Camp Ripley: Youth Camp fills Camp Ripley
CAMP RIPLEY--The Youth and Teen Camp sponsored by the Minnesota National Guard and held at Camp Ripley, are half way to celebrating another successful year.
CAMP RIPLEY-The Youth and Teen Camp sponsored by the Minnesota National Guard and held at Camp Ripley, are half way to celebrating another successful year.
"This has been another great year for Youth Camp with great weather the tremendous support from Camp Ripley," said Lindsay Koolmo, executive director for the camp and airman with the Duluth based 148th Fighter Wing.
The camps, which began in 1991, welcomed children and teens of Minnesota National Guard families ages from July 24-Aug. 6 to Camp Ripley. Broken into two groups, youth 10 to 12 and teen 13 to 15, the week-long camp allows the children of military families the opportunity to network among themselves, relate with common situation peers and to enjoy a little of the Minnesota wilderness.
"We run two camps that are each a week long which allows us to break up the campers into smaller groups for our counselors," said Koolmo.
For the campers, it is a daily mix of traditions and fun as the day begins at 0600-or 6 a.m.-to the sounds of a bugle playing reveille. Following the raising of our nation's colors, the campers are off to take part in several activities throughout the day. Archery, first aid, canoeing, nature hikes, relays, tours, bike rides, rock climbing and swimming are just a few of the events the groups take part in.
Additionally, the campers are given the chance to meet senior leaders of the Minnesota National Guard, who share their experiences about being a professional,
The idea for establishing a youth education program for Minnesota National Guard families was first discussed in the late 1980s with the enthusiasm of then-Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Eugene Andreotti. His guidance led to the establishment of the Family Program Manager and the youth camp program.
Since then, the Youth Camp Program has developed into a Minnesota nonprofit organization to provide a unique and enjoyable opportunity for dependents of the Minnesota National Guard to explore the environment in which they live and be more responsible in maintaining the environment for future generations.
"The camp is a great confidence builder encouraging the youth to have greater confidence in themselves, explore the environment, and to take on responsibilities presented to them," said a spokesperson for the program.
The camp goal of a fun, safe and caring environment where youth and teens can enjoy outdoor activities, building friendships and develop positive values is front-and-center right from the first day.