Local Scout goes on the adventures of a lifetime

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 8, 2020

 Charles Logan III, of Grosse Pointe Farms, a member of Boy Scout Troop 96, explored natural sites on land and water while he completed all three Boy Scout High Adventures — a rare feat for any Scout.

Charles Logan III, of Grosse Pointe Farms, a member of Boy Scout Troop 96, explored natural sites on land and water while he completed all three Boy Scout High Adventures — a rare feat for any Scout.

Photo provided by Boy Scout Troop 96

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — At only 16, Charles Logan III, of Grosse Pointe Farms, has already seen more of America’s remote and beautiful national sites than most people will experience in a lifetime.

The Grosse Pointe South High School junior and member of Boy Scout Troop 96 this summer achieved the prestigious Triple Crown status by completing all three Boy Scout High Adventures — and he is one of only a handful of Scouts from around the country to do so. Even more remarkable is the fact that Logan completed these often-grueling treks in the span of just 12 months.

In July 2019, Logan completed one of the adventures when he spent several weeks hiking in the mountains at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, traveling roughly 80 miles in scorching desert heat while carrying a 50-pound backpack full of supplies.

Circa September 2019, Logan went on a canoeing adventure in northern Minnesota, covering 75 miles in five days and engaging in fishing and other outdoor activities.

In July 2020, Logan completed the third High Adventure by visiting Sea Base off of the coast of Key West, Florida, where he encountered baby sea turtles and spent a couple of weeks coral reef sailing, snorkeling and handling a boat with his fellow Scouts.

“High Adventure is kind of like going on an extreme camping trip,” explained Adam Prokop, of Grosse Pointe Shores, scoutmaster of Troop 96 and Sunrise District chair.

Although a number of other local Scouts have gone on at least one of the High Adventures, tackling all three is unusual.

“It’s a unique accomplishment to do it,” Prokop said of Logan earning Triple Crown status. “I’ve never known a Scout to do it. … It requires a lot of commitment. It requires a kid who’s tough mentally and physically.”

The Scouts have to cook their own food, set up camp and work as a unit on each adventure. The trips are rustic but not cheap, so Logan acknowledged he was “blessed to have parents to sign me up and support me for all three.”

While the northern Minnesota adventure included canoeing five to six hours a day, Logan said Philmont was the most physically demanding, with Scouts rising at 5 a.m. so they could hike before the peak afternoon heat and set up camp for the night.

“We’d be in bed by 9 o’clock, which is not normal for teenage boys,” Logan said.

In the Northern Tier in Minnesota, Logan said, the waterways weave through steep rock bases.

“One night, we dragged out our sleeping mats onto one of those bases and gazed up at the stars,” he said, recalling a sky far darker and starlit than any he’d ever seen in the light-polluted suburbs.

“It’s a good escape,” Logan continued. “People don’t realize how much they miss nature-wise in Grosse Pointe.”

Logan said his generation has never known a time before smartphones and social media. While on the adventures, the Scouts were in areas without cell service or internet connectivity most of the time — not that they would have had time to be streaming, scrolling or texting anyway.

“It’s nice to take a break from it all — get your eyes off the screen for a while,” Logan said. “We’re doing online school, and I get bored staring at a screen all the time.”

Because of COVID-19, Prokop said, the Scouts and Scout leaders were tested before the Key West adventure and wore masks and socially distanced whenever they weren’t on the boat. The boat itself only had nine Scouts, he said. While some of the Florida participants had never sailed before, Logan had already had experience on the water.

For Philmont, Logan said, he and fellow Scouts from the Pointes prepared by hiking along Lake Shore Road with weighted packs.

Logan said the Scouts that he shared High Adventures with are now his “best friends,” and they’ve remained in touch.

“They’re people I trust, people I can count on,” he said. “You get to know each other really well. Any dislikes, any disagreements, they kind of fade away. We were able to work well together. Everyone had a job. Everyone is basically holding up everyone else. … We had to rely on each other.”

Teamwork was critical on each adventure.

“We live in the most modern time in human history,” Logan said. “Out there (in nature), you really feel the consequences of your actions. … The effort you put in determines your success.”

Logan has become more mature since completing these trips.

“My mom always said how much I grew with each experience,” he said. “You are forced to grow. You have to take care of yourself and take care of others.”

Prokop, whose older, college-student son did the Philmont adventure, agreed.

“It teaches them how to be self-reliant, and it teaches them consequences,” Prokop said. “I’ve seen young men mature incredibly. It’s really rewarding as a leader to see that advancement.”

Logan’s favorite memories include seeing two baby sea turtles in Florida — “I really love turtles,” he said — and climbing New Mexico’s Tooth of Time to see the sunrise on his last day of that adventure.

Although Logan had gone camping before with the Boy Scouts, these adventures instilled in him a passion for nature he didn’t know he had. He encourages other young men to give Scouting and High Adventures a try. Prokop said Scouts need to be at least 14 to do a High Adventure because of the physical challenges.

“If you are thinking about it at all, take the chance,” Logan said. “If you had asked me five or six years ago if I would have enjoyed something like this, I would have said no. … I found that I really love camping.”

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