Steve Werpy Staff Scholarship Fund

Help us grow the Scholarship to ensure future Staff are able to work at camp and continue their education.

To Apply for the Scholarship  

(Applications should be submitted online, for exceptions contact Marten) 

Who is Eligible for the Scholarship? Anyone who meets all these criteria: 
  • Must have worked at least 3 Camp Seasons including the most recent one
  • Must be enrolled in at least 6 credits during each semester
  • Must carry a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Must be currently enrolled in the Boy Scouts of America
How do I apply for the scholarship?  

The link for the Scholarship is sent out with your Camp Staff Agreement with the Northern Lights Council.  Or you can use this link Apply for the Scholarship

When do I have to have my application submitted?

Before July 1st – Selection is made at the Annual Meeting of Northern Lights Alumni Association which is held the Friday of the 4th of July week.

When is the money disbursed if I qualify for the scholarship?

Scholarship award disbursement will occur by October and a check will be mailed to the address you list on your application.

6. How is the amount of the scholarship determined?

The scholarship endowment fund accrues an annual interest return of 5% and the interest accrued is divided equally to all eligible applicants

7. How much is currently in the endowment fund?

$21,000 as of July 2021

8. How many have received the scholarship in the past?
Past recipients of the Steve Werpy Staff Scholarship

Thanks to the drive of Nate Trunnell and many others, the staff scholarship endowment is finally reality. Nate Trunnell developed the idea and found backing for the scholarship fund. 
Jenny Fisher (Olson) then took Nate’s idea and took it to a new level.
The Association created a standing committee to maintain and monitor the Endowment and the Scholarship Application process.

How You Can Help

 All of us are a part of this Association because Scouting is an important part of our lives. While the Scouts give this organization purpose, we must also recognize the Summer Camp Staff that makes camp a place that Scouts continue to want to return to year after year. 

The staff scholarship was created to thank and honor these dedicated individuals and the interest from the endowment is split among all staff who meet the application requirements. This is where YOU come in……..

The larger the endowment, the larger the interest payment, and the larger the scholarship to each recipient. You can make a difference by contributing to the Steve Werpy Staff Scholarship Fund. Simply complete the donation form and send it in to Northern Lights Council, BSA 4200 19th Ave S., Fargo, ND 58103 to help the endowment grow. (online option coming soon)

If you have any questions about the Endowment Fund, Staff Scholarship or would like to join the Scholarship Committee please contact Marten Schrage at 218-779-0505 or by email at

Below are how we have defined the goals we hope to achieve through the Staff Scholarship Program.

Staff Retention – The number one goal of this scholarship is staff retention. The brutally honest truth that camp staff members are often faced with is that college is expensive and sometimes you need to leave camp staff for financial reasons. This scholarship may be just the bonus that keeps a really good staff member coming back. Good staff members are motivated, hard-working, dedicated, and trustworthy, amongst many other qualities. Their levels of effort and ability would make them valuable members to any team. It is in camp’s best interest to make sure they are on our team.

Staff Reward – Camp Wilderness is populated by a dedicated staff that seems to live on going the extra mile. Many staff members come to camp weeks in advance to set up areas and help with camp maintenance and preparation. They chose to do this despite not being paid for that time. They are dedicated to Camp Wilderness, and a scholarship would help to prove that Camp Wilderness is dedicated to them as well.

Improvement of Camp – With a high number of return staff members we are able to do more. The quality of the camp program grows exponentially with the percent of returning staff that we have. Not only is the quality of the program affected, but the quantity is as well. Camp programs are allowed to grow because we have the freedom to try new things. We can add new things to camp, both in the form of new merit badges offered and in the form of new activities at camp. If staff members feel comfortable teaching their merit badge they are more likely to bring outside resources into the class to improve both their teaching and the student’s learning. If the program already implemented is running smoothly, it gives the staff the ability to add activities to it.

Retention of Campers – Campers love to come back to see their favorite counselor. Someone needs to do little more than come to a single troop check-in to understand this. Campers’ faces light up when they see a counselor that they remember from years gone by. They yell from vehicles to get that counselor’s attention and love to reminisce about a class that had been taught to them.

Retention of Troops – If a scoutmaster trusts the staff they will come back. That trust is built on familiar faces. The scoutmaster knows that the staff is strong because they have witnessed what the staff has been able to accomplish in previous years. This will give the scoutmaster the incentive to return because they know that Camp Wilderness offers a good experience.

Staff Continuity – Return staff are able to teach the new staff. Good area directors make their whole staff better. Good assistant directors make good future directors. When you have to replace entire areas you spend the first month of camp trying to get those people up to speed. This means that you have cheated four sessions of campers out of the best experience possible. Staff members that work their way up in an area learn the ins and outs of an area and become better staff members.

Camp Continuity – Camp traditions are carried on by return members. Camp Wilderness’s tradition has become that of excellence. Return staff members know that there is more expected from them. They know that Camp Wilderness is something much more than a job. They know that what we build here is something that will touch generations. Return staff members take great pride in this responsibility and it shows.

Staff to Scoutmaster Relationship – Staff and scoutmasters are able to become friends when they see each other year in and year out. This friendship brings with it the ability to communicate concerns about the camp with the staff and therefore another avenue by which to get feedback to improve the camp.

Building Role Models – When a camper sees the same staff member every year they begin to see that staff member as a role model. This is the best possible outcome of camp. To provide a good role model for impressionable campers is the responsibility of the camp. When good staff members are still here year after year they are able to affect more and more campers for the better.

Help grow the our Endowment Fund by simply completing the donation form and sending it in to Northern Lights Council BSA 4200 19th Ave S., Fargo, ND 58103

(we will have an online pay option soon)