The second year of the second century of Scouting is drawing to a close.  How exciting to be part of a relevant, dynamic organization that does so much good for kids, families and communities.

First and foremost, thank you to all the parents, leaders, volunteers, helpers, donors, friends and everyone who helped us in Scouting with a great year in 2012 here in the Council.  We had a year of growth, we had a year of fun in camping, advancement, training, all in support of our kids.

2013 will be an even better year.  We have big things planned and some money already available for camp improvements and doing some new programming; but also at the same time increasing our support to all of our 400 Scout Units across the Northern Lights Council.

Highlights from 2012:

  • After four years of planning and fundraising, the Northern Lights Council moved into the new Jon L. Wanzek Center for Scouting in July.  This new 15,000 sq. ft. center features a 2,500 sq. ft. Scout Store operated by the National Council, Boy Scouts of America! The 3,000 sq. ft. Shelly Ellig Training Center is the hub for leadership training for our youth and adults, and the atrium and gathering area displays the timeless values of the 12 words we call the Scout Law.  These 12 points guide the decisions and lives of our membership and alumni.
  • Camp Wilderness, our year around Camping facility near Park Rapids, Minnesota was a happening place this year with the largest Cub/Webelos Camp attendance at the Butler Wilderness Outpost since opening in 2007.  A total of 669 Tigers/Cubs/Webelos attended; 1,497 Boy Scouts attended Scout Camp; and 128 Cubs and Scouts attended Camp at Heart Butte Scout Reservation.
  • This summer, the Council dedicated the renovated and expanded Wanzek Trading Post and Scout History Center at Camp Wilderness.  Through a generous donation from the Jon Wanzek family, the Camp now has a History Center and a year-round Trading Post using geo-thermal heating.
  • Over 90,000 pounds of food was collected across the Council for the Scouting for Food Drive that was held in March.
  • 2012 was also a year of membership growth across the Northern Lights Council.  Fall recruiting went very well with more than 1,000 new first grade boys and 900 Cub Scouts signing up for an adventure of a lifetime.  We are thrilled about the possibilities for all these new Cubs.  The Council also started a number of career based Exploring Posts, the Red River Zoo Post in Fargo and an Engineering Post in Fargo, to name a couple.

Happy New Year from the Northern Lights Council.  Thank you for your partnership.  Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy New Year.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter@NLCBSA .


Travis Christoper
Scout Executive/CEO