CHARLES L. SOMMERS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC.

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History & Essays

Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. maintains a catalog of essays, articles, historic material related to the “Far Northland” and the Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases. Learn about Northern Tier’s three Canoe Bases, what a “Charlie Guide” is, and the meaning of “Hol-Ry!”. In addition, an archive of historic photos of the program and past crew photos is available.

Note: Some material previously posted is not available while we update our website. We're working gradually on adding the material back. Thank you for your patience. 

Hudson Bay Bread

Many recall the “Hudson Bay Bread” they had as a Scout or Leader at Northern Tier. In the 1960's, the Base got the recipe from the Minnesota Outward Bound School, and for several years it was baked at the Barbara Ann Bakery in Ely.

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Crew Photos and Historic Material

The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. (SAA) maintains a separate site that presents a digital archive of historical documents and photos from the Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases. One of the most significant features of the archive is an extensive database of crew photos taken through the years.

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Canoe Bases of Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases

Learn more about the Canoe Bases of Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases: Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base (Ely, Minnesota), Donald Rogert Canoe Base (Atikokan, Ontario), and Northern Expeditions (Bissett, Manitoba).

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Charlie Guides (Interpreters)

For as long as we can remember, members of the trail staff have been known as "Charlie Guides". This is a tag that we have worn proudly. Trail staff are well-trained and highly motivated outdoor professionals, usually college age men and women.

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What is Hol-Ry?

Hol-Ry is the hailing sign for voyageurs of the Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base. When a voyageur encounters another on the trail, it is customary for one to address the other with "Hol-Ry" and the other to respond with "Red-Eye". The origin of this greeting hearkens to the 50's and 60's when Charlie crews carried a rye cracker with the trade name Hol-Ry.

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