Operation: Fun summer

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Laura L. Valentine
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Geocaching, R-Pods and stripers? If those three words are already familiar, outdoor recreation might not be a completely foreign concept. If they are unknown, it might be time to check out McConnell's outdoor recreation department.

Outdoor Recreation offers a wide variety of products and trip planning services available to Team McConnell and their families as well as veterans, retirees and military identification card holders.

For the 2011 summer season, outdoor recreation has scheduled several trips and events.

Day trips to Kansas City for a Royals baseball game and a weekend casino trip to Tulsa, Okla., are scheduled for July. In addition to leisure trips, outdoor recreation will facilitate a weekend of striper fishing in Texas and a Geocaching excursion at Lake El Dorado, Kan., this month.

Activities will continue throughout August.

One feature benefiting McConnell clients is the "outdoor recreation on demand" option to create a program. In five steps, a program can be planned and facilitated. Required steps include meeting the minimum number of participants and collecting money.

"It's an easy process," said Jim Vause, 22nd Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation director. "All they [clients] have to do is sit back, relax and have a good time."

Programs are the biggest draw for people to come out and use outdoor recreation, said Kelly Crabb, 22nd FSS Outdoor Recreation aide. The biggest part right now is getting the word out.

In addition to adventures planned off-base, outdoor recreation hosts outdoor activities on-base as well. This includes the newly renovated outdoor pool is open six days a week, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Improvements including new gutters and drains for the pool, fencing to enclose the pool area and lap lanes were added to give the outdoor pool a more modern look. The pool snack bar was also reconstructed, and the bathroom was enlarged to accommodate usage from the outdoor pavilion and the pool.

"We want to make sure we can offer better facilities for our customers," said Vause, on the improvements to the pool.

The Krueger Recreation Area is also managed by Outdoor Recreation and encompasses more than 160 acres dedicated to recreational activities. It is named after Col. Michael V. Krueger, former 22nd Air Refueling Wing vice commander, who died on March 3, 2009.

Available activities include a disc golf course, driving range, archery range, fishing ponds, picnic areas and many other amenities.

For Team McConnell members who are planning outdoor adventures, whether in the backyard or backwoods, the recreation department has hundreds of items available for rent.

Everything from tents and coolers, to inflatable slides, to kayaks and jet skis and paintball equipment are available for daily, weekend or weekly rental.

Two brand new R-PODs are available for rent this summer, offering compact camping luxury with the ease of a low tow weight. These two trailers are part of a fleet of 24 camping trailers available.

To rent a power boat or all-terrain vehicle from outdoor recreation, completion of mandatory safety course is required. Courses are offered through the department.

For hours, products available for rent and scheduled events, visit the outdoor recreation link on www.refuelmcconnell.com.