I was probably a 13 year old Boy Scout when I attended my first Ripley Rendezvous. This annual event was sponsored by the Central Minnesota Council, BSA, and the Camp Ripley National Guard Base, located north of Little Falls, Minnesota. It was a weekend event which brought hundreds of Boy Scouts together. The Scout troops slept in the barracks, ate in the dining halls, and had plenty of activities to have fun with. One activity that I will always remember is when Billy Kid, the Olympic skier, gave us skiing instructions. I think I even got his autograph.
When I became an adult leader for my home troop I once again began attending the Ripley Rendezvous. Our troop has not missed many of them during the last thirty years. The boys have always had a great time and enjoy being on the base. One of their highlights has been visiting the camp’s military museum.
Scouts will once again gather at Camp Ripley this weekend for the sixth state-wide Ripley Rendezvous. Thousands of Boy Scouts and adult leaders from five councils will be in attendance. The boys will participate in one of three age-based activity areas. It will be a jamboree-style event with all troop staying in tents and cooking meals by patrol.
Rumor has it that this could be the last Ripley Rendezvous. Our council does not have one listed on next year’s schedule. I have not heard the official reason for this, but I would bet it has something to do with the base becoming a very busy place over the last years. Hopefully, in the near future, things will settle down and the Rendezvous tradition can continue once again.