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"Ask A Trooper" talks about School Patrol Camp

by Bonnie Amistadi

"ASK A TROOPER” by Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol


Question: I would like to know more about Legionville School Patrol Camp.  I know it has been going for a long time, and I wonder about its current status, and if the State Patrol is still involved?  Thanks.


Answer:  There is a lot of information about Legionville School Patrol Training Camp.  The Camp is where school patrol students are taught the fundamentals of school patrol and school bus patrol.  It is located just north of Brainerd, and it operated by the American Legion, using State Patrol Troopers as instructors.  It is believed to be the only school patrol training camp in the world.


This summer, it is celebrating 75 years of instruction and is going on right now until the middle of August.  It actually started 77 years ago in 1936, but because of World War II, they missed instructing in 1942 & 1943.  The ‘old familiar barn’ is gone. A new one is being constructed and will be completed in time for the 2014 season of instruction. 

School Patrol training itself was started (informally) back in 1920, when Sister Carmella asked the older boys to help the younger children cross the streets from school in St. Paul. 


Earle Brown (former  Minnesota Governor and former Minnesota “Highway Patrol” Chief),  formalized the program and got the Highway Patrol (now called Minnesota State Patrol since about 1974) involved with the instruction at the Earle Brown Farm in the Twin Cities.  Based on records from American Legion personnel, the training locations also included the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, Camp Ripley and the present Legionville location north of Brainerd, (southwest of Merrifield). 


Besides school patrol and school bus patrol training by troopers, other instructors help complete the week with swimming, canoeing, first aid training and many other activities and games.  The camp is a very active place.  Parents can pay for their kids to go, even though there are also some limited numbers of scholarships available each year through the local schools, State Patrol Troopers Association, local American Legion posts and many other venues.


This year, the camp runs from the middle of June, until the Middle of August.  Legionville has a web site if you want to know more than what I am writing about: http://www.legionville.org/


If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,jesse.grabow@state.mn.us)