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CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - The North Star Sled Dog Club hosted multiple sled-dog races in the first ever 'Spirit of the North' Winter Warrior sled dog race held Feb16 - 17 at Camp Ripley
"Mushers and teams came from all over the state to take part in 10, 25 and 40-mile races around the Camp Ripley Training Center," said Camp Ripley spokesperson Maj John Donovan
"This two day event is new to the variety of activities conducted on Camp Ripley," said Col Scott St Sauver, post commander for Camp Ripley "It's exciting to watch the racers and teams test their skills in this challenging sport," added St Sauver
Early risers were able to enjoy the view from the grand stand while they sipped hot chocolate The races started at 9 am on both days and lasted through the early afternoon
"It's great having so many people out here to see what we do and learn about sled dogs," said Bob Bzdok, event co-organizer "We are so pleased to be out here on Camp Ripley It was great not having to worry about running into hazards on the trail"
Most sled-dog races are held in state parks or along connecting trails accessible to snowmobilers and skiers Occasionally, the sled-dog trails will cross roads which cause a safety hazard for the racers and their teams according to Bzdok Although Camp Ripley is open to the public, the trails utilized by the racers were closed to foot and vehicle traffic
Of course, the dogs are the most popular aspect of the sport
"Most folks have never seen this kind of thing before; we get a lot of questions asking about how friendly the dogs are," said Club Veterinarian Jerry Vanek "They are excited athletes, but they'll be just as happy to lick your face as anything else," he added
The event put on by the North Star Sled Dog Club was the first of its kind in Morrison County and drew an estimated crowd of 500 people According to Bzdok, everyone involved stressed how impressed they were with the support from Camp Ripley and the racers are looking forward to coming back next year
Feb 17, 2012
Photos and story by Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Office
Posted: 2016-04-28 04:19 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Members of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association visited the Minnesota National Guard training site at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, April 26-27, 2016. The visit brought together radio and television broadcasters from across the state along with representatives of the Minnesota National Guard to highlight the years of positive relationships that have benefited the Minnesota public.
"On behalf of Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, the adjutant general of Minnesota, we are pleased to be able to spend time with members of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association at Camp Ripley," said Col. Kevin Olson, director of communications for the Minnesota National Guard.
Posted: 2016-04-26 02:36 PM ST. PAUL, Minn. - If you're looking to meet Sgt. David Zolldan of the Minnesota National Guard, there's a right way...and a wrong way. If you choose to text and drive, speed or fail to keep right on Minnesota's highways, check your rearview mirror, he might be there.
Seeing him standing proudly in the distinctive maroon and khaki uniform of the Minnesota State Patrol or on drill weekends, wearing the camouflage of a Soldier and military police officer, you might guess that Zolldan was born to serve and protect. But to him, the path to where he is today wasn't always as clear as one might think.
"I'm kind of an anomaly in my family," said Zolldan, thinking through where else he might have gone with his career. "All my family members are teachers."
Posted: 2016-04-20 09:27 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Yellow Ribbon community members, military leaders, and mental health professionals attended the Military Mental Health Initiative Conference April 12-14 at Camp Ripley.
Several guest speakers, along with military personnel and field professionals, met to unite community mental health providers with existing services and resources for worthwhile, up-to-date support to service members, veterans and families.
"Our objective here is to assist in facilitating a seamless transition for care between civilian and military behavioral health providers for Minnesota National Guard service members and their families," said Rebekah Pulju, behavior health officer with the Minnesota National Guard.
Posted: 2016-04-13 08:29 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Army and Air Force chaplains and chaplain assistants from the Minnesota National Guard took part in annual Religious Support Team collective training at Camp Ripley, April 8-9, 2016.
The training was organized to provide a common operating picture of techniques and practices used by chaplains in the field as well as in garrison and on assignment.
"This is a great opportunity for us, bringing all the ministry elements of the Minnesota National Guard together," said Lt. Col. Michael Crawford, Camp Ripley Garrison chaplain.