Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.

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  • July 25, 2011 8:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    On Saturday, August 27, 2011, the new Program Center will be formally dedicated in memory of Clyde S. "Sandy" Bridges, visionary General Manager and Base Director. 

    You are invited, as a member, friend, and supporter of the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. and Northern Tier High Adventure Program, BSA, to gather at Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base on the shores of Moose Lake, and join Cherie Sawinski and members of Sandy's family, together with dignitaries and guests from the Boy Scouts of America and the Ely community to dedicate the Sandy Bridges Program Center.

    The dedication will commence at 10:00 a.m.  There will be a brief reception, program and dedication ceremony, followed by tours that will wrap up the festivities at 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be served, so please R.S.V.P. by Friday, August 19thTo R.S.V.P., please contact Karen Berg.
  • July 25, 2011 6:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Exchange Program Goes International


    The Exchange Program of the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Philmont Staff Association, and the Sea Base Friends and Alumni Association is pleased to announce the first-ever Exchange Program event to take place outside the United States.

    The 2012 Alumni Wilderness Voyage – August 22 to September 1 -- is an exciting 9 day, 8 nights-on-the water paddling adventure where you will be able to experience the extremely remote interior of the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. This is a place where few others travel.  

    Voyageurs will begin their voyage near Atikokan, Ontario where the Northern Tier’s Donald Rogert Canoe Base is located, and will paddle in Canadian waters until the end of the trip when they cross the international boundary and finish the trip at the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base near Ely, Minnesota.  The voyage offers various routes ranging from easy to strenuous with lengths between 80 to 95 miles.  Voyageurs that complete the trip will be awarded a participant’s patch from both the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base and the Donald Rogert Canoe Base – what could be a better deal?
    Voyageurs will arrive Wednesday evening, August 22 (5 p.m.) at the Northern Tier’s Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base for dinner.  After dinner voyageurs will begin outfitting and route planning and will spend the night at the base.  The next day at 6:30 a.m. voyageurs will depart by shuttle to the Donald Rogert Canoe Base in Atikokan.  Participants will enjoy a brief tour and lunch at the base. 

    The voyageurs will then proceed to Nym Lake to begin their voyage. The voyageurs will spend the next 9 days and 8 nights (Thursday to the following Friday) exploring the wilderness and solitude of the Quetico – a place where wolves, bears, moose and bald eagles abound. (The fishing is rumored to be good, too.) On Friday, August 31 the voyageurs will arrive back at the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base.  Upon arrival, the voyageurs will be greeted by the beginning festivities of the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association’s “Rendezvous” reunion.  After breakfast on Saturday voyageurs have the option to stay for the Rendezvous weekend or head home.

    Voyageurs will be responsible for:

    • Participation fee.  Includes Northern Tier program and Quetico Provincial Park camping fees.
    • Passport Book or Card.  It is very important you apply well in advance.
    • Personal gear.  After you register a packing list will be provided.  Northern Tier provides most items including tents and stoves.
    • Crew gear.  Individuals will be asked to contribute a few items the crew must provide (first aid kit, etc).
    • Transportation to and from Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base (Ely, Minnesota).  As it takes about 5-6 hours to drive from the Minneapolis airport to the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base, voyageurs should plan flights which land no later than 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 22. It is even suggested that voyageurs travel to Minneapolis on Tuesday night. On-time arrival by 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Charles L. Sommers Base is very important. Car pooling will be organized to assist voyageurs in getting from Minneapolis to the base.  Hotels are available near the airport and downtown, which is easily accessible by light rail.

    Timeline:

    • Wednesday, August 22 – Arrive at Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base (Ely, Minnesota) by 5 p.m.  Dinner, outfitting, sauna and a good night’s sleep.
    • Thursday, August 23 – Depart by shuttle at 6:30 a.m. to Atikokan, Ontario.  Tour Donald Rogert Canoe Base, eat lunch, check-in, and begin voyage on Nym Lake.
    • Thursday to following Friday – Paddle the Quetico Provincial Park.
    • Friday, August 31 – Arrive back at Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base on Moose Lake. Another sauna.
    • Saturday, September 1 – Breakfast.  Stay for the weekend reunion or head home.

    Costs:


    As this voyage is longer than previous voyages – and in the Quetico – the cost is higher than past voyages.  The adult participant fee includes $139 in Canadian fees; the youth fee includes $75 in Canadian fees. 

    The total fees are $750 per person for adults, $686 for youth under 18 for the full duration of the trip. The deposit fee to reserve your spot is $250 with the full amount due by the registration deadline of July 1, 2012.  We'll accept registrations after July 1st if there is space available.
         
    The fee includes the shuttle to Atikokan, trail food, canoes, paddles, most crew gear and a Northern Tier Interpreter.

    Eligibility:

    • Primary participant must be a member in good standing of the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association at the time of registration and participation.
    • All participants must be current registered members of the Boy Scouts of America.  Contact the association if you have questions regarding this.
    • All participants upon arrival must provide a completed Northern Tier medical form that has been approved and signed by their medical provider.  Participants must be in good physical shame and  meet Northern Tier weight requirements.
    • All participants must be at least 13 years old by December 31st, 2012.
    • Have a valid Passport Book or Card and permitted to enter the country of Canada.
    • Before arriving pass a “BSA Swim Test” as a “Swimmer” and provide a Northern Tier swimming certification form signed by a Lifeguard or other qualified individual. Non-swimmers are not allowed.
    The swimming requirements are simple: jump feet first into water over your head, swim 75 yards in a strong manner using a forward stroke, turn over, swim 25 yards using a resting back stroke and then float motionless on your back for one minute.

    Prior canoeing experience is not required, but it is helpful. If you do not have canoeing experience, pick up and carefully read (several times) the Canoeing Merit Badge book.

    Voyage-eligible family members are your spouse, child or step child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew or in-law who meets the eligibility requirements above.

    Registration:

    Registration cut-off is July 1, 2012We'll accept registrations after July 1st if there is space available. It is very important that you apply for your passport well before the refund deadline so you know if there are any issues.  There are no refunds after the deadline even if you are not able to attain a Passport or are denied entry into Canada.

    Questions about the Voyage?

    Contact the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association.

    Triple Crown of High Adventure Award:

    Upon completion of your voyage, you will be one step closer towards the Triple Crown Award, the award given to those who have earned participant’s awards at all three of the BSA High Adventure Bases: Northern Tier, Philmont, and Sea Base.

    Cancellation:

    • Cancellations prior to the registration deadline of July 1, 2012 will receive a full refund.
    • Cancellation after the registration deadlines will not receive a refund. Monies paid can be used for another SAA or Exchange Program event (prior to the end of 2013) or can be contributed to the General Fund.
    • In exceptional cases – which do not include lack of a passport or denied entry into Canada – Executive Committee can authorize full refunds for cancellation after the registration deadline.
  • April 29, 2011 11:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Alumni Work Week:  May 29-June 10

    This is your chance for some sweat equity and camaraderie with your fellow alumni members and current staff, and to make your mark on this priceless asset, Northern Tier. This year promises to be the largest ever, with 240 seasonal staff hired, and the new Sandy Bridges Program Center in operation!

    “Work Week” is May 29 to June 10.  We can use help for a day or a week, so come as early and stay as late as you can! Bring your skills and enthusiasm; we will provide on-the-job training.   The work will involve continued  restoration of the Lodge building. This large project is intended to preserve and enhance the Lodge as a museum and interpretive center for the base. The completion of this project is in sight!

    Meals and accommodations on the base will be provided at no cost. You will have the added bonus of participation in training week activities as your interest and time permit. On June 10, we are planning a volunteer alumni dinner.  Consider contacting your fellow alumni to participate with you and make your own reunion part of the fun.

    • Arrange your Work Week participation in advance with Dick Shank.
    • Early sign-up is strongly encouraged to help Northern Tier with planning (the base will be very busy with 240 staff!).
    • Be a member in good standing of the SAA.  Join online at www.holry.org
    As in prior years, some of our alumni have worked a few days and then headed out on the trail. The base will be glad to help outfit you if needed (advance arrangements with Northern Tier are required).

    We hope to hear from you!  For more information and to arrange to participate contact Dick Shank.
  • February 27, 2011 6:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Where
    Great Dane Pub
    2980 Cahill Main
    Fitchburg, WI

    When
    Saturday, March 12 @ 6:30pm.
    People will gather for dinner and fellowship.

    Come join members from the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association and Philmont Staff Association for an evening of sharing stories and making new friends who love High Adventure. Bring photos and other mementos. We all will initially gather at the bar, then be seated as a group. There is no advance reservation, but one of us will arrive early to arrange seating.
    We are looking forward to seeing you and your family, and sharing our love of Northern Tier and Philmont.

    This same weekend Canoecopia, a large paddler expo hosted by Rutabaga, will be held in Madison, WI on the weekend of March 11-13, 2011. This event is held at Alliant Energy Center. Industry experts, educators, suppliers, and Northern Tier High Adventure will be at Canoecopia. There will be over 20,000 attendees over the weekend. The hours of events for the weekend are: Friday – 4pm to 9:00pm, Saturday – 9:00am to 6:00pm, and Sunday – 10:00am to 5:00pm. Cost for attendance is $15.00 for the weekend. More information is available at www.canoecopia.com.

  • February 27, 2011 3:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    From the Northwoods

    Dear Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association Members:

    Northern Tier and the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (SAA) are excited to be teaming up with the Philmont Staff Association (PSA) and the Sea Base and Friends Association (SBAFA) to promote the 25th Annual PSA Trek – the Silver Trek -- at Philmont Scout Ranch August 7th through 14th, 2011.

    This high adventure experience is a true benefit to the whole family. A real challenge in today’s society is passing the beauty of the outdoors to the next generation. We all, in some way, have benefited from our experiences at one of the BSA High Adventure Bases as a youth or in our adult lives.

    As the General Manager of Northern Tier, I cherish the days the crews arrive in anticipation of an experience that they have planned for 18 months. It is even more rewarding to watch these same crew members return from a 5 – 10 day experience in the wilderness. The expressions of confidence seen on the faces of young people right off the trail who are tired, dirty and longing for a shower and sauna portray the real benefit of a Trek.

    I personally recall these same experiences as I hiked the trails of Philmont on the 2009 PSA Trek with two of my four children. It is hard to say if the Trek was more beneficial to them or to me but we still talk today about the memories we share. Better yet, the interest the other crew members, adult and youth, took ensuring everyone had a great experience is what clings to my memories to this day. Two years later, that Rick, Jeff, Steve, Lee, Doug, Sharon, Alex, Glenn and Joe still ask about my children and what they are doing is amazing.

    Take the time now to bring your family on the 25th Annual PSA Trek in 2011. Go to the Alumni Association Website for details. Time doesn’t slow down and we all have the responsibility to engage youth and adults in enjoying and protecting the great outdoors. It also counts as a trail experience for the Triple Crown Award, a real bonus!

    Kevin Dowling
    General Manager
    Northern Tier Programs

  • December 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Read Summer/Fall 2010 edition of the Reflections Newsletter online to learn all about what is going on.

    The Clifford J. Hanson Memorial Scholarship is announced.  See photos of the Rendezvous Reunion.  Did you know a Nuisance Bear was "Bagged" at the reunion?  Learn more about construction of the Sandy Bridges Program Center.  And much more!

  • December 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The SAA announces this year's recipients of the Northern Tier Seasonal Staff Scholarship Program.  The program provides qualified individuals with post-secondary assistance of a total up to $3,000. Recipients must exhibit both academic competence and exemplary ongoing service to youth.

    The 2010 Northern Tier Seasonal Staff Scholarship Program recipients are:
    • Patricia Anklan (Christopher D. Breen Memorial Scholarship)
    • Drew Augustyn
    • Leo Brett
    • John Duke
    • Andy Folson
    • Matthew Hall (Terry J. Wall Charles Sommers Scholarship)
    • Nadia Hassler (Butch Diesslin Scholarship)
    • Matthew Kaney
    • Paul Landers
    • Seth Marple
    • Corynne McCathie
    • Jacob McIntosh (Erickson Memorial Scholarship)
    • Paul Narr (Dave Hyink Scholarship)
    • Bryan Patterson (Cliff Hanson Scholarship)
    • Christopher Rollins
    • Faye Tilley
    Congratulations to this year's recipients! Learn more about the scholarship program at: http://www.holry.org/scholarships.php
  • December 11, 2010 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2011 Alumni Wilderness Trek

    The Exchange Program: Participate in the Philmont Staff Association’s 25th Annual “Silver” Trek at Philmont Scout Ranch

     

    The Philmont Staff Association’s (PSA) 25th Annual Trek – the Silver Trek on August 7-14 – is your reason to go to Philmont in 2011!


     

    As part of the Exchange Program between the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (SAA), Philmont Staff Association (PSA) and, Sea Base Alumni & Friends Association (SBAFA), members are heartily welcomed and encouraged to participate in PSA’s “Silver Trek” at Philmont Scout Ranch. You and your Trek-eligible family members will be received with warm hospitality, fully integrated into a crew, and have the time of your life.

     

    In celebration of the 25th Annual PSA Trek, you will earn a special Silver Trek award patch that will only be awarded to Trekkers.  These patches will not be available for purchase and is in addition to the Philmont Arrowhead award that you will earn. To make the Trek available to “vintage” Trekkers or others not up to a rigorous itinerary Philmont will allow Trekkers to design moderate itineraries which do not require hiking all the way to commissary camps for trail food – Philmont will deliver trail food to easily accessible staffed camps instead. “It’s too hard” will not be an acceptable excuse for non-participation!

     

    If you have Trek-eligible family members, their participation is welcomed. During the past two Treks there has been a marked increase in participation by Trek-eligible family members, especially youth, and we hope this will continue. Since youth tend to be elected as crew leaders, this is the perfect opportunity for your Trek-eligible youth to hone his/her leadership skills by taking charge of a group of adults.

     

    Preceding the Trek will be the PSA Annual Reunion August 5-7.  You are welcome to attend the Reunion at no additional cost.

     

    Start planning now to go to Philmont for the 25th Annual PSA Trek – the Silver Trek. There are only 72 slots available, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!


    The basics

    You will report to the Philmont Welcome Center at 8 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, August, 7, and hit the trail on Monday, August 8. You will come off the trail on Saturday, August 13, and will leave Philmont after breakfast on Sunday, August 14. The Trek cost is $400 and the eligibility requirements are as follows:

     

    1.     Be a member of the SAA member or trek-eligible family member

    2.     Be a member of the BSA

    3.     Have a completed Philmont medical form

    4.     Be 14 years old OR completed 8th grade and be at least 13 years of age prior to participation

    5.     Be in good physical shape


    Trek-eligible family members

    You can bring your spouse, child or stepchild, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew or in-law who meets the eligibility requirements above.


    Registration cut-off

    Registration cut-off is July 1, 2011. Don’t wait until then to register, though, because the Silver Trek will likely be sold out. Use the form below.


    Cancellation policy

    (1)  Cancellations prior to the registration deadline of July 1, 2011 will receive a full refund.

    (2)  Cancellation after the registration deadlines will not receive a refund. Monies paid can be used for another Exchange Program event (prior to the end of 2012) or can be contributed to the SAA General Fund.

    (3)  In exceptional cases, the SAA President can authorize full refunds for cancellation after the registration deadline.



    Registration form


  • December 11, 2010 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (SAA) Photo Competition Committee is proud to announce the winners of the 2010 Northern Tier staff photo competition. Each year there is an increase in the quality of the entries making the selection process even more challenging.

    The winning images will be used for promotion of the SAA (including scholarship fund) and Northern Tier program.  Professional photographers Steve Niedorf and Joel Sheagren judged this year’s photo contest. Both worked at Northern Tier and are Eagle Scouts.

    After due deliberations and consultations here are the selections:
    • Award of Excellence and winner:  Steven Lee Erdmann - "(Birch Baldy) Bald Eagle Silhouette on Southeast Birch Lake"
    • Award of Merit and winner:  Keatan Williams - "Daisy on the Lake"
    • Award of Merit and winner:  Eric Free - "Dawn Paddle"
    On behalf of the Committee and the Board of the SAA we would like to thank everyone who participated in the contest this year for their excellent work. Thanks for sharing your creative visions on the lake country we all know and love.
    Red-eye!


    Award of Excellence and winner:  Steven Lee Erdmann - "(Birch Baldy) Bald Eagle Silhouette on Southeast Birch Lake"




    Award of Merit and winner:  Keatan Williams - "Daisy on the Lake"




    Award of Merit and winner:  Eric Free - "Dawn Paddle"


  • November 01, 2010 12:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Coral Reef Banner

    SAA LogoHol-Ry!

    You still have time to adjust your schedule for the Coral Reel Sailing Adventure. The registration deadline – and your $100 deposit – is November 9, 2010. Don’t be left standing on the dock!


    Sailing Adventure Basics


    The Sailing Adventure is February 6 to February 11, 2011. The cost is $5,800 per vessel. There is a minimum of 6 sailors per vessel, maximum 8 sailors per vessel. On a per sailor basis, this means that a six sailor crew would pay $966.66 per sailor, a seven sailor crew would pay $828.57 per sailor and an eight sailor crew would pay $725 per sailor. Your actual charge will be determined by taking the total cost for the number of vessels required divided by the total number of sailors. For example, 20 sailors would require 3 vessels and the resulting charge to each sailor would be $870.


    Eligibility requirements

    1. Be a current member of the SAA, SBAFA, PSA, or eligible family member.
    2. Be a registered member of the BSA.
    3. Presented a completed Sea Base medical form – Philmont and Northern Tier medical forms will not suffice.
    4. Pass the basic BSA swim check upon check in – persons not passing the swim check will be required to wear a personal flotation device at all times.
    5. Be 14 years old by September 1, 2011 – youth participants will be required to present a valid ID showing proof of age.

    Eligible family members are your spouse, child or step-child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew or in-law who meets the eligibility requirements above.


    Becoming a member of the BSA is straightforward: register at your local Scout office by explaining that BSA membership is a requirement for participation in an event at the Sea Base, pay nominal fees and pass a background check.


    BSA swimming requirements are simple: jump feet first into water over your head, swim 75 yards in a strong manner using a forward stroke, turn over, swim 25 yards using a resting back stroke and then float motionless on your back for one minute.


    Questions?  Registration, cost, and contact information here.

     

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