Kodiak Challenge

December 26-31, 2018

Bovay Scout Ranch
3450 County 317
Navasota, TX 77868

Kodiak is designed to be an adventure that pushes the boundaries of every participant— one that will encourage Scouts to try new things that may be out of their comfort zone. It is an experience—but one that has its underpinnings in the application of the leadership skills they learned in the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) or Crews (ILSC), National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), and/or National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is, as is all of Scouting, an adventure with a purpose. 

The Kodiak Challenge is taught by older/more experience unit youth leaders to give participants experience in values and vision, effective teams, communication, decision making, and planning.

The Kodiak Challenge is open to registered Scouts ages 14-20 who have taken Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) or Crews (ILSC) and are ready for an additional leadership challenge. All participants must be registered with a crew or ship. Venturers are expected to strive to achieve the above aims while living the principles of the Scout Oath and Law.


The cost for each Scout to attend camp is $295. Registration can be completed by individual participants or the crew or ship can be registered by the unit leadership.

Staff applications are being accepted; please e-mail camp registrar for more information.

Registration opens soon.

Required Pre-Camp Meeting

Date: TBD

All participants are required to attend a pre-camp meeting which will include an Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC) and a planning session. The participants in the adventure have a critical role in planning the Kodiak Challenge. Planning is a critical leadership skill, and each participant needs to play a role in planning for the success of the challenge. Participants will learn far more if they have ownership of the process from beginning to end.

Youth Leadership Continuum

Because Kodiak is grounded in experiential education, participants learn the skills of leadership as they take part in the various experiences that make up the Kodiak trek. As such, a Kodiak adventure can take place after experiencing the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) or Crews (ILSC), after taking part in National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), or after National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). The growth in leadership depends on what the participant brings to the adventure. More skilled leaders will grow as well as younger Scouts and Venturers; they will simply have a different but equally rewarding experience. Indeed, Kodiak and the process of developing and implementing a vision can be done more than once.

To print this page, scroll to the bottom and click on Printable View.

Participant Packing List


  • BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (part A, B, C) signed by a physician on or after 1/1/2018.
  • Field uniform (Venturer uniform) and belt 
  • Clothing appropriate for weather
  • Long sleeve shirt (2 to 4) 
  • Socks (4 or 5 pair) 
  • Pants (2 to 4 pair) 
  • T-shirts (no tank tops) (4 or 5 pair) 
  • Shoes (closed toe) or hiking boots 
  • Cap or hat 
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas or sleeping clothes
    (wool, polypropylene or polyester, never cotton!) 
  • Sleeping bag (1 or 2), blankets, sheet 
  • Pillow 
  • Cot or pad 
  • Personal first aid kit 
  • Rain gear (pants and jacket) 
  • Winter coat 
  • Towels and washcloth 
  • Soap and shampoo 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • Comb, brush, mirror 
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Comb, brush, mirror 
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Insect repellent (non-aerosol) 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Water bottle (or canteen) and cup 
  • Spiral notebooks 
  • Pen or pencils 
  • Letter writing material 
  • Backpack 
  • Work gloves 
  • Dirty clothes bag 
  • Watch 
  • Portable chair or camp stool 
  • Thermal underwear
    (pants and shirt, not cotton) 
  • Spending money for trading post 
  • Nontoxic, noncombustible, environmentally friendly hand warmers
  • Mosquito netting  
  • Camera 


Don’t Bring: 

  • Valuables
  • Electronics (e.g.,  iPod, iPad)*
  • Fireworks 
  • Sheath or hunting knives 
  • Pets 
  • Hammocks 
  • Personal firearms and ammunition 
  • Jewelry 
  • Personal bows and arrows 
  • Fuel burning hand warmers 

*Electricity is very limited.

Mark all items with name and troop number.  

Winter Camping Tips

Participants are expected to come to camp prepared for variable weather. Although temperatures average between 40 to 60 degrees during winter camp, temperatures have been known to dip as low as 19 degrees and rise as high as 80 degrees.

Sources - Scouting Magazine: Winter camping tips and tricks to help you enjoy the fourth season, Eight essentials for staying warm while cold-weather campingOutdoor Smarts: How to Keep Warm in Camping's Fourth Season; Boys' Life: How to Stay Warm With the Right Winter Gear

Dressing for the cold. When dressing for cold weather, focus on a layering system including the three Ws: wicking, warmth and wind. Your base layer should be wicking (like an athletic shirt), an insulating layer should be warming (like fleece or wool) and an exterior layer should block the wind. Use clothing you have, focusing on the right combination of fabrics.

Wicking Layer or Base. Also commonly known as long underwear, the base layer is worn closest to your skin. Its main job is to wick away sweat and moisture so your skin stays dry. Wear it relatively tight to the skin and use only wool or synthetic base layers. Never use cotton because it will not keep you warm once it’s wet, whether from sweat or precipitation. These base layers come in various weights, from heavy for frigid conditions to lightweight for warmer temps and activities that cause a lot of sweating, such as strenuous hiking and cross-country skiing. It’s a good idea to have one extra pair of base layers to change into every night at camp.

Warmth Layer or Insulation. The insulation layer is worn atop the base layer and is designed to provide the majority of your insulation. It should be made of fleece, wool, down or synthetic insulation and can be a pullover, zip-up jacket or vest, depending on how much insulation you need.

Windproofing Layer or Shell. The outermost layer, the shell jacket and pants protect you from wind and wet conditions. There are two types of shells: the hard shell is a lightweight layer that’s windproof and waterproof, capable of handling heavy rain and very wet conditions; a soft shell is made of a more flexible, soft-faced material that’s windproof yet highly breathable, and water-resistant enough to protect you against everything except a heavy downpour.

Mittens. Mittens are warmer than gloves. If insulated mittens get wet, they stay that way. Wool mitts worn inside leather or nylon shells are removable for faster drying. Wool gloves are needed for dexterity when cooking.

Sleeping. Be sure to change into dry clothes for sleeping — moisture retained in field clothes will cause chilling. For overnight warmth, wear wool, polypropylene or polyester (never cotton!) long johns, socks and a balaclava to bed. Place a scarf across your neck to seal drafts.

Sleeping bags. Two sleeping bags — one placed inside the other — should provide enough warmth down to about zero degrees. If you don’t have a closed-cell foam pad to use as a sleeping mat, try half-inch-thick foam carpet padding.

Ground cloth. In warmer months, a plastic ground cloth should be used inside your tent to stay dry. However, in winter, use the ground cloth beneath your tent to keep it from freezing to the ground.

Toes cold? Put on a hat. Your body loses up to half of its total heat in 40-degree temperatures. So, when it’s below freezing and your head is uncovered, you could be radiating more than three-fourths of your overall body heat from your head.

Baggy clothes are back in style at least in the freezing-cold wilderness. Your body heats itself most efficiently when it’s enveloped in a layer of warm air. If your clothes are too tight, you’re strangling the cold right out of your body. Dressing in loose layers helps aid this convection layer of air. Tight clothes or too-tight boots can also restrict blood-flow.

The three W’s. Every cold-weather camper needs to dress for the occasion. You’ll need a wicking layer (long underwear), a “warm” layer (fleece) and a “wind” layer (waterproof shell).

Stay hydrated. In winter, you may not be aware of how much you’re sweating. A gulp of ice-cold water is hardly appetizing, but it is important to keep drinking. Hot drinks and soup are a great way to replenish liquids, electrolytes, and heat. Keep extra tea bags on hand, as well as bouillon cubes, and hand out hot drinks liberally, especially at the end of the day when energy is low.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication

Venturers who require medication should bring enough of the medication to last throughout camp. BSA National Camping Standards (HS-508) states the following rules apply to storage and administration of medication:

All prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications must be stored under lock (including those requiring refrigeration), except when in the controlled presence of medical staff or a troop’s adult leader who is responsible for administration and/or dispensing medications. Locked refrigerated storage is available in the health lodge.

An exception to the above requirements may be made for a limited amount of medication to be carried by a camper, leader, parent, or staff member for life-threatening conditions, including epinephrine injector, heart medication, and inhalers, or for a limited amount of medication approved for use in a first-aid kit. The camp medical staff shall advise as to whether a medication falls under this exception.

Special Medical Needs

If a Venturer has special needs, please let your unit leader know. Camp staff will do whatever they can to accommodate. 

Youth Leaving and Returning

We highly encourage parents to allow youth to remain on camp property the entire time camp is in session. This reduces unnecessary traffic in and out of camp and allows youth to have the complete residential camp experience with their troop.

Youth will only be allowed to check out from camp prior to final checkout by an adult authorized on Part B of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. Please ensure that parents in your troop have included all authorized adults on this form. Without this authorization on the form, only an adult from the Scout’s crew registered for camp or the parent signing the form will be allowed to remove the child from camp prior to final checkout.

No one, including a Venturing leader or parent, will be allowed to leave camp with a person under the age of 18 without having checked out at the winter camp office and receiving a ticket which will be taken by security just before you reach the exit of the camp.

During checkout the last day of camp, adult leaders will receive exit tickets for all youth in their troop from their camp commissioner once they have successfully checked out.

Lost and Found

If any lost items are found, they should be turned in at the winter camp office as soon as is reasonably possible. Likewise, if anyone from your troop has lost an item while at winter damp, check with the winter camp office to determine if it has been returned there.

Lost items will be kept in the winter camp office through the end of winter camp. After winter camp, the camp director will dispose of the items left at camp (e.g., donated to a non-profit organization, returned to the council office, thrown in the trash). The council, nor its staff, shall be held responsible for any lost items.

Do not bring valuables to camp. To assist in returning items to their rightful owner, please ensure that all items brought to camp has the owner’s name and troop number marked on them.

Additional Contacts

Alyssa Hightower
Kodiak Challenge Registration

Russell Carman
Camp Director


Wayne McLeland
Adult in Camp Compliance
(713) 756-3309

Nathan Doherty
Winter Camp Professional Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3308