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Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.

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Learn more about our new book “The Far Northland: A Century of Wilderness High Adventure at Northern Tier”

The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.'s book "A Diamond in the North: A History of Scout Adventure in the North Country 1923-98" by Gene Felton offers a definitive history of the Northern Tier High Adventure program. Come experience the rich deep history of the oldest national high adventure program of the Boy Scouts of America.

Buy "A Diamond in the North" (1998) online in print or eBook at 

A Diamond in the NorthIf you want to know about the Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base or learn about a rich tradition of Scout canoeing and the wilderness experience, this book is required reading. If you thought you had a pretty good idea of what Charlie's place is about, you will be amazed by the new stories and lore that you will read in these pages.

You will learn about the "movers and shakers" at the Base, including Charles L. Sommers, Carlos Chase, Frank Bean, Parley Tuttle, Hod Ludlow, Henry Bradlich, Cliff Hanson, and Sandy Bridges. You will learn about the special relationship that the Base has enjoyed with Sig Olson, Bob Cary, Jim Brandenburg, Sam Cook, Joe Seliga, Real Berard, and Steve Fossett. Described in time slices, the history of the Base is carefully laid out as the first trips are launched from Winton, the lodge gets built, the Canadian program is established, and the food and gear are developed and adapted. To the story of the Base, add a bit of trail spice and some beautiful photography by Jim Brandenburg, and you begin to understand why you need to own a copy.

Gene Felton has done a masterful job of gathering the stories of the Base, describing a program that has touched the lives of thousands of Scouts, Scout leaders, and staffers over a 75 year span. Gene tells the story with humor, and with an obvious reverence for the Base's program and its colorful tradition. Many of us share your love for this very special place, Gene. Thank you very much.

Dave Greenlee '66-70

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