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Employees of Camp Ripley welcome Little Falls job shadow students

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CAMP RIPLEY — Students of the Little Falls High School began this year’s job shadow program with employees at Camp Ripley.

“The opportunity for students to come to Camp Ripley, interact with service members and state employees and learn skills utilized by Minnesota National Guard employees each day is a great opportunity for all concerned,” said Chief Warrant Officer Two Daniel Bednarek of Camp Ripley.

The cooperation of the job shadow program between the Little Falls community and Camp Ripley has been going on since the mid-1990s, when students interested in technical careers were exposed to on-the-job opportunity on the camp.

“Following their years of education, students are faced with making choices and steps to a full-time career. These programs give them the chance to understand the fields they are interested in pursuing,” said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth of the Camp Ripley Visitors Bureau.

The program encourages juniors and seniors in high school to become mechanics, accountants, communications specialists and natural resourse managers. For a short period of the day, students learn the daily job requirements and job specific materials related to their field of choice.

Each student is required to follow the same safety guidelines as an employee. Students learn alongside the mentor and complete tasks and assignments.

“Although the jobs are technical in nature, the real lesson learned is the organization, preparation and education that go into careers like these,” Bednarek said.

Occupations found on Camp Ripley include mechanics, machinists, welders, electricians, computer repair technicians, environmental and natural resource managers, business and office occupations, food services, accountants and several other career fields.

Thirteen students from Little Falls High School are involved in the program which will culminate during the first week of May.