National Guard offers youth programs The South Dakota National Guard Family Readiness office offered two exciting programs for youth of the Guard.
The Teen Challenge for 13 to 15 year-olds was held July 8-11 and the Youth Challenge for 10 to 12 year-olds was held July 18-23.
Both camps were held at Camp Rapid in Rapid City. The Challenge program is open to any child or grandchild of a South Dakota National Guard member or retired member. The purpose of the camp is to b ring together youth of National Guard families to promote team building and leadership skills and to develop relationships with National Guard youth from all over the state.
The military structure served as a tool to teach the campers about military discipline, courtesy and protocol. Over 75 percent of the youth attending this year's camp had a loved one deployed.
Attending the camp from Vermillion was Hayley Glawe, daughter of David and Shondra Glawe.
The camp encouraged youth to instill a sense of pride and patriotism in being a youth of the South Dakota National Guard, while providing a fun and enjoyable experience. The campers were involved in various activities throughout the week of camp. The teens activities included; physical training, marching, flag training, team building exercises, camp outs, Take the Leap adventure day, kayaking, inner tubing, Ellsworth AFB B-1 simulators, SERE program, climbing tower, Mt. Rushmore lighting ceremony and cave tours.
The activities for the youth included swimming, canoeing, physical training, marching, flag training, team building exercises, camp outs, Mt. Rushmore lighting ceremony, land navigation, leadership reaction course, weapons training, crafts, dancing, Rapid City Police Department visit, overnight camping, Evans Plunge, Gulches of Fun, GFP nature hike, Ellsworth AFB tour and STARBASE.