Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.

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  • March 03, 2017 8:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Canoecopia is the world's largest paddle sports exposition, and the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. (SAA) will once again be staffing the Northern Tier booth! 

    Please consider helping us out by volunteering to work for a few hours during the weekend event March 10-12, 2017 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison Wisconsin. Volunteers must be members of the alumni association. 

    There will also be a dinner on Saturday, March 11th in Madison, Wisconsin for alumni of Northern Tier. Local alumni of Philmont Scout Ranch and Florida Sea Base are also welcome. 


    Exposition hours are: 4-9 pm on Friday, March 10th, 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday, March 11, and 10 am to 5 pm March 12th. We'll schedule at least two volunteers at the booth at all times. Volunteers will be provided “talking points” for prospective participants. 

    You'll also have plenty of opportunity to attend numerous educational seminars as well as see the latest canoeing and camping gear from over 200 vendors.

  • December 29, 2016 1:18 PM | Chuck Rose

    Congratulations to Blake Edwards, Cory Kolodji, Eric Peterson, and Don Richard on their election to the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association Board of Directors. 

  • July 27, 2016 10:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Register now! Registration closes after Monday, August 1st for both the Reunion Rendezvous and Banquet.  Due to catering requirements, only a limited number of walk-in seats will be available. 

    We’re excited to see you “Up North” again at the Chalres L. Sommers Alumni Association’s Reunion “Rendezvous” this August at Northern Tier’s Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base!

    This year brings new and exciting changes for the Rendezvous and Charles L. Sommers! The Biennial Banquet is being moved to Amici's Event Center and will feature food from Ely’s Insula Restaurant.

    Further, you’ll want to come back to The Lodge as it reaches its final capstone. After many years of members volunteering their time to renovate the building, the hope is the installation of comprehensive interpretive exhibits will be complete by the reunion.

    Register online at The deadline to register is Monday, August 1st.


  • April 25, 2016 7:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 26th through June 7th, this is your chance for some sweat equity and camaraderie with your fellow alumni members and current staff, and also benefit Northern Tier programs and facilities. We can use help for a day or a week, so come as early and stay as late as you can! Meals and accommodations on the base will be provided at no cost. The work will involve a variety of projects on the Base, including some work on the Welcome Cabin and bunkhouses.

    Learn more and register at

  • December 15, 2015 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The names of the SAA’s Seasonal Staff Scholarship Program recipients for 2015 were announced by Owen Gibbs. Requirements for the scholarships: complete two years on staff having fulfilled their terms of employment, enrolled as a student in good academic standing at an accredited post-secondary institution, and receive the recommendations of management at Northern Tier.

    The scholarship recipients are: Brenden Carr (Butch Diesslin), Travis Gibson (Friends of Tinnerman / Tinnerman Guide Association), Raymond Hill, Erik Keeler, Christopher Kolischak, Christopher Martin, John McKinney, Mathew Meyer (Christopher D. Breen Memorial), Jeremy Neufield, Derek Richard, Isaak Ridge (Clifford J. Hanson Memorial), Katherine Rose (Erickson Memorial), Daniel Smith (Terry J. Wall Charles Sommers), and Tressa Theis (David Hyink).

    Congratulations to all recipients and we look forward to your return to Northern Tier as staff and as alumni members of the association!

  • December 15, 2015 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Check out the entries for this year's SAA staff photo contest on Facebook.

    These outstanding photographs consist of fifty-four photographs submitted by nineteen 2015 Northern Tier High Adventure staff.

    • “Mesaba lake” by Robert Dunne (Award of Excellence)
    • “Reflection” by Charles Yates (Award of Merit)
    • “Conquering Heartbreak” by John Young (Award of Merit)

    Judging was done by Steve Niedorf, professional photographer. Steve gave an insight into how photographs are judged in the Winter 2013/2014 issue of Reflections that can be found at

    Thanks to all who took time to submit their photos for this year’s contest.

  • March 30, 2015 10:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Work Week: May 28 – June 5
    • Contact Dick Shank in advance to arrange to participate in Work Week.
    • Register your interest at
    • Be a member in good standing of the SAA. Join online at (if you need help, contact
    • Early sign-up is strongly encouraged to assist Northern Tier and your fellow alumni with planning.
    May 28 through June 5th, this is your chance for some sweat equity and camaraderie with your fellow alumni members and current staff, and also benefit Northern Tier programs and facilities. We can use help for a day or a week, so come as early and stay as late as you can! Meals and accommodations on the base will be provided at no cost. The work will involve a variety of projects on the Base, including some work on the Welcome Cabin and bunkhouses.

    You will have the added opportunity to participate in training week activities and Seminar Day on June 4. Seminar Day is sponsored and staffed by fellow alumni to provide additional education for trail staff in outdoor and guiding skills. If you have an area of expertise you are willing to share, please contact us. A volunteer alumni dinner is planned for June 3.

    You also have the option of heading out on the trail after a few days work (advance arrangements with Northern Tier are required if using base equipment or leaving from the NT landing).

    Register your interest at

    We hope to hear from you! For more information and to arrange to participate contact Dick Shank at, 651.698.5375 (home) or 612.859.7268 (cell).
  • March 30, 2015 10:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    We’ve all heard about Scouting’s newest High Adventure facility, the Summit Bechtel Reserve located near Beckley, WV, but most of us don’t know much about it. That’s going to change.

    The Philmont Staff Association and Summit management are pleased to invite SAA members and their guests to the PSA Weekend at the Summit June 19 and 20, 2015. For those of you with children aged 11 years (for Summit activities) and 12 (for whitewater rafting) and up, this will be the most action-packed family weekend the PSA has ever offered.

    On Friday, June 19, you’ll get your eyelids peeled back whitewater rafting on the gnarliest section of the famous New River Gorge rapids and on Saturday, June 20, you will participate in all the activities at the Summit’s Action Point and get a broad sampling of the program the Summit offers. When you leave, you’ll have a good idea of what the Summit is all about.

    The cut-off date for purchasing rafting and meals is June 13. For more information (including lodging) and to register on-line visit

    The Summit is located near Beckley, WV, (limited air service) and 1.5 hours from Charleston, WV (good air service). There are plenty of nearby sites and activities which allow your visit to West Virginia to become a fullblown family vacation. 

  • March 30, 2015 10:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read the Winter/Spring 2015 edition of the Reflections Newsletter online.



  • July 12, 2014 8:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A ten-year project of the Charles Sommers Alumni Association has reached another milestone with the delivery of an advanced schematic design proposal from a world-class museum outfitter.

    As many of you know, the SAA has undertaken an ambitious effort to restore the Lodge Building to preserve its place at Northern Tier and enhance its role in program at the base. Mike Holdgrafer, Northern Tier Committee member and past president of the SAA had the initial vision and sustained energy to tackle this project, and the exceptional generosity of Jim Sowell has enabled this project to develop beyond initial expectations.

    Countless SAA members have contributed “sweat equity” to this project over the past decade. The results so far include complete exterior restoration, including log replacement, caulking, sealing, and finishing, total interior cleaning and varnishing of logs, ceilings, rafters and windows, fireplace renovation, and library floor replacement.

    Split Rock Studios ( was engaged last year to help us with the museum/interpretive center logistics for the Lodge building. We were led to them by their work at Chik Wauk Lodge Museum on the Gunflint Trail, and also their work at numerous national and state parks. For more information, and to add ideas, please contact Dick Shank.
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