Thirty-one children of Wisconsin National Guard members forged closer ties in the cold and snow of Hannah Venture Base in Rhinelander, Wisconsin Feb. 10-12 as part of the Service Member Support Division’s annual Winter Warrior Weekend.
Open to youth ages 8-17 and offered free of charge, the three-day event is the most popular school-year camp the Service Member Support Division (SMSD) offers.
“The youth had a great time trying new things and having fun,” said JonDaniel Engelhardt with SMSD’s Child and Youth Program. “It was the warmest Winter Warrior Weekend with temperatures in the 20s, when it’s usually zero or below.”
Activities included snow tubing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, broom ball, and making snow art. Youth made snow structures as part of winter survival training. Camp participants also learned resilience skills and took part in mental health conversations.
“The goal of Winter Warrior Weekend is to build community and resiliency with military youth,” Engelhardt said. “We help create a space where youth know they are not the only ones to deal with a parent in uniform.
“The friends made at camp go past that weekend,” Engelhardt continued. “Many youth stay connected via social media or cell phones. This connection builds a network of support, so if one military youth is struggling with a parent at drill or deployed, they know they have a friend who has dealt with something similar, unlike most of their peers at school.”
The Wisconsin National Guard Service Member Support Division provides military members, families, retirees, organizations and communities with information and communication to ensure readiness and resilience to accomplish the mission and transition back to family and civilian roles.
This web site is the official Web site of the Wisconsin National Guard, provided as a public service by the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs Public Affairs Office. For site management, information is collected for statistical
purposes. This web site uses software programs to create summary statistics, which are used for such purposes as assessing what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying
system performance or problem areas. For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this web site employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts
to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.