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Awards & Recognition​

​KSP Trooper Island Camp celebrates 50 years of helping kids

Trooper Island, a free summer camp operated by the Kentucky State Police, is observing its 50th anniversary this year by doing what it does best: providing a fun, life-changing experience for underprivileged children throughout the state. Located on Dale Hollow Lake in Clinton County, the 34.5 acre island hosts around 700 campers each summer. It is estimated that more than 25,000 boys and girls between 10 and 12 years nof age have attended the program since 1965.

While attending the one-week sessions, the campers experience a structured environment that provides plenty of fresh air, good food, recreation and esteem-building activities designed to enhance citizenship skills and create good relationships with law enforcement officers. Throughout their stay, the campers are guided by KSP troopers and KSP civilian employees who volunteer during their off-duty time.

“Trooper Island is a showcase venue that occupies a special place in the heart of our agency,” explains KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. “As a long-term program of service to the youth of Kentucky, it offers a place where the tensions and turmoil of everyday lives can be forgotten and, for one week, young people can experience a touch of hope and the desire for a better future. It’s a positive way to impact the lives of the generations of tomorrow.”

Trooper Island now features modern housing, dining, recreation and dock facilities. It offers a full curriculum of activities from fishing, canoeing, archery and crafts to courses in personal hygiene, drug prevention, water safety, environmental awareness, patriotism and self-esteem enhancement.  

Each day begins with a routine that started during the early days of the camp: raising the U.S. flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Both uniformed and civilian personnel of the agency volunteer as counselors serving as positive role models to the campers. 

“From the beginning, the success of Trooper Island has depended on support from the private sector,” notes Brewer. “In 1966, the cost of transporting, feeding and caring for a camper for one week was $10. Today, it is considerably more. We greatly appreciate all of the business, civic and church organizations that contribute time, talent and resources to this effort. We couldn’t continue without them.”

KSP’s 16 posts also conduct local fundraising events such as golf tournaments and motorcycle runs to benefit the camp. ​The camp’s major fundraiser is an annual vehicle raffle that culminates on the last day of the Kentucky State Fair in August when a winner is drawn. This year the raffle features a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab SLE pickup truck. Tickets are just $10 each and are available at any KSP post or online by debit or credit card payment at http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/island.html​​. Only 20,000 tickets will be sold and ticket holders do not have to be present at the drawing to win.

“It takes a lot to keep Trooper Island operating each year,” Brewer admits. “But it’s well worth the effort. It’s an investment in the future that we can’t afford to ignore.”

Know someone who deserves an award?

Nominate them for a Governor's Ambassador Award. The annual awards highlight stories of public employees who have significantly and positively impacted the lives of others. 

Any state government employee can be recognized for contributions in the area of customer service, courage, leadership, professional achievement, teamwork (two or more employees), or community service and volunteerism.

Award recipients will be honored at a special ceremony during Public Service Recognition Week in October, and with a personalized engraved brick placed along Ambassador Avenue outside the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.
Those presently employed or employed within the past 12 months by any of the three branches of government are eligible. 

The deadline to submit a nomination is Aug. 31! Find nomination forms, more information, and a list of last year’s winners​.

Deputy commissioner inducted into veterans hall of fame 

​Jenny Goins, deputy commissioner for the Department of Employee Insurance, will be ​inducted into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Sept. 25, along with 24 other veterans. Goins' induction was announced July 29.

Goins served in the Air Force and Kentucky Air National Guard from 1975 to 2000. "The period that I served was, fortunately for me and my family, before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars," she said. "One of the things that's important to me is that my family knows that I served. It was a big piece of my life. It helped me grow up, I got my education, it did so many things for me."

When Goins graduated high school in Marshall County, Kentucky, she got married and joined the Air Force. "I had been in junior ROTC and I really loved it," she said. After doing her active duty time, and going through a divorce, she knew she needed to serve overseas to continue to advance. But the Air Force Reserve would require her to give up custody of her son. She discovered that the Air National Guard was more flexible. "I joined the Kentucky Air National Guard, and it was the best decision of my life," she said. "The people that I worked with in the Kentucky Air National Guard were just amazing."

Goins advanced all the way to the highest Air Force enlisted rank, and ultimately served as commandant of the Air National Guard non-commissioned officer academy before she retired. "I had opportunities to become an officer, but it was important to me to be a good role model for enlisted women and show that they can make rank," she said. "I stuck with it and was able to make chief."

​Goins is pictured with her son, who is currently serving in the Marines. Learn more about the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame here.​​