SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The 50th Force Support Squadron’s Outdoor Recreation team continues to find safe activities for Airmen through its Rec On program.
Rec On is part of the Rest for Resiliency initiative, which provides opportunities to Airmen prepping for or returning from deployment and seeks to reintegrate Airmen into society, family life and local communities. The program also serves active duty Airmen who have not deployed.
“The outdoors are definitely the preferred method to get people active and keep them six feet away from each other,” said Thomas Appleman, 50th FSS Outdoor Recreation assistant director. “We want to keep morale up and these activities are a good way to do that.”
During winter months, available activities include skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and more. Rec On provides cheaper options for participants to enjoy more activities.
“Through Rec On, [snowmobiling is] only $35, so there’s significant [savings] for those who use Rec On,” Appleman said. “We [provide] trips for prices they probably won’t find anywhere else.”
During the trips, Airmen still abide by COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of each attendee.
Appleman said they currently fill vans to 30% capacity, which amounts to four people in one car, including the driver.
“We do allow more [people] to come on the trips, but they would have to drive themselves," Appleman said. "We have a 10-person capacity since that's the current group limit for the state of Colorado."
Everyone who participates must wear a mask and adhere to physical distancing rules. In some cases, such as snowmobiling, once Airmen venture out on their vehicle, masks are not required due to the distance between attendees.
Although ODR has room for only 10 people, Appleman said it's important to the mission and for Airmen to host activities.
"Some folks get to go home, but others remain on base and can’t visit family,” he said. “Their options are limited, especially now, and having these opportunities to see other people, participate in activities, build morale and get some adrenaline going is critical.”
Braden Prather, 50th FSS Outdoor Recreation clerk, participated in summer hikes and, in October, completed Rec On’s full moon hike, where hikers wore costumes during a 2-mile trip.
Prather said she enjoyed how the program showed her different Colorado trails and helped her build bonds.
“I made friends specifically from going on these trips,” Prather said. “I wouldn’t have met these folks any other way and we’re still connected. [Rec On] is a great way to make friends and meet different people.”
Rec On hosts events most Saturdays, with the exception being holiday weekends, as well as April and May when ODR members train for whitewater rafting season.
Airmen interested in participating in events, contact Appleman at 567-4131.