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Airmen, civilians hunt eggs

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- More than 50 Airmen and Department of Defense civilians arrived at the pavilion near the fitness center annex here Tuesday, but they weren't participating in any "normal" workout regimen.

They were participating in the first Chapel sponsored Airmen Easter Egg Hunt, gathering candy- or prize-filled eggs in search of the three "golden eggs," which would earn them larger candy prizes.

"It was a blast actually being able to act like a kid again," said Staff Sgt. Tricia Benson, 50th Operations Support Squadron. "It was nice not having to buy and hide the eggs this time."

Benson wasn't the only participant who enjoyed the opportunity to relive a youthful moment.

"It was pretty fun to do something I haven't done in a long time," said Tech. Sgt. Cherish Dempsey, 50 OSS. "I hope to see it again next year."

Both Dempsey and Benson said their strategy was to go in the opposite direction of the crowd. A wise move based on the amount of goodies in their bags after the hunt.

"Most of the herd [initially] went behind the pavilion, so I went in the opposite direction," Benson laughed.

The event was the brainchild of Chaplain (Capt.) Portman Werner, 50 SW.

"We had a focus group a few months ago and one of the ideas that was thrown out was 'what if we did some kind of Easter egg hunt that was just for grown-ups?'" he said. "We got a really good reaction to that and that's why we decided to go with it."

The weather, while not exactly cooperative, didn't deter participation, though Werner said the late arrival of most of the participants did have him nervous for a brief moment.

"I looked at my watch at 10:50 and was a little worried, but I was very, very pleased with the turnout," Werner said. "Despite the wind and cold, there were a lot of smiling faces."

Holding the event inside the RA served a dual purpose both to give those not typically able to leave their desks the opportunity to get outside, but also to allow for people who consider themselves kids at heart to enjoy what is typically considered a child's activity.

"Really, it's just a good excuse for a lot of people to get out from their desks and get out into the sunshine," Werner said. "Especially for people in Buildings 300 and 400, give them a chance to see the sun."

Werner added holding events where people can come and just expect to have a good time helps the chaplains reach out to Airmen and build community within the base.

"Our specific goals aren't just to have fun," he said. "Our specific goals are to build community, give people something that's going to lower stress, break up the monotony of the day, but especially making friends and putting a face on chaplaincy.

"[We want people] to be able to say, 'Oh that's my chaplain, they're not an old fuddy-duddy or they're not super-scary throwing Bibles and holy water at me. They're approachable, they're somebody that I would feel comfortable talking to.' That happens best at events like this."

For more information about chaplain's events, contact the Chapel office at 567-3705.
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