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Explorers convention a success

Staff reports

Jennie Hill said it was hard work, but she would do it again.

Hill, a deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the adviser for the Douglas County Explorers’ Post, recently organized a conference for explorers from all over the West.

The conference was attended by 800 students and their advisors; 77 different posts from Montana, California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon, and Hill said the weekend was a success.

She said the last time the conference was held in Douglas County was nine years ago, before Hill was involved with the Explorers.

She said many people are to be thanked for the the success of the event. Many county employees volunteered their time to make sure the event ran smoothly. The Horizon and Caesars Tahoe casinos and hotels hosted the events.

“People from 45 outside agencies helped us judge, they acted as role players, they helped out selling T-shirts and they monitored the kids as they reported in and gave information out,” Hill said.

Seminars were given by agents from the FBI, Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, not to mention Federal Marshals.

The Explorers were given information and training on defensive tactics, drug investigation, sex crimes, hate crimes and computer crimes.

“The highlight was the speaker who is the first and only female special agent in charge of a DEA bureau. She spoke at the closing ceremonies and was very motivational,” she said. “She is very committed to her job. She was very inspirational and the kids just loved her.”

The whole event was very inspirational, Hill said.

“It brought a lot of people close together and it was so positive to see kids in these kinds of roles,” she said. “They got experience, training, competition and just got to know each other.”

The 15 explorers in Douglas County’s post were not allowed to compete except in individualized events in which it couldn’t be assumed that they were given preferential treatment.

Kim Smith won second place in physical agility, girls 14-17, and a team of four earned second place in drill team.

“These are things they had to do on their own. They got together on their own and practiced on their own,” she said. “During the whole thing I was proud of these kids. They worked and made sure everyone had water and lunch and helped set up and tear down.”

Hill gave credit to all those who helped her.

“People asked me how I did something like this and I said you have to have support from your chief or sheriff all the way down. We did, and we had a lot of help. The volunteers are really the ones that made it happen,” she said.