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Airmen spend weekend building bonds


Airmen gather at a hiking trail marker during the 50th Space Wing’s Chaplain’s Office Single Airmen Retreat in Vail, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Chaplain personnel organized hikes and other group activities to help participants bond during the excursion. (Courtesy photo)


Schriever Airmen pose at a trail marker during the 50th Space Wing Chaplain Office Single Airmen Retreat in Vail, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Airmen from a variety of squadrons attended the free event, which focused on group team building. (Courtesy photo)



The 50th Space Wing Chaplain Office hosted a Single Airmen Retreat in Vail, Colorado, Sept. 15-17.

More than 30 Airmen participated in recreational and group bonding activities, such as scavenger hunts, spirit hikes, capture the flag and gondola rides.

 “Vail was beautiful,” said Airman 1st Class Taylor Bryant, 50th Security Forces Squadron response force member, who went to the event with a friend. “My favorite part about the experience was riding the gondola.”

This was the first single Airmen retreat in nine years, attracting a large turnout with Airmen from a variety of squadrons across the base.

“I was pleased with the turnout,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Portmann Werner, 50 SW chaplain. “The event allowed the Airmen to explore Vail and see the sights. Also, the food was good.”

Lodging, meals and the activities were free, with a shuttle service provided to help save gas for the three hour ride there and back.

“A lot of Airmen expressed gratitude for how everything was free,” said Staff Sgt. Marcela Parker, 50 SW Chaplain Office NCO in charge of administrations. “Providing Airmen a safe environment to have a good time and bond is the main thing. Many expressed they wish to come back again.”

The event was designed to bring the Schriever community together - regardless of rank - to enjoy activities and bond, as well as compete, to build morale.

“We played capture the flag and ice hockey,” said Airman 1st Class Keely Rodgers, 50th Force Support Squadron customer support assistant. “Ice hockey was definitely my thing."

During the scavenger hunt, Airmen coordinated together and explored Vail, while other activities such as a spirit hike involved the group reaching new heights together. In addition, throughout the week, Airmen played capture the flag in night hours, watched movies and enjoyed free meals.

“Events like these help get Airmen together and build relationships as well as bond, getting to know what other people do outside of work,” Parker said.

This event was one of many retreats in the past year, the last being the “Laugh, Learn, and Love on your spouse” family retreat a month ago. Each retreat, whether for couples, husbands and wives, or Airmen, focus on fostering more in-depth relationships with fellow participants and growing together.

“This was for Airmen, with a big ‘A,” Parker said. “Not only did they get to bond with Airmen throughout the base, they got to know their chaplain staff as well.”

Chapel staff hope the next single Airmen retreat will serve as continuation of this one’s success, and will increase in frequency in the future.

“Watching people have fun and making new friends was the best part for me,” Parker said. “We hope we will have many more single Airmen retreats and we hope everyone can come out and join us.”

For more information about future retreats and Chapel events, contact the 50 SW Chapel Office at 567-3705.


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