Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.

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  • August 15, 2022 5:31 PM | Eric Peterson (Administrator)

    The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.'s Nominating Committee appointed by the Board of Directors has nominated the following individuals to be included on the ballot for election to the Board of Directors for a three-year term (2023 through 2025):

    Cortney Grosz Has been an active member of the Board of Directors since 2019 and leads the SAA staff support activities.  Courtney was an Interpreter in 1999 and 2000. He joined the SAA as a life member in 2008 and has been an advocate for Northern Tier programming. Courtney is a Pharmacist at Northwest Texas Healthcare System and lives in Amarillo, Texas.

    John McKinney Was an Interpreter in Ely 2012 & 2013, Bisset 2014, and Training Coordinator in 2015 & 2016. John became a life member in 2019 and has returned in 2021 & 2022 as an alumni Interpreter during peak season. John owns an HR consulting and staffing company, works as the head of HR for Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, and is an Adjunct Professor for HR at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

    Joe Mingrone Has been an active member of the Board of Directors since 2019.  Joe was an Interpreter in 2010 and 2012. He became a life member in 2012 and has returned as an alumni volunteer.  Joe works in Sales and Marketing and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

    Eric Peterson Has been an active member of the Board of Directors since 2013, currently serving as President and chairing the High Adventure Awards committee.  Eric was an Interpreter in 1985, joined the SAA in 1996, became a life member in 2010 and has returned multiple times as an alumni Interpreter and volunteer. Eric is a Professional Engineer and Senior Director of Quality at ICU Medical and lives in Circle Pines, Minnesota.

    Membership may nominate Active Members to include on the ballot for the election to the Board of Directors. Send the nominee name along with a biographical resume and 10 supporting signatures from Active Members by September 15th, 2022 to the President using the Contact Us form (the deadline has passed) on the website .

    Additional Nominations. After publication to the active membership of the Nominating Committee’s recommendations, the membership may have thirty days to submit additional nominations for inclusion on the ballot provided that these nominations are: (1) made in writing, (2) accompanied by a biographical resume, and (3) are supported by signatures of at least 10 active members of the Association. The thirty days to submit additional nominations must conclude by September 15. Additional nominations must be received by the President. Any additional nominee meeting the requirements of this section will be included on the ballot with those nominated by the Nominating Committee.

  • June 12, 2022 10:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This summer is the 100th season of the Northern Tier, and next summer is a celebration of the 100th anniversary. It also marks One Century of the Boy Scouts of America's National High Adventure programs!

    A new book about Northern Tier is coming out! Since the program started in the 1920s, much has changed, and you have been part of its story. Because of this, we want your book title ideas!

    Submit your ideas at https://bit.ly/3GwXmeQ


    (Photo: Canoe Base published in 1967; A Diamond in the North published in 1998)


  • February 21, 2022 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After three years, Canoecopia, the world’s largest paddlesports exposition, is back! It’s three days of presentations by paddle sports experts, adventurers, and entertainers and great prices on gear for your next outdoor adventure. Once again, the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. will be staffing a booth for Northern Tier, and we need your help.

    We’ll have a booth in the exhibitor area with brochures, videos, displays, and lots of giveaways for kids and adults. The booth is a great meeting place for you and other alumni. We’ll also have talking points to share with prospective participants and seasonal staff.

    Location: Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, Madison, WI

    Dates: Friday, March 11 – Sunday, March 13

    Hours: 3-8 pm Friday; 9am-6pm Saturday; 10 am-5pm Sunday

    Cost: $15 per day or $30 for the weekend. Discounted weekend tickets are available online for $26 until March 5th. Parking is $8 per day. The SAA may have a limited number of passes for the day you volunteer.

    Event website: Canoecopia 2022

    Where to stay: The closest popular hotels are Sheraton Madison, Hyatt Place, and Clarion Suites (connected to the convention center). There are many hotels conveniently located nearby in the downtown area. Less expensive options are available in Fitchburg and Middleton (about a 15 minutes drive).

    What we need: Members to volunteer for a two-hours at the booth. As much as possible, we’ll try to have two people staffing the booth together (contingent on enough volunteers, of course.) When registering, you can let us know your preferences.

    Who: Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. (SAA) members (when registering, use the email address associated with your membership or log in). Become a member on our website prior to registering.

    Register to volunteer here

    Contact us with your questions. Dick Shank is the volunteer coordinator.


  • January 15, 2022 4:12 PM | Eric Peterson (Administrator)

    Evan Hardy, Dan “Vern” Miller, Tressa Theis and Ted Weiland have been elected to the Board of Directors by the active membership of the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. Their term will be for three years and commenced on January 1, 2022. Congratulations to Evan, Vern, Tressa and Ted!

  • August 16, 2021 11:54 AM | Eric Peterson (Administrator)

    The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.'s Nomination Committee appointed by the Board of Directors has nominated the following individuals to be included on the ballot for election to the Board of Directors for a three-year term (2022 to 2024):

    Evan Hardy - A lifelong scouter and passionate about supporting the Northern Tier Scouting Experience.  He has worked at all three Northern Tier bases over 5 seasons, primarily as an Interpreter, while also holding the role of Atikokan Bay Post Director.  Evan currently lives in the Twin Cities with his wife Nora, who is also a former Northern Tier Interpreter of 5 seasons, and their daughter Michaela.

    Dan “Vern” Miller - Worked at Northern Tier for 6 summer seasons on the OA Voyage program as a foreman and director and 4 Okpik seasons as an interpreter, musher, and director.  He resides in northwest Arkansas with his wife Angela (Northern Tier alumni 2007-2010) and their 3 children.  Vern currently serves as a Director and Vice-President of the Alumni Association.

    Tressa Theis - Worked the summers of 2013 thru 2018 at the Ely base in the roles of trading post staff and Director of First Impressions.  Tressa is a lifelong Girl Scout, and earned her Gold Award in 2011.  She holds a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin River Falls and currently works as a speech-language pathologist in Eagan, MN.  Tressa currently resides in Inver Grove Heights, MN and enjoys spending time outdoors, taking personal canoe trips in the BWCA, and sharing the beauty of nature with all people.

    Ted Weiland - Involved in scouting for 30 plus years, he served on Northern Tier staff for 3 summers and 2 winters.  Ted's current scouting positions include serving on the national subcommittee for the Distinguished Conservation Service Award, Logistics lead adviser for Central Region OA events, OA National Key Volunteer, and the Assistant District Commissioner.

    Membership may nominate Active Members to include on the ballot for the election to the Board of Directors.  Send the nominee name along with a biographical resume and 10 supporting signatures from Active Members by September 15th, 2021 to the President using the Contact Us form on the website.

    Additional Nominations.  After publication to the active membership of the Nominating Committee’s recommendations, the membership may have thirty days to submit additional nominations for inclusion on the ballot provided that these nominations are:  (1) made in writing, (2) accompanied by a biographical resume, and (3) are supported by signatures of at least 10 active members of the Association.  The thirty days to submit additional nominations must conclude by September 15.  Additional nominations must be received by the President.  Any additional nominee meeting the requirements of this section will be included on the ballot with those nominated by the Nominating Committee.


  • July 31, 2021 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    A friendly reminder that registration for the reunion and picnic, and banquet closes this Sunday!


    This year we will be honored to host Dave Kenney as our keynote speaker at the Saturday night banquet. Dave is a noted author writing the forthcoming history book chronicling one century of the Northern Tier program!

    We are humbled to announce Owen GibbsKarl HuemillerJoe Mattson, and Craig Reichow will receive the George D. Hedrick Volunteer Service Award. 

    Be prepared, as we will not be offering walk-in registration for the reunion and picnic, or banquet. The last day to register is this Sunday, August 1st.

    Register today at https://www.holry.org/event-3755842

    See you at the next reunion in August 2023!

  • July 13, 2021 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you have not already signed up for the Reunion, it is not too late!

    This year we will be honored to host Dave Kenney as our keynote speaker at the Saturday night banquet. Dave is a noted author writing the forthcoming history book chronicling one century of the Northern Tier program!

    Dave recently authored “By The Shores of Many Point,” a book celebrating the 75th anniversary of Many Point Scout Reservation. He is a two-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award who has helped businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions tell their stories.

    He will be an excellent highlight to our banquet program. As he researches the history for his next great book, he also wants to talk to you about your time “Up North.”


    Register for the reunion!



    (In the image above, our president Eric Peterson discusses the history of Northern Tier with Dave Kenney in our recent video.)


    See you at the next reunion in August 2023!
  • June 20, 2021 2:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is getting warmer with summer approaching. It is time to start thinking about joining us this summer for our biennial reunion!

    This year we will host the reunion at Northern Tier’s Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base from August 20th to 22nd.

    Be sure to claim your spot soon! Registration closes August 1st, or once full. There will be no walk-in registration.

    Learn more and register!

    Not a member? You'll need to join the association as a member before registering. 

  • March 19, 2021 2:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We must sadly report Owen Gibbs peacefully passed away in his sleep this Saturday at his hunting cabin. His obituary may be read here. 

    Owen was fondly known by generations of seasonal staff, having served on staff from 1967 to 1970 and 2009 to 2012. As a life member of the association, he also served on the board of directors.

    The service will be held on Tuesday, March 23rd at 2:00pm (central). Due to COVID, it will be a private service for immediate family only. The service will be streamed live. You may join the livestream on Tuesday at https://vimeo.com/526174842

    Cards to the family may be sent to Owen's daughter Erin Rydberg at 2421 Micarta Drive, Plano, TX 75025.

  • December 28, 2020 3:01 PM | Eric Peterson (Administrator)

    Brian Lux, Adam Long, Don Lee and Mike Joint have been elected to the Board of Directors by the active membership of the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.  Their term will be for three years and will commence on January 1, 2021.   Congratulations to Brian, Adam, Don and Mike!


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