The Northern Lights Council serves youth and families in 18 northwest Minnesota counties, including Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Roseau, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin counties. Nearly 5,000 youth are served by over 1,500 adult leaders through more than 200 Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, Venture Crews and Explorer Posts. The council maintains Camp Wilderness near Park Rapids, MN for the enjoyment and personal growth of our Scouts and their families.
The Mission of the BSA is to instill the values of the Scout Oath and Law in young people and help them achieve their full potential. Our mission is accomplished by bringing youth together, under the watchful eye of adult leaders, where they form meaningful peer and adult relationships, learn essential life skills, and grow as leaders and participating citizens. Our age-specific programs are:
- Cub Scouts is for boys and girls Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Cub Scouts learn personal safety, begin the building blocks of citizenship, helping others, age appropriate life skills, and personal fitness with their peers in a fun and hands on way.
- Scouts BSA is for boys and girls ages 11 through 17 in single gender Troops. Scouts begin to learn about citizenship and governance when they elect their leaders from among their peers, plan meals for activities and events, and adapt to and overcome the challenges of being in the out of doors where environmental factors can change a well laid plan. Scouts also learn essential life skills and get firsthand experience with potential careers and hobbies through the immersive experiences gained through the merit badge system.
- Venturing is a co-ed program for young men and women ages 14 through 20 and provides high adventure and special interest opportunities for older youth. The programs and activities of the Crew are determined and planned by the youth with the advice of adults.
- Exploring is a co-ed program for young men and women ages 14 through 20 and provides in depth career exploration. The most popular careers are EMS/Firefighting, Health Careers, Law Enforcement, and Engineering.
Scouting provides the “5 C’s” of positive youth development necessary for the successful transition from childhood to adulthood; Competence, Confidence, Connections, Character and Caring.