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Minnesota National Guard
Norwegian Exchange Buddy Weekend

Christian Myrvang Holm and Nicholay Johnsen Solberg, both with the Norwegian Home Guard youth, are participating in the 38th Norwegian Reciprocal Exchange Program at Camp Ripley Training Center for two weeks

Midway through the training, they had the opportunity to spend a weekend with an American family to experience what life is like in Minnesota

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“Buddy weekend is a chance for the youth to go out and live with a Minnesota family for two days and experience our customs and our way of life,” said Sgt Timothy Krouth
Holm and Solberg both have very different Norwegian accents distinctive to the district in Norway they are from Although they have deep accents, one can still understand their English clearly

Holm, who is 18, is from Klofta, Norway, which is just twenty minutes from the Norwegian Capital, Oslo

He said he’s been in the Norwegian Home Guard for the past three years On his free time he enjoys paintball, downhill skiing and building computers

“I’ve always been interested in the military,” said Holm’s “In the future, I hope to continue my education in physics or engineering and join the Norwegian Home Guard”
He said his favorite experience with the Norwegian Exchange was the ride in the UH-60 Black Hawk

“It’s been a great experience You get to meet a lot of Norwegians from other districts,” replied Holm “The trainers, Starsky and Hutch [Spc Chad Dingman and Eric Reetz,] are really nice and very funny They spend a lot of time with us We got to watch the Starsky and Hutch movie with them It was fun because we understood why they have those nicknames”

Solberg, who is also 18, is from Raufoss, which is at the most southern end of Norway

He has been in the Norwegian Home Guard for one and a half years He plays the flute, piccolo and clarinet in the Raufoss Band

“I would really like to join His Royal Majesty The King's Guard 3rd Company,” said Solberg with an excited tone “That’s the band that plays for the King”

Solberg said he would like to be in the band so he can play music with the band on the 17th of May, which is the National Norwegian Constitution day, full of music bands marching in the streets

“We meet once a month for training in the Norwegian Home Guard,” said Solberg “We use compass, ahh, advanced first aid, and how do you say …,” he paused, searching for the right word, “foot movement you do? Drill and ceremony, yes”

Solberg went on to explain how the Norwegian Home Guard youth don’t train on combat, they just learn the fundamentals of the Norwegian Home Guard

“It gives us a taste of what the actual Norwegian Home Guard is like,” said Solberg

Holm and Solberg went on a buddy weekend with the family of Rich and Nancy Sundheim, of St Cloud Minnesota

This is the 11th year that the Sundheim’s have hosted a buddy weekend for the Norwegian Exchange

“On Saturday we went shopping at an outdoor equipment store and went to a music store in the cities,” said Mrs Sundheim “Afterwards we went to the science museum”

By Officer Candidate Trista LaFontaine
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
Feb 21, 2011

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