Operation Slide Schriever provides slip, sliding fun
By Brian Hagberg, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 19, 2015
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Hundreds of Schriever Air Force Base personnel, Ellicott School District students, Schriever School Age Program participants and housing residents came out to participate in Operation Slide Schriever Aug. 14.
Operation Slide Schriever, a collaboration between Schriever and the organizers of Slide the City, brought a sample slide from that event, which took place in Colorado Springs Aug. 15, to Schriever.
A post to Facebook put the wheels in motion to attempt to bring Slide the City to Schriever, according to Chief Master Sgt. Tamara Olson, 50th Mission Support Group superintendent. Because of the short notice, what would typically take approximately three months of planning was accomplished in a week.
"We had a very small window of opportunity to make this happen," she said. "It was challenging to say the least, but the entire installation stepped up to help with the planning, organizing, set up, operations and tear down. The Slide the City organization was extremely impressed by the quality of Airmen who came out to assist."
Those Airmen and base personnel who volunteered for the event were a big reason why it was such a success, she added.
"The only way this event took place and was such an enormous success was because of volunteers," Olson said.
According to slidethecity.com, Slide the City is a family friendly event with live music, food, drinks and a 1,000 foot slip-and-slide. The slide brought to Schriever wasn't quite 1,000 feet, but still allowed participants to experience many of the same elements.
"The feedback was very positive and everyone was appreciative of the efforts by the entire team," Olson said. "Morale and welfare events like these can significantly increase the morale for the entire base and our local community."
The SAP used the event as an unofficial closing ceremony for its summer program. Even with many districts already in session, more than 35 youth from the SAP attended the event.
"Although the youth had started school on Wednesday, Aug. 5, it was a fun opportunity since Ellicott School was invited and the youth got to see all of their friends from school," said Vicki Rygiel, SAP coordinator. "It was a hot day and the cool, wet slide made for an exciting and fun activity."
"The decision to invite the Ellicott students was a great opportunity to partner with the local community," Olson said. "This directly reflects the installation's commitment to strengthening the Schriever community."
Rygiel said many of the SAP youth thought Operation Slide Schriever was both a great event, and a good way to end the summer program. Some of the youth comments included: "I got wet, I had fun and it was really sunny!"; "The slide was slippery and very exciting!"; "It was awesome!"; "I did a belly flop on that cool slide!" and "Slide-tastic bro!"
During a typical Slide the City event, participants register for various amounts of trips down the slide with costs ranging from $10 to $72.
Unlike the event in Colorado Springs, participants in Operation Slide Schriever were able to enjoy the slide, food and a kid's zone at no cost. In addition to the slide, the 50th Force Support Squadron provided hot dogs, chips and drinks for all participants, and bounce houses for children who didn't meet the height/weight requirements for the slide.
Given the number of events happening on or near Schriever this summer, including the Summer Slam Base Picnic and Operation Slide Schriever, Rygiel summed up the experience for Schriever youth this summer with a simple exclamation.
"It was an amazing summer for the youth on Schriever Air Force Base!"