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CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- It is widely known that Camp Ripley is the primary training site for the Minnesota National Guard What many may not know is that once a year since 1991, Camp Ripley has been home to the Minnesota National Guard Youth and Teen Camp, which emphasizes patriotism Children between the ages of 10-12 and 13-15 who have a family member that is currently serving or has retired from the Minnesota Guard are eligible for the youth and teen camps
Camp Director and retired Master Sgt Richard Kemp has been volunteering for 22 years and stated, "This is one of the most rewarding things I do with my life It's amazing to see how much these kids grow in a week" His daughter Taylor, 10, is a first-time camper this year and was thrilled to see one of the Guard's UH-60 Black Hawks up close
Some of the activities that campers experience are tours of the Minnesota Military Museum, flag ceremonies, biking, archery, swimming, age-appropriate obstacle courses, and demonstrations of military vehicles and equipment to name a few
Maj Jerome Gunn, Division logistics officer, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team headquarters, was excited to have his daughter Mica, 10, attend for the first time this year Gunn stated, "She's never spent more than a night away from home This was her first big away trip from mom and dad All that I've received back [from the staff] is that she's having a great time"
Years ago when she was a youngster herself, Warrant Officer Nicole Hughes, an all-source technician with Alpha Company, 1st Brigade of the 34th Infantry Division Brigade Special Troops Battalion attended the youth camp She enrolled her son Jack, 10, for the first time this year Hughes commented, "I think it's fair to say that I've done more cool things at that camp in a week than I've ever done wearing a uniform I've never shot a bow and arrow in uniform I've never ridden in a tank Maybe I rappelled in basic training That was about it They do everything"
The Brigade Information Services Technician, Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Chapman, was proud to have both his son Cole, 11, in youth camp and his daughter Cora, 15, in teen camp for the second consecutive year When asked what he would tell someone considering enrolling their child in youth camp, his answer resonated with the sentiments of the other two parents, "Don't hesitate; just do it"
This week's youth camp concluded with a graduation for the 69 youth campers with their parents watching proudly The ceremony began with two groups of campers, the Bradleys and the Falcons, marching into the auditorium and around the audience to showcase one of their newly honed abilities Maj Gen Richard Nash, the Minnesota National Guard's adjutant general, spoke and asked the campers about their experiences The audience was privileged to see a slideshow highlighting the events that their children had experienced Upon completion of the slideshow, each camper was announced and ran across the stage, high-fiving the staff and fellow campers as they ran The ceremony ended with the campers and counselors walking hand in hand around the auditorium singing "Proud to be an American"
For more information about the Minnesota National Guard Youth & Teen Camps, please visit their website at http://mngycorg
August 19, 2013 by Sgt Travis Scott
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.