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Schriever goes big for base picnic

Etienne McGinley, aka Thunder M’Crack, acrobatix performer, juggles for a crowd during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Performers and other guests entertained Airmen and families throughout the picnic. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Etienne McGinley, aka Thunder M’Crack, acrobatix performer, juggles for a crowd during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Performers and other guests entertained Airmen and families throughout the picnic. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Knockerball players send each other flying during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Knockerball is a soccer game that consists of two five-person teams inside large inflatable spheres that protect players from heavy impacts while playing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)

Knockerball players send each other flying during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Knockerball is a soccer game that consists of two five-person teams inside large inflatable spheres that protect players from heavy impacts while playing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)

Senior Airman Jared Andrews, U.S. Air Force Academy Band bassist, plays a country tune during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The band, Wild Blue Country, supports military and public functions with live music. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Senior Airman Jared Andrews, U.S. Air Force Academy Band bassist, plays a country tune during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The band, Wild Blue Country, supports military and public functions with live music. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Col. Anthony Mastalir, 50th Space Wing vice commander, gets dunked during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Mastalir was peer-voted to get soaked in the dunk booth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)

Col. Anthony Mastalir, 50th Space Wing vice commander, gets dunked during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Mastalir was peer-voted to get soaked in the dunk booth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)

Ken Robinson, Primary Prevention of Violence specialist, hosts an information booth during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Robinson passed out free giveaways and information to picnic attendees. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Ken Robinson, Primary Prevention of Violence specialist, hosts an information booth during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Robinson passed out free giveaways and information to picnic attendees. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

The Schriever griffin mounts a mechanical bull during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The griffin was one of the many riders waiting to go for eight seconds. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

The Schriever griffin mounts a mechanical bull during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The griffin was one of the many riders waiting to go for eight seconds. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

A rider tries to hang on to a mechanical bull during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The mechanical bull was a new addition to the base picnic and created long lines of determined attendees to see who could ride the longest. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

A rider tries to hang on to a mechanical bull during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The mechanical bull was a new addition to the base picnic and created long lines of determined attendees to see who could ride the longest. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

Camron Pressley smiles with his new puppy face painting during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

Camron Pressley smiles with his new puppy face painting during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

Schriever Airmen and families begin a fun run during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The run kicked off the day’s festivities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

Schriever Airmen and families begin a fun run during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The run kicked off the day’s festivities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

Tech. Sgts. Kent Kaminski, Katrena Holmes and Rondy Williams , 5/6 Council members, interact with Shelley Welch during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The council joined dozens of other base support offices, private organizations and sponsors to educate and interact with the Schriever community. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)
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Tech. Sgts. Kent Kaminski, Katrena Holmes and Rondy Williams , 5/6 Council members, interact with Shelley Welch during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The council joined dozens of other base support offices, private organizations and sponsors to educate and interact with the Schriever community. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Master Sgt. Phillip Merritt, 17th Test Squadron, and his daughter, Rylee, ride a camel during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Camel and elephant rides were just a few of the many interactive attractions Airmen and families could enjoy. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)
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Master Sgt. Phillip Merritt, 17th Test Squadron, and his daughter, Rylee, ride a camel during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Camel and elephant rides were just a few of the many interactive attractions Airmen and families could enjoy. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Jasmine Jaramillo, Elijah Lujan, Luciano Lujan and Elonzo Lujan ride an elephant during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Several elephants and camels were brought to the picnic to give families rides. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)
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Jasmine Jaramillo, Elijah Lujan, Luciano Lujan and Elonzo Lujan ride an elephant during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Several elephants and camels were brought to the picnic to give families rides. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

An inflatable obstacle rolls over Adrienne Sanchez during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The obstacle course made participants jump or duck over spinning beams until all of the players were knocked off their platform. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)
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An inflatable obstacle rolls over Adrienne Sanchez during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. The obstacle course made participants jump or duck over spinning beams until all of the players were knocked off their platform. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)

U.S. Air Force Academy Band, Wild Blue Country, plays country and rock music during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)
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U.S. Air Force Academy Band, Wild Blue Country, plays country and rock music during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Darren Domingo)

Team Schriever members solve puzzles and pop locks in a Mystery Escape Room during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Participants had less than one hour to figure out the answers to escape the room. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)
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Team Schriever members solve puzzles and pop locks in a Mystery Escape Room during the Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, July 15, 2016. Participants had less than one hour to figure out the answers to escape the room. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brian Hagberg)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

“Go big or go home.”

The proverbial saying rang true during the Summer Slam Base Picnic Friday, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

The 50th Force Support Squadron led the annual event, offering a full day of recreational activities for attendees.

“We hold the base summer slam picnic, as well as our other events, to provide quality of life for our Schriever Air Force Base community, the Airmen and their families. This year, we’ve added a lot more bang to this specific event. Just a number of activities and events for the families to enjoy, so I think it went splendidly,” said Maj. Merrell Mobley, 50 FSS commander.

The day kicked off with a family fun run and a new addition to the yearly festivities - a Knockerball tournament.

Knockerball is a soccer game consisting of two five-person teams inside large inflatable spheres that protect players from heavy impacts while playing. Out of the seven different 50th Space Wing units that faced-off, the 1st Space Operations Squadron emerged victorious.

“It was awesome - playing Knockerball was a very different experience. It was more like running around and trying to not get clobbered too badly. Our team was more excited about getting more play time. Every game we won meant we got to play more,” Capt. Adam Hockert, 1 SOPS Standardization and Evaluation flight commander.

The tournament was one of the first introductions many Schriever members had to the game.

“We’re really excited that we get the chance to sign out the Knockerball equipment for future squadron (physical trainings),” said Hockert.

Families enjoyed interacting and taking pictures with animals during camel and elephant rides. After a ride, kids could run into the base fitness center to jump in inflatable bounce houses or get their faces painted.

The popular dunk booth once again invited participants to step up and try their hand at getting some lucky (or unlucky) individuals soaked - including 50th Space Wing leadership.

Those looking for a more mental challenge headed into the Mystery Escape Room, where groups solved puzzles to escape a “locked” room in less than one hour.

Dozens of sponsors and base support offices lined the indoor running track with booths offering free giveaways, information and interactive activities for picnic attendees to win prizes.

“We’d like to thank all the commercial sponsorship for their support and generosity for this event. We couldn’t execute these types of events without their support,” said Mobley.

Another newcomer to the base picnic, the mechanical bull, created long lines of determined attendees to see who had the moxie to be the best Schriever rider.

Second Lt. Walker Fickling, 50 FSS resource advisor, was crowned the 2016 Schriever mechanical bull riding champion with a 36-second ride.

“It was pretty exhilarating, there’s nothing quite like it. It started off kind of slow and then it got faster and faster and I was wondering if I could hold on and before I knew it, the whole world was spinning and I was on the ground looking up at the sky. I’ve ridden a mechanical bull a few times but I guess it was just a technique I’ve developed. You’ve just got a grip it and rip it,” laughed Fickling.

Team Schriever members and their families enjoyed lunch under a massive tent to beat the heat while listening to live music from the U.S. Air Force Academy band – Wild Blue Country.

Wayne Kingsbury, 50 FSS Manpower and Personnel Flight chief, explained the vital role base volunteers played during the day.

“We can’t put on these kinds of events without volunteers from across the installation. This year was a good year, we had lots of volunteers, specifically for tear down – we had a great turn out. It was done in record time. We can’t thank them enough,” he said.

Mobley shared his personal success gauge for any 50 FSS event is found in those his squadron serves.

“My litmus test, whenever we’re having these events, is just to take a look at the faces of the kids who are attending. To see the kids smiling, having a good time and engaging with their families as well as giving the military member their time to decompress and build upon the resiliency that is so important in today’s military – that makes it all worth it,” said Mobley.

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