Note to readers: Every Friday during the fundraising campaign, the Times will be featuring submitted profiles of the agencies who receive support from the United Way of Crookston. Today’s featured agency is Northern Lights Council of Scouting.

    For 106 years the Northern Lights council has been shaping the very fabric of North Dakota and the region by fulfilling its mission of “instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law in young people and helping them achieve their full potential.”

    Young people join Scouting for the promise of adventure; camping, hiking, target shooting, stories around the campfire, and friendships that last forever.

     Scouting delivers adventure and character education through one of four programs; Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing or Exploring.  Cub Scouts is for boys in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, Boy Scouts for boys ages 11 through 17, and Venturing and Exploring, the coed programs for young men and women ages fourteen through twenty.  Young people join Scouting to engage in fun and adventure with their peers.  

    The Boy Scouts of America provides an avenue to fulfilling that desire under the watchful eye of dedicated and trained adult leaders.  There are 129 boys involved in Scouting under the direction of 45 adult volunteers in the area served by the Crookston United Way.  These boys have earned 37 rank advancements and 17 merit badges.  While camping, having fun and earning advancements the Scouts have:

    • Learned how to protect themselves from child abuse, drug abuse, and learned the principles of personal safety

    • Provided 203 hours of community service

    • Explained “Leave No Trace” principles and understand the importance of resource stewardship

    • Explained the importance of a good diet, helped chose a snack or planned and prepared a meal

    • Learned about the importance of and engaged in regular exercise and shown improvement

    • Participated in a flag ceremony, attended a civic event such as city council.

    • Learned basic first aid and how to identify “hurry cases”

    • Been on a hike with friends and family

    • Learned about Constitutional rights

    • Learned utility safety

    • Engaged in a family discussion about their faith and/or earned the religious emblem of their faith.

    • Elected leaders from among their peers

    • Planned and executed a weekend outing

    Scouting is an investment in the future of our community.  The boys that you see here are the future tradesmen, scientists, businessmen, and parents.  They are having fun, but fun with a purpose!

    United Way funds are used to help recruit new members, recruit and train new leaders, and provide camping and outdoor opportunities for our young people.  It costs a Scout $33 per year to join Scouting but It costs the Northern Lights Council over $250 per year to provide Scouting opportunities.  The generous support from United Way of Crookston helps cover the gap.  To join Scouting, call toll free 877-293-5011 or go to

    Scouting teaches self-reliance and personal safety while having fun.