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Who We Are: Approach and Outcomes

What is the Northern Star Way?

Our council is both old and new. How is that possible? We were built on the foundation of the former Minneapolis and St. Paul councils that were founded in 1910. Northern Star was created in 2005, as the best way to collaborate and more effectively serve our community. Both legacy councils share a history of innovation and focus on the young people of today and tomorrow.

This approach is clear with our new programs, including the nation's first Scouting offering for kindergartners (Lion Cubs), first urban program center (Base Camp), and first online new member registration system (adventureiscalling.org). It's also reflected in our strategic plan which addresses three pressing issues: meeting diverse family needs, improving the volunteer experience, and reinforcing our role in leadership development for those inside and outside of Scouting.

Our unique vision of striving to be a positive influence on all young people makes us a resource for the entire community and welcoming to anyone can help further our mission.

Measurement is also part of our culture. We rely on our own research and third parties to ensure we're always working toward our mission goals.

Measures and Results

Research Studies

Outcomes Research - Outside research that supports the benefits of Scouting in the lives of youth. Both a summary and the full report can be found on this page.


Public Opinion Research - Perceptions of Scouting over time

  • University of Minnesota, Minnesota Center for Survey Research Summary

Consolidation Scorecard – Snapshot measures at the time of merger and ten years later


Indianhead/Viking Council
12/31/2004
Northern Star Council
12/31/2014
Traditional Membership 41,570
(12% market share)
37,069
(10.1% market share)
Operating Budget $11.77M $12.96M
Fundraising & Administration as % of Total Costs 17% 13%
Endowment Fund $20.31M $31.47M
Camps and Property $13.5M $30.3M
Youth Member Retention 71.2% 76.2%
Eagle Scouts 629 781
National Membership 3,145,331
(10.6% market share)
2,310,185
(7.7% market share)

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