CAMP RIPLEY -- A statewide program that combines American military installations and high schools is running full speed at Camp Ripley.
The Job Shadow program is available for high school juniors and seniors desiring to participate in creative and challenging learning experiences that will enable them to meet goals tailored to their individual talents, abilities and aspirations.
"This is for career clarification, not exploration," said Loren Boyum, program coordinator. Students are already taking classes in the career fields they experience at Camp Ripley.
Boyum started the Job Shadow program at Camp Ripley five years ago to give students who are interested in certain technical careers exposure to on-site job situations. Each year about 80 students have the opportunity to participate. High schools involved this year were Milaca, Anoka and Quad County/Grand Rapids.
-- Military Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday through May 25; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday May 30-Sept. 2.
-- Military ID Cards/DEERS updates: By appointment, call (320) 632-7400.
-- Post Exchange is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
-- April 27-29: 1,500 central Minnesota Boys Scouts will participate in the annual "Ripley Rendezvous."
"We keep the kids busy and tired," Boyum said about the three-day experience. The participating students and accompanying chaperones stay at Camp Ripley for the entire three days. Each student is assigned to a mentor in an area in which the student has a career interest.
Students work side by side with their work site mentors for the full workday. One career adviser said, "It's exciting to see the students apply what they've learned at school."
"I don't want this experience to amount to just a field trip. I want students to visit with work site mentors, see the world of work in a way that school cannot provide, and gain foundational lifework experiences that will be invaluable to them as they develop their individual lifework plans," added Boyum.
"The only complaint we have received about the program is from the kids who have been very upset because they had to go home," he said. One boy told him after the first day, "We've hardly scratched the surface of what is here."
Looking to the future of the program, Boyum said, "Our hope is that we can continue this on in cooperation with post-secondary institutions to provide a more complete articulated experience for the students we serve across the state of Minnesota."
Schools interested in the program should contact Camp Ripley Post Headquarters, ATTN: SFC. Len Kallsen at (320) 632-7367. Contact Boyum to make arrangements to coordinate the activity. Instructors then share this information with their students, and distribute application forms to those interested. In order to participate in the program, a student must be currently enrolled in a related vocational class at school.
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