In the early 1990's, Congress recognized the inherent community strengths of the National Guard, as well as its ability to train, lead, and mentor young people in a caring yet disciplined environment. In 1993, Congress approved the Defense Authorization Bill, which introduced the National Guard Youth Challenge Program as a pilot program.
Camp Beauregard was founded in 1993 as one of the initial 10 pilot programs nationwide.
The Gillis W. Long Center became the site of Louisiana’s second YCP program in 1999.
Camp Minden began two years later in 2001.
The Louisiana National Guard has the distinct honor of adminstering three Youth Challenge Programs (Camp Minden near Shreveport, Camp Beauregard in Central Louisiana, and The Gillis W. Long Center near Baton Rouge) and is the only state to do so nationwide! Each camp conducts two classes per year, and is open to applicants throughout the state.
Participants live in military barracks, attend school Monday through Friday, and have access to a variety of additional training resources and athletic fields. Cadets are supervised at all times and must remain on post unless participating in an authorized off post activity. All personal needs such as meals, bedding, and uniforms are provided at no cost to the participant.
Each year more than 1,400 students graduate from Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Programs combined.