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Great Plains District

Serving the Northwest North Dakota counties of Burke, Mountrail, McKenzie, Williams and Divide.  Also serving the Northeast Montana counties of Sheridan, Daniels and a portion of Roosevelt.

District 14 Leadership

District Chairman Tim Horab (701) 774-3156
District Commissioner Kevin Hammer (701) 572-6416
District Executive Carleton Borden (701) 566-0231
Asst. Director of Field Service Rob Gilkerson (701) 223-7204

News and Current Events

Summer Camp Season is soon upon us!

With Summer Camp Season just a few months away it is a good time to remind you that right now we are currently in Getting Your Camp-Physical Season. If any Scouting event lasts for more than 72 hours your need to take the proper Annual Health and Medical Record form to your doctor. Print your copy at https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/

Western Spring Camporee 

Join us May 31 - June 2 at Heart Butte Scout Reservation located just 15 miles south of Glen Ullin, ND. Enjoy our scenic lakefront property nestled on the South shores of Lake Tschida. Camp will be run on Mountain Time. Great Plains District will oversee unit check out on Sunday. Please have your troop sign up to help on Sunday June 2, 9:00 – 11:00 am Break Camp/Check out/ Head Home.

Learn survival skills, shelter building, first aid, fire starting, water purification, emergency food prep, and other wilderness survival tactics. Also, hone your skills fishing and steady your aim at our shooting sports stations.

Want to earn a merit badge? Sign up for either Chess or Game Design (limit 20 per merit badge).

Wilderness First Aid Training will be offered (separate event registration)

Scout BSA Leader Specific Training will be Friday night. When registering adults please make the appropriate selection.

Information on Western Spring Camporee follow the links below

Western Spring Camporee

Wilderness First Aid

Scouting for Food / Fill-a-Canoe

Congratulations to all the units that participated in Scouting For Food / Fill A Canoe.  Many food banks, food pantries in the area are reporting significant increases in their available food for those in need. Remember Scouting For Food does not end until March 30. Units can also direct food donations to go to the Williston Branch of Gate City Bank. Please continue to report to Great Plains DE Carleton Borden 701-566-0231 how much your unit donated.


How do I make my Troop Stronger in September?

There are five ways to strengthen your Scouts BSA Troop program.

1) Bridge the Arrow of Light Cub Scouts... When? NOW!

2) Get your Troop to the Great Plains Merit Badge Midway on March 30 at Williston State College… Information will be at the District Roundtable.

3) Sign up for the Western Districts Spring Camporee. Competition between Scouts has been found to strengthen unit cohesion and advancement.

4) Have a Recruitment Night for New Scouts in April, and make sure they sign up to go to camp with your Troop this summer. Scouts who go to camp are more likely to stay involved in Scouting in the Fall. Talk to DE Carleton Borden, he has flyers available to give you to promote your Scouts BSA Troop.

5) Start a Parallel Scouts BSA Troop for Girls. We already have girls in Great Plains Cub Scout Packs and when they reach fifth grade they are looking to continue in the Boy Scouts of America program. We are seeing great growth in communities that have established Cub Scouts Dens for Boy and Girls. Nationwide we are already seeing great growth in Charter Organizations that have unit programming for the entire family from kindergarten to college.

Webelos to Scout Transition

By now many of the Arrow of Light Cub Scouts should have begun bridging into on of our Scout BSA Troops. Ask your friendly neighborhood District Executive Carleton Borden for the list of fifth grade Arrow of Lights who have not yet bridged from their Cub Scout Packs to the Scouts BSA Troops. Make sure you invite them and their parents to an April meeting. These are youths who already love Scouting. They just need to be invited to continue the journey of a lifetime.

Scout Leaders New Additional Online Resources

TroopLeader.org provides useful information and practical ideas to help make it easier for youth and adult troop leaders to present Scout meetings that are fun with positive outcomes. Included on the webpage are links to: Program Features / Planning / Training / Outings / General Troop Information / Recruiting New Members

ProgramResources.org Program Resources are designed to serve as a planning tool for troop leaders. Its aim is to provide resources that contribute to making parts of the meeting more meaningful, engaging, and fun. Included on this webpage are links to: Scout Meeting Activities / Ceremonies / Leaders Minutes

Cub Scout Day Camp

June 15, 2019 at Lewis & Clark State Park (South Shelter) 4904 119th Road NW, Epping, ND 58843

Check in will begin at 8:00 am and the Day camp events will begin at 9:00 am. Everything should be over by 2:00 pm. The price will be $35. There are camperships available for families that are in need of help to go to Cub Day Camp.

As reported at the April Roundtable the Great Plains District Cub Day Camp will be at Lewis & Clark State Park in Epping ND.  This western themed Day Camp will be a joy for all Cub Scouts who come and attend. The link for the registration will be out later this week.

This is a new date from what was listed in the 2018-2019 Northern Lights Council Program Calendar. 

Explorer Post 282

The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a few new Law Enforcement Explorers


Exploring exists to teach important life and career skills to young people from all backgrounds through immersive career experiences and mentorship provided by community and business leaders like you. Together, we equip young people with character, leadership and life skills that can be used both today and in their future careers.

Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth and the organizations in their communities. Businesses and community organizations initiate a career-specific Exploring post or club by matching their people and organizational resources to the career interests of youth in the community. The result is a program of interactive activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, and develop. Want to learn more about Exploring? Go to the website https://www.exploring.org/about-us/

Interested in starting an Explorer Post near you? Speak with Great Plains DE Carleton Borden 701-566-0231

Youth Protection Training

The Great Plains District Northern Lights Council will come out to conduct Youth Protection Training to units that do not have reliable internet service in their community. As previously announced, a NEW Youth Protection Training course is required for all registered leaders before they will be able to renew their BSA membership. The Youth Protection Training certificate is good for two years.

Download the Youth Protection Training Flyer for dates and times of upcoming training sessions for people that want to become certified to conduct the new Youth Protection Training or just to complete the training for yourself.

Do you want to go to Philmont for training?

Have you signed up to attend the Philmont Training Center this summer? Conferences are filling up quickly. Sign up today to ensure you get a spot in the conference you want or the week of Philmont Family Adventure that fits your schedule! http://bit.ly/PTChome

Special LDS Philmont Training VISION 2020

Come to Vision 2020, a unique opportunity for Latter-day Saint families and Scouting leaders to continue Scouting! Join us at the Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, New Mexico for a week of training and family fun! Learn how to find a new charter organization, start a Scouting unit, organize a committee, recruit youth, train leaders, raise funds, develop an annual plan, and continue Scouting with energy, increased knowledge, and optimism. And, enjoy the trademark family events of Philmont: spouse activities, children age groups, youth mountain trek, family hiking, western night, children's parade, family dancing, campfires, and so much more! Experience a memorable family vacation that will jumpstart your new Scouting legacy in 2020! Dates: Saturday, June 15 - Saturday, June 22, 2019 Bring the whole family for a unique and exciting Philmont experience! Click on the link below to register: http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/PTC/conferencesO/ Vision2020ANewPhilmontOpportunityForLDSFamilies.aspx

Watch This Video:  Attend the Vision 2020 Conference - a unique opportunity for Latter-day Saints families and Scouting leaders

Update your BeAScout pin today, so future Scouting families can find your Units

BeAScout.Org is a powerful tool to help parents find your unit. But, it only works if they are able to get the right information about your Unit.  First impressions are everything, so it is important to keep your BeAScout pin up-to date. Find out how to update your BeAScout pin here.


District Newsletter

Spring 2019 (March, April, May)

Winter 2018-2019 (December, January, February)

Amazon Smile Gives Back to Northern Lights Council

Support the Northern Lights Council When You Shop on Amazon

Smile.amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.

Designate the Northern Lights Council as your charity, and your purchase will help the council with no cost to you!

Posted: 2019-03-18
Richard McCartney Named Scout Executive of the Northern Lights Council

Richard McCartney has been named Scout Executive of the Northern Lights Council,  Boy Scouts of America, effective April 1, 2019.

Rich began his Scouting career as District Executive at the Genesee Council in Batavia, NY.  He moved on to become a Senior District Executive, District Director, Field Director, and Assistant Director of Field Service with the Otetiana Council, Rochester, NY. He was promoted to Director of Support Services of the Denver Area Council, Denver, CO.  In 2005 he was selected as Scout Executive of the Moraine Trails Council, Butler, PA. In 2009 he became Scout Executive of the Greater Yosemite Council in Modesto, CA where he served until February 2017, when he began his current position as Area Director for Area 6 of the Western Region.

Rich is an Eagle Scout who enjoys cooking, exercise, hunting, fishing, backpacking, and music. Rich and his wife, Melinda, have two children, Raymond 22 and Ian 17. 

"I am looking forward to joining the Northern Lights Council, Rich McCartney said.  This is an outstanding Boy Scout Council because of the great work of thousands of volunteers and parents, enhanced by a talented team of executive and support staff.  Our focus will be to continue to deliver character and leadership rich programs based on the mission of Scouting to prepare young people to make moral and ethical decisions in their lifetimes, by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law”.  

Please join us in congratulating Rich as he joins us in delivering quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities we serve.

Posted: 2019-02-28

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Fargo, ND 58103
(701) 293-5011