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Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.

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  • April 02, 2009 6:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The following is an update we received in early March but forgot to post (sorry!) from Vern Miller the Okpik Chief Interpreter a Northern Tier:

    Okpik Staff 2008-09Greetings from Okpik!

    Things have been going well this winter. The cold weather in November and December allowed for the lakes to freeze before any heavy snows came, which set us up for ideal conditions to go winter camping. Staff training began mid-December and the first crews arrived for the Holiday Stay program on December 27th. The trips were successful and were a good start to the season. We have a great staff on board who have been working hard and making several improvements around base.

    We have endured a very cold and snowy season, but we are nearing the end. There are only two more weekends of program left for Okpik this year.

    (Photo Description:  Okpik Staff 2008-09 season, click for larger photo.)

    The Okpik staff at Northern Tier also created their own snow sculpture at this year's Ely Winter Festival:


  • March 05, 2009 6:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Trading PostNorthern Tier National High Adventure has launched a new online store similar to Philmont's "Tooth of Times Traders".  Called the "Northern Tier Trading Post" the online store provides the opportunity to purchase most items available at the actual store located at the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base.  Previously it was only possible to purchase items in-person or by mail order.  Items available for purchase include patches, jungle boots, maps, paddles, and clothing.

    Visit the Northern Tier Trading Post by going to
  • February 28, 2009 5:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    video.jpgLooking back you can see what has and has not changed at Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base and the Northern Tier program over the years.  Many of the buildings have been replaced and new bases have opened but the program to this day fundamentally remains the same. One of the best ways to see this is by viewing the old material about the program. 

    Last year Chuck Rose (staff 1980-85, 87-89) sent in a few films used to promote the program.  The films include "A Canoe Expedition" (1950) and "By Pack and Paddle" (1981) with manuscript written by Base friend Bob Cary who has since passed away.

    Be sure to view the films on our Web site.  It's the far northland that's a callin' me away...

  • February 26, 2009 7:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    find_us_on_facebook_badge.gifThe Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association now has a page on Facebook. You can become a "fan" to spread the word about the association.  Be sure to upload a few old photos or post on the wall too!

  • February 21, 2009 6:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the current economic recession expected to last through 2009, by mid-summer you will require relief from the economic gloom. This is where your Sommers Alumni Association provides the relief you need: The 2009 SAA/PSA Philmont Trek. What better antidote to recession blues!

    Your SAA Trek is scheduled from July 26 – August 1. SAA Trekkers are encouraged to arrive at Philmont or other high altitude location by Saturday, July 25, to adjust to the altitude. The Trek will be preceded by the Philmont Staff Association Annual Reunion and Meeting July 24-26, which you are welcome to attend.

    Trekkers will gather at the Philmont Welcome Center on the morning of Sunday, July 26, hit the trail on Monday, and come off the trail Saturday, August 1. You will earn the Philmont Arrowhead Patch.

    You and your Trek-eligible family members will be required to present a completed Philmont Medical Form prior to hitting the trail. (This is a little different from the Northern Tier form.) Your Trek-eligible family members must be 14 years of age by January 1, 2009. You must be an SAA member and all participants must be registered with the BSA.

    The cost of the Trek is $375. There is no additional cost for the Reunion.

    For further information, contact Lee Huckstep at or Butch Diesslin at

    Start your planning now. Get the boss to approve the time off. When late July comes around, put on your Microsoft Outlook “Out of Office Assistant” with the following message: I'm Trekking with the SAA at Philmont Scout Ranch where you can’t bother me!

  • February 21, 2009 6:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We thought you would like to know the world's largest paddling expo "Canoecopia" is coming up.  This year it will occur March 13-15th at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin.  

    It's soon approaching and many of your fellow alumni and friends will be there.  The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association's very own "Charlie Guide" Chuck Rose will be presenting this year! Find out more about his presentation at

    Be sure to stop by the Northern Tier National High Adventure booth to say "Hol-Ry!".  Let Scout leaders know of this great opportunity to learn about the program.

    Admission tickets are for sale at the door ($10/day or $15 for a weekend pass). 17 and under are free.  Web site:

    Want to find out who is planning on attending and more about a possible dinner gathering on Saturday night?  Register with us and we will send out a roster the Thursday before the event.  Let us know you are coming at

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