you make your way down the Wolf River trying your best to stay dry.


Enjoy your final day at Jack Lake riding the endless trails on the mountain bikes and enjoying a lakeside BBQ.

*this schedule is a projected schedule and may be modified. Participants will get the opportunity to participate in these programs throughout the course of the week – it may be on different days or altered for weather/special needs of each group.