Volunteer Instructor Newsletter - Summer 2021

minnesota department of natural resources

Volunteer Safety Instructor Newsletter

Summer 2021

Thank you to instructors

Instructors:  Thank you for your continued efforts to assist with safety training over the past year.  We are very grateful to our Volunteer Instructors for their dedication and commitment to ensuring our youth and adults in Minnesota receive quality safety training!  We hope to resume normal operations for the programs in the near future; until then, please enjoy some photos of volunteers that have recently received their length of service awards.


Snowmobile instructor receives 50-year award

Bill Arndt

Bill Arndt (right) received a 50-year service award this past month for teaching snowmobile safety. Conservation officer Zach Larson presented the award.

William (Bill) Arndt of Hutchinson recently received a 50-year snowmobile instructor award.  

Arndt recalls, when in his 30's, snowmobiles being manufactured at a high rate, and were inexpensive at the time.

Arndt's hobby led him to help begin a local club, and later became a regional director of the Minnesota United Snowmobiler's association.  Arndt became a certified instructor and began teaching in the Hutchinson area in 1971.

Arndt and his fellow instructors have taught more than 5,000 students how to operate a snowmobile safely, to slow down, pay attention and enjoy the ride.

After over 50 years of sledding, Arndt does not ride as much as he used to, but still loves the sport, he says.  This past year he rode along the river to Cedar Mills. He enjoys the opportunity to watch wildlife.  On a northern Minnesota farm, he rides private trails.  "It's a wonderful way of going through the woods," he said.

Congratulations, Bill!

30-Year instructor award recipients

Friedl Awarded

James Friedl (L), and Conservation Officer Amber Ladd

James Friedl of McGregor was presented with his 30-year snowmobile safety instructor award.  Friedl is part of the Tamarack Sno-Flyers Club.  CO Ladd presented the award at a recent meeting, saying the award was well received and several members appreciated the message, giving Friedl a standing ovation.

Congratulations, Jim!

Dennis Ganz

Dennis Ganz of Hackensack, receives a 30-year firearms safety instructor award.

Family of Steven Stoks presented award

steven stoks

L-R: Chris Stoks, Linda Stoks, and David Stoks

The family of Steven Stoks of Hoyt Lakes was presented with a 40-year firearms safety award last month.  Stoks, the former Chief of Police for the City of Hoyt Lakes, passed away before the award could be presented.

firearms instructor

Wilbert "Bud" Koskiniemi (center) receives his 30-year firearms safety award from retired C.O. Mark Fredin (l) and C.O. Duke Broughten (r).

Patrick Kemmer

Patrick Kemmer of Glyndon receives his 30-year firearms safety award from C.O. Steve Chihak.

Gary Leach Jr.

Gary Leach, Jr., receives the 30-year firearms safety award for his father, Gary Leach, by C.O. Steve Chihak.

New Regional Training Officer for Northeast Region

Conservation Officer Scott Fitzgerald began his duties as the Northeast Regional Training Officer on Wednesday, June 23, 2021.  His area of responsibilities includes Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis Counties.

He can be reached at scott.fitzgerald@state.mn.us.

Welcome, and Congratulations, Scott!

2020 Instructor of the year awards

Richmond man is snowmobile safety instructor of the year

Charles Reichert

C.O. Todd VanderWeyst, left, presents the Snowmobile Instructor of the Year Award to Charles Reichert.

Charles Reichert of Richmond, has been named the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Snowmobile Instructor of the Year for 2020.

During his 28 years as a volunteer instructor, Reichert has provided safety training for about 1,500 students. Reichert is a longtime member of the Minnesota United Snowmobile Association, and active in his local club – the Country Snow Cruisers – as well as the Stearns County Snowmobile Trail Association. He has served in a number of capacities, and remains active in nearly every facet – from fund-raising to working with private landowners to access permission to maintaining and grooming trails.

And he’s dedicated to ensuring that new snowmobile riders have the knowledge they need to enjoy a lifetime of safe riding.

“For all things snowmobile, Charlie really is the go-to guy in the Richmond area,” said DNR Conservation Officer Todd VanderWeyst, who nominated him for the award. “He’s extremely humble and cares first and foremost about ensuring future generations have the same opportunities we have today, and he himself is a model for other volunteer instructors when it comes to grooming safe and responsible snowmobile riders.”

Reichert is known for providing thorough, interesting safety classes that keep students attentive and learning. He blends in personal experiences to help him illustrate concepts, and goes to great lengths to help students understand everything from regulations and safety to proper equipment and snowmobile preparation.

Congratulations, Charles!

Grand Rapids man is 2020 ATV instructor of the year

Dave Andrews

C.O. Tom Sutherland, left, presents the award to David Andrews, Jr.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has named David Andrews Jr., a volunteer ATV safety instructor in Grand Rapids, as the 2020 ATV instructor of the year.

Andrews, an active and founding member of the Rapids Riders ATV Club, has been a volunteer ATV safety instructor and active in the DNR’s Volunteer Trail Ambassador program since 2007. In that time, he’s taught about 1,200 students as part of 40 classes. In addition, he’s a volunteer firearms safety instructor and active in several other local and statewide conservation and community organizations.

“Whether he’s teaching new riders in class, or reinforcing safe riding habits among the people he meets on the trail through his work as a Trail Ambassador, David has a long track record of helping people enjoy the outdoors safely,” said DNR Conservation Officer Tom Sutherland, who is stationed in Grand Rapids. “He goes above and beyond to ensure people have the skills they need to enjoy a lifetime of safe riding.”

Andrews is among the nearly 1,000 volunteer ATV safety instructors who work with DNR conservation officers to deliver ATV safety training certification. 

Congratulations, David!

Pierz woman is 2020 firearms safety instructor of the year

Shelly Boser, a volunteer firearms safety instructor from Pierz, was named 2020 firearms safety instructor of the year by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  A presentation will be made later this summer at the Game Fair.

Congratulations, Shelly!

Outdoor Edge Pro Form for 2021

Click on this link for the order form:    OutdoorEdge Pro Form 2021  



Henry Repeating Arms Company  .22 rifles, both Lever and Bolt action - 718/499-5600 or visit their website at:  Henry Repeating Rifles

Hunter Safety Systems - Fall Arrest Harness   Toll Free 877-296-3528 or go to:       

Savage Arms   .22 bolt action youth models - single shot

Third Hand Archery - Tree Stand Gun Hoist and other training aids available for purchase.

Education materials can be purchased at Federal Premium Education Materials.

IHEA - Subscribe to the International Hunter Education Association Email Newsletter.

     IHEA YouTube videos:  

IHEA's Hunters Connect YouTube Videos


Adaptive Equipment for Disabled Hunters  

Alan Madison DVDs

DNR Instructor Page

Ducks Unlimited

Hunter Education Tools

Izaak Walton League

MN Deer Hunters Association

MN Shooting Ranges

MN Volunteer Instructor Association

Nat'l Bow Hunter Ed Foundation

Nat'l Shooting Sports Foundation

Nat'l Wild Turkey Foundation

Outdoor Edge

Pheasants Forever

Ruffed Grouse Society

Safari Club

Turn In Poachers


American Council of Snowmobile Associations



Heads Up Braking System

MN 4-Wheel Drive Association

MN United Snowmobilers Association

Nat'l Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council