Climbing complex example; Base Camp (MN)


Imagine an environmentally-controlled space large enough to hold conferences with vertical surfaces capable of supporting climbing and COPE.

Nothern Star Council of Minnesota converted an historic building, Cavalry Drill Hall (

Features include:

  • Suitable for rock climbing and team building activities for 8 - 40 participants at a time.
  • 28’ walls molded from the bluffs at Taylor’s Falls (thus, a simulation of the natural rock used in their climbing program).
  • Ampetheater has seating for 180. With folding chairs on the upper level, can accomodate over 200.
  • At opposite end from the rock wall, in the ceiling, are high-ropes challenge elements. On the floor, an archery range can be configured with firing lines shooting toward the end, with heavy drapery material protecting the sides.

[Clicking on hyperlinked images will take you to the full sized versions.]

Simulated rock:

Challenge course work (e.g., C.O.P.E.)

Outdoor program:


Started as a training facility for Army cavalry:

This photo was from, posted on 2008-09-25:

Here is some big news for the Scouts in and around the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The Northern Star Council has plans to open an “urban base camp” near Fort Snelling. Here is a portion of the article found in the Star Tribune:
The regional Boy Scout council’s plan to create an “urban base camp” at Fort Snelling promises to bring life to an empty century-old building that has cost taxpayers at least $3 million. The current owner of Fort Snelling’s old Drill Hall, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, acquired it in 2000, but its plans for a skateboard park and other uses never materialized, and the cavalry building has sat vacant and unused.
Now the Boy Scouts of America Northern Star Council hopes to close on the building in November [2008] and to open its $7.25 million complex in October 2010, the centennial of the chapter’s founding.
The urban location of the “Northern Star Base Camp” is unprecedented nationally. The council aims to reach out to city kids who haven’t grown up going to the woods, said John Andrews, the council’s scout executive. What’s more, Scouts could take the Hiawatha light-rail line there.

Keys to project success; vision based on values (Scouting supports the community):