High Adventure


Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan High Adventure Base has been offering Northwoods adventures since 1976.  Whether you are interested in taking in the vistas on foot at one of our four backpacking destinations, paddling through the cool water on our kayaking or canoe treks, or relaxing on sailboats in Lake Superior, there is sure to be a trek for you!  We are excited to announce new treks each summer. If you don’t see a trek that you like, contact the camp staff about a custom itinerary.

We offer both in-camp day trips (that are designed to compliment your stay at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan) or adventures outside of the regular camp program. We are proud to be a Nationally Accredited High Adventure Base.


The 2019_MSR_High_Adventure_Quick_Information_Guide (updated fees) contains information about all 9 Unit Treks and all 6 Provisional and Invididual Specialty Treks in one document.  Contains age requirements for all high adventure treks being offered.


Sign up for all of these opportunities at Welcome Center when your troop is at camp.

  • Whitewater Rafting – Spend the day rafting down the wild Wolf River!

  • Horse Ranch – One of the only camp-run Ranches in the Midwest.

  • Climbing Wall – Climb Mt. Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan! New climbing tower built this year!

  • Zip Line – Zoom through the trees on our twin-line 550-foot zip!

  • Cycling Base – Ride the trails and learn the basics of mountain biking!

Mountain bikes have arrived! Our brand new mountain biking program is opening this summer.  Cycling merit badge is offered during A block and C block.  Trail rides are available during B block and D block.

For in-camp high-adventures, your Troop or Crew pays at the Welcome Center prior to the date of your outing.



Unit High Adventure Treks

We are offering 9 High Adventure Unit Treks for your troop or venturing crew to choose from! See the trek request form for details and requirements.

Step 1:  Complete and return the  2019_MSR-Unit_High_Adventure_Request_Form (updated fees) to the council office with the $50 fee.

Step 2: Once we receive your completed form, we will email you registration information which will include the pass code for your specific trek.  Registration opens January 2, 2019.

Registration and Payment Deadlines

  • May 1:  The deposit only option ends. Starting May 2, you will be charged the full amount for new registrants.

  • June 10:  Registration closes for all treks.  All balances must also be paid by this date.

Click the links below for more details.  NOTE:  Due to increased program costs, all trek fees have also increased slightly.


The Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Provisional and Individual Specialty Treks is an exciting program for individual scouts or venturers interested in participating with our adult leadership and guides.  They are 7-day programs that begin and end at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation. They will leave participants with a sense of accomplishment as they learn and put backcountry and scouting skills to the test. This is sure to be a unique and fun adventure.

Step 1: Complete and return the 2019_MSR-Provisional_Individual_Trek_Application (updated fees) to the council address.  It must be completed by a parent or legal guardian and signed by them, as well as by the Youth and his Unit Leader.  See the form for important requirements.

Step 2:  Once we receive your completed form, we will email you registration information. Opens December 1, 2018.

REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT DEADLINES:  Deposit only deadline ends on May 1. Starting May 2, the full amount will be due and must be paid online starting May 16 (mail-in payment option ends May 15).  Registration Closes June 10 for all treks.

We are offering 3 Provisional and 3 Individual Specialty Treks for Troop and Venturing Crew Youth to choose from! See the application for details and requirements.

Provisional Treks in 2019

Individual Specialty Treks in 2019



  • April 1, 2019 – This should be the last day we receive the Unit High Adventure Request Form OR 2019 Provisional and Individual Trek Application, so you have time to register, pay, and prepare. Be ready to register each participant and pay their deposit as soon as your trek is approved, and you are provided with the registration information and pass code.

  • May 1, 2019 – Online registrations must be completed with at least the deposits paid and applied online (11:59 PM deadline for payments made online; 4:00 PM for payments made/mailed to the council office).

  • May 15, 2019 – Mail-in Payment Option ends.  All registrants added after this date must be paid in full online.

  • June 10, 2019 – Online registrations close completely for all high adventure treks.  Final payments are due online or at the council office.

Remember, some treks might fill up much sooner than May 1 so the earlier your unit (or youth_ registers, the better.  We want you to be able to take your “first choice trek” during your “first choice dates” as much as you do!


  • The treks offered away from camp are listed above.

  • Adults receive the exact same programs, supplies, etc., so they pay the same fees.

  • Deposits are non-refundable.

  • Part or all of the remaining payments may be forfeited, depending upon the circumstances and date of the cancellation, but no refunds will be givent if registration is cancelled less than 30 days before the trek (except for verifiable medical emergencies).

  • Licenses and permits for the trek are covered

  • Gear shakedown at camp

  • Camping space in Wabaningo before and after the trek

  • Food before and after the trek

  • Food, equipment, supplies during the trek

  • Camping fees, vehicle passes, ferry passage (as needed) for the trek

  • Transportation for the trek

Trek Details:  Go to each trek’s page for more details, including requirements for that particular trek.

Scoutmasters and Crew Advisers:  Contact our council office if your troop or crew is interested in a High Adventure Trek. Include both Quinn and Debi in your email.

  • If, you still have questions after reading the trek details on our website, email someone listed below


One of our High Adventure Staff will respond to your questions depending on the type of trek information requested.

Mail all correspondence and fees to:
Northeast Illinois Council BSA, High Adventure, 850 Forest Edge Drive, Vernon Hills, IL  60061

High Adventure Director
John Lillstrom
Email: HighAdventure@MaKaJaWan.com

Council Program Director (program and policy questions)
Quinn Ryan
Email:  Quinn.Ryan@scouting.org; Phone: 847-748-9154

Council Program Assistant (registration and payment questions)
Debi Geiger
Email:  Debi.Geiger@scouting.org; Phone:  847-748-9161


Running our high-quality High Adventure program requires a constant supply of new supplies and equipment. Check out our needs listand to see how you can help.  If you are interested in volunteer opportunities with any of the High Adventure programs, please email Quinn Ryan.