Council News


2019 Spring Issue - March, April & May

2018-2019 Winter Issue - December, January & February

2018 Fall Issue - September, October & November

2019 Silver Beavers

At the Council Recognition Luncheon on April 6, the outstanding volunteers shown above were presented with the Silver Beaver award - the highest award a council may bestow on adult volunteers.

Pictured above (left to right): Charles Votova, Michael Guck, Diane Smith, Perry Vogel, Daniel Link and Keith Domke.

Congratulations to these great volunteers!

Training for Scouts BSA Youth

Does your troop teach Leadership Skills or maybe struggle with how to do it?  Look no further than the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILTS)! The purpose of the ILST course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role.  

This course is intended to help Scouts in leadership positions within their troop understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILST is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Scouts and is a replacement for Troop Leadership Training. Completion of ILST is a prerequisite for Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE).

View the Course Instructions

Download Troop Position Description Cards

Posted: 2019-03-29
Amazon Smile Gives Back to Northern Lights Council

Support the Northern Lights Council When You Shop on Amazon is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.

Designate the Northern Lights Council as your charity, and your purchase will help the council with no cost to you!

Posted: 2019-03-18
Richard McCartney Named Scout Executive of the Northern Lights Council

Richard McCartney has been named Scout Executive of the Northern Lights Council,  Boy Scouts of America, effective April 1, 2019.

Rich began his Scouting career as District Executive at the Genesee Council in Batavia, NY.  He moved on to become a Senior District Executive, District Director, Field Director, and Assistant Director of Field Service with the Otetiana Council, Rochester, NY. He was promoted to Director of Support Services of the Denver Area Council, Denver, CO.  In 2005 he was selected as Scout Executive of the Moraine Trails Council, Butler, PA. In 2009 he became Scout Executive of the Greater Yosemite Council in Modesto, CA where he served until February 2017, when he began his current position as Area Director for Area 6 of the Western Region.

Rich is an Eagle Scout who enjoys cooking, exercise, hunting, fishing, backpacking, and music. Rich and his wife, Melinda, have two children, Raymond 22 and Ian 17. 

"I am looking forward to joining the Northern Lights Council, Rich McCartney said.  This is an outstanding Boy Scout Council because of the great work of thousands of volunteers and parents, enhanced by a talented team of executive and support staff.  Our focus will be to continue to deliver character and leadership rich programs based on the mission of Scouting to prepare young people to make moral and ethical decisions in their lifetimes, by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law”.  

Please join us in congratulating Rich as he joins us in delivering quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities we serve.

Posted: 2019-02-28

Scouts ... Don't miss the 2019 World Jamboree

The 2019 World Jamboree will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico and will be held at the Summit in West Virginia on July 21-August 2 2019.  The United States has only hosted one other World Jamboree in 1967 in Idaho.  This one is only a few hours from your home.  How can you compare a National Jamboree and a World Jamboree?  The answer is, You Can't. 

A World Jamboree is about meeting people from other countries and learning about them and their cultures.  There are dinner exchanges and an opportunity to go around to visit Troops from other countries and sample their food and activities.  Your Troop will be camped next to Troops from other countries.  Whereas, the activities in most Jamborees are limited, the 2019 World Jamboree will also have all of the activities available at the Summit.  There has never been another Jamboree like this one and probably will not be another like it in the future. 

The Central Region, Area 1 has been allotted 6 units with one being a coed Venturing Troop.  There are a limited number of openings available, so sign up today at

Youth must be 14 and not yet 18 years old by July 21, 2019.  The cost is $2500.00.  There will be some scholarship money available with information on this available around March 1.  Be sure you are one of the Scouts who have the opportunity to experience this mountain top experience.

Latest Cub Scout Leader Guides now available in print or digital formats

Cub Scout leaders, you can now grab the latest edition of the Cub Scout Leader Book and rank-specific Den Leader Guides in print or digital formats.

You can get a copy at the Fargo Scout Shop or your local Scout Shop, at or on the Amazon Kindle store. If you choose the digital download from Amazon, your copy will be accessible on any device linked to your Amazon account. That includes your laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android device, Amazon Kindle reader or Amazon Kindle Fire.

The books, newly updated for 2018, are aligned with the current requirements for Cub Scout adventure loops and pins. You’ll find detailed meeting plans for each adventure, including games, ceremonies and helpful tips to make your meeting run smoothly.

The covers have been simplified and color-coded to match the Cub Scout handbooks used by the boys or girls in your den. If you’re in Tigers, for example, get the orange Den Leader Guide to match the orange Tiger Cub Scout Handbook. Get the red book for Wolf, blue for Bear and green for Webelos.

Units Can Qualify to Receive Free Rank Insignia in 2019

The Northern Lights Council is pleased to offer Packs and Troops the opportunity to earn free rank insignia through March 31, 2020. Qualifying units will receive free rank insignia each time a Scout advances in rank.  This offer is made possible by the annual Friends of Scouting campaign and council product sale.  To qualify for free rank insignias a unit must meet each of the following requirements:

Participate in Popcorn Sale – the unit must have participated in the council sponsored Trail’s End Popcorn sale in 2018 with a minimum of $500 in total sales.
Journey to Excellence – Units must have achieved at least “Bronze” level recognition in Scouting's Journey to Excellence in 2018. The Journey to Excellence unit scorecard must be completed, signed and submitted.
On-time Charter Renewal – To be considered “on-time” the charter renewal paperwork must be turned in by the announced deadlines for the district the unit is in.
Friends of Scouting – Unit must attain 2019 Friends of Scouting goal. Presentations should be held between November 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019. The minimum goal is determined by: Number of registered youths listed on charter renewal paperwork x $40

The following units have qualified to receive free rank advancements through March 31, 2020 (additional units may qualify once they have attained their Friends of Scouting goal):

  1. Oxcart Trails District 3 - Pack 312
  2. Oxcart Trails District 3 - Pack 325
  3. Lakes District 4 - Pack 416
  4. Lakes District 4 - Pack 426
  5. Lakes District 4 - Troop 412
  6. Lakes District 4 - Troop 423
  7. Lakes District 4 - Troop 426
  8. Northern Sky District 5 - Pack 232
  9. Northern Sky District 5 - Pack 234
  10. Northern Sky District 5 - Pack 279
  11. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 203
  12. Northern Sky District 5 - Pack 624
  13. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 637
  14. Northern Sky District 5 - Pack 641
  15. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 214
  16. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 215
  17. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 222
  18. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 229
  19. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 241
  20. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 244
  21. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 246
  22. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 276
  23. Northern Sky District 5 - Troop 644
  24. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Pack 1
  25. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Pack 13
  26. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Pack 19
  27. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Pack 34
  28. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Pack 116
  29. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Pack 162
  30. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Troop 37
  31. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Troop 41
  32. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Troop 130
  33. Lake Agassiz District 8 - Troop 151
  34. Roughrider District 10 - Pack 38
  35. Roughrider District 10 - Pack 59
  36. Roughrider District 10 - Pack 112
  37. Roughrider District 10 - Troop 32
  38. Tomahawk District 10 - Pack 412
  39. Tomahawk District 11 - Troop 411
  40. Tomahawk District 11 - Troop 425
  41. Tomahawk District 11 - Troop 433
  42. Frontier Trails District 13 - Pack 100
  43. Frontier Trails District 13 - Troop 54
  44. Frontier Trails District 13 - Troop 73
  45. Frontier Trails District 13 - Troop 123
  46. Frontier Trails District 13 - Troop 326
  47. Great Plains District 14 - Troop 368

We thank these units for their support of the Northern Lights Council!

Report to the State 2019

The Report to the State was held on Wednesday, February 13 at the Elks Club in Bismarck. The annual event has been sponsored by the Bismarck Rotary Club starting in 1922 (this being the 97th year). Youth members from different Northern Lights Council programs - Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Exploring give a report outlining what happened in Scouting during the previous year. The official report is presented to the Governor during the Rotary Club meeting and other legislators during a tour of the capital. Thank you to the Rotary Club, all of the participants including Governor Bergum, Gen. Dorhmann and our youth members. Special thank you to Dale Sandstrom for chairing the event again this year.

Video of the Report to the State (part 1)

Video of the Report to the State (part 2)

Details on Scouts BSA Uniform and Handbook

Their here!

You’ve been asking for details about these new items, and today, we’ve got answers to share.

But first, a quick note to leaders and Scouts in existing all-boy troops: your uniforms and handbooks won’t need to be replaced. You’re good to go.

For leaders of new Scouts BSA troops, as well as new Scouts BSA members — boy or girl — keep reading for the latest info.

Scouts BSA uniforms: Your questions answered!

When will the new Scouts BSA uniforms be available?

Scouts BSA launched Feb. 1, and uniform parts are available now at nationally operated Scout shops. Uniform parts include the roll-up pantsgirl’s short-sleeve shirt and more uniform items available in sizes for women and girls.

We recommend you contact the Fargo Scout Shop to confirm availability before making a trip.

What’s new or different about the Scouts BSA uniform?

The Scouts BSA uniform shirt comes in sizes and cuts for women and girls. New uniform pants for women and girls can be rolled up at the leg to be worn as capri pants. Women and girls can also purchase the current, switchback-style uniform pants that zip off at the knee. The new shirt is tan and features a BSA fleur-de-lis emblem and the letters “BSA” in red over the right pocket. The existing inventory of tan shirts, with “BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA” in red over the right pocket, will be available until they’re all sold out.

Can I still wear previous-generation uniform pieces?

Yes. With BSA uniforms, the rule is: once official, always official.

Can I mix and match old and new uniform pieces?

Yes. For example, you could wear the new tan Scouts BSA uniform shirt with previous-generation green uniform pants.

Scouts BSA Handbook: Your questions answered!

When will the new Scouts BSA Handbook be available?

The Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls is now available. We recommend you contact the Fargo Scout Shop to confirm availability before making a trip.

The Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys will be shipped to Scout shops this summer as current inventory decreases. Boys can continue using the 13th Edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, which remains available at Scout shops and online.

Why are there two different handbooks?

The volunteer-led board of directors wanted to ensure Scouts can see themselves represented accurately in the pages, and having two handbooks was the most effective way to do that.

The photos reflect the troop of which the Scout is a member. In other words, boys will see images of other boys in the Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys; girls will see images of other girls in the Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls.

Is the content the same between the Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys and the Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls?

Yes, the content, requirements and page numbers are exactly the same. All that’s different is the photos.

What did and didn't change from the Boy Scout Handbook to the Scouts BSA Handbooks?

What didn't change:

  • Requirements
  • Program elements

What did change:

  • Images, which reflect the troop of which the Scout is a member
  • The program name — Boy Scouts becomes Scouts BSA
  • Youth Protection guidelines, which are regularly updated to keep young people safe
  • Minor grammar and formatting fixes to the 13th Edition of the Boy Scout Handbook

Can a Scout continue to use the 13th Edition of the Boy Scout Handbook?

Absolutely. But be aware that rules and requirements can be updated, so always look for the latest requirements online or in Scoutbook.

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