August 19, 2010 at 9:36 a.m.

North Branch Legion post and police send first ever student to Legionville

North Branch Legion post and police send first ever student to Legionville
North Branch Legion post and police send first ever student to Legionville

If you've been on the road in North Branch either right before school starts, or just after the bell rings at the close of the day, you quickly realize how many kids walk to school.

This year, there will be an additional set of eyes and ears watching out for the young pedestrians, North Branch student Brayden Drake.

A graduate of the 2010 summer camp at Legionville School Safety Training Center in Brainerd, Brayden brings a sharp sense of school patrol know-how, and a great personality to his upcoming duty. He wow-ed the North Branch School Board recently when he demonstrated techniques he learned at Legionville, explaining each step an effective school crossing guard should follow.

North Branch Police Officer Ron Rollins is a member of the American Legion Post in North Branch, which sponsored Brayden's camp fee. Rollins introduced Brayden and his parents Shannon and Chris, at the school board meeting.

Brayden is the first North Branch pupil sponsored by the North Branch Legion, and, "We are proud to have him on board," Rollins added.

Many at the school board meeting were personally acquainted with Legionville. Vicki McDougall, school board member, is a Legionville-alum, Todd Tetzlaff, middle school principal, also went to the camp.

Legionville is on North Long Lake in Brainerd. It was bought by the American Legion in 1948 and has expanded to cover 160 acres.

The state patrol in cooperation with the Legion, provides crossing guard training during eight, one-week long, camp sessions for kids ages 10-13. Camp begins in early June and ended this summer on August 13.

School crossing guards are a Minnesota invention.

The first patrol flag person was stationed streetside in St. Paul; helping students attending Sister Carmela of the Cathedral Catholic School, in 1921.

The first chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, Earle Brown, went to the American Legion to get help in developing a standardized patrol training program and training sessions were originally offered at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds in 1936. The Legion and Minnesota State Patrol have been working together ever since.


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