By Master Sgt. Dorothy Goepel, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 12, 2009
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Take me camping, backpacking, hiking, kayaking! Something, please. No can do? Let's look at other possibilities, then. Observing exotic fish at the Denver Aquarium should go swimmingly, and a trip to the 80-acre Denver Zoo should be wild. Maybe a week-long jaunt to the Sunshine State is the ticket: let's escape to sugary beaches and experience the attractions of Walt's world. (Call 720-847-6853 for facts about free Disney tickets for active duty members and retirees.)
If only we knew a place where recreation is the abiding mantra, where a ticker tape parade of ideas is marching toward us. Morale, Welfare and Recreation is not that place, as it's known in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. In the Air Force, adventure-seekers go to Outdoor Recreation/Information Tickets and Travel, a division of the 460th Force Support Squadron.
Outdoor Recreation/ITT is in Bldg. 1022 on the right side of Aspen Road as you enter Buckley AFB through the Mississippi Gate. June 9 marks two years that Outdoor Recreation/ITT has been housed in this new building; yet, some folks may have overlooked all the promotional and advertising efforts to inform them of the move from Mod 2 near the softball fields to Bldg. 1022.
Brian Spann, a recreation assistant for seven years and one of five employees with Outdoor Recreation/ITT, is optimistic that more people will stop by Bldg. 1022 and discover a modern and well-stocked retail store and rental equipment section to include back packs, camp stoves, cots, sleeping bags, tents, kayaks, canoes, two road bikes, four mountain bikes, roughly 100 snowboards, 300 sets of skis, six Palomino tow-behind trailers, five Casita tow-behind trailers with bathrooms and five Casita tow-behind trailers without bathrooms. And this is not a complete list of Bldg. 1022's offerings for summer outdoor escapes and leisure trips.
The Outdoor Adventure Program organizes trips and anything outdoor-oriented, Spann noted. Among the trips are backpacking, hiking, kayaking and skiing.
"This year, I didn't do a single ski trip," Spann said. In years past, he said, there were record sales for ski trips, scheduled for November-April, when the main resorts are open.
All outdoor trips are organized for at least six people and discounted transportation is provided. The farther away the site, the higher the transportation costs. At the moment, with a small staff, the program limits all trips to one day to meet safety guidelines.
The ITT side sells discounted tickets to attractions in Colorado, Florida, California, Missouri, Virginia and Texas, even Idaho, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Well-known attractions include the Denver Aquarium, Denver Zoo and Six Flags Elitch Gardens, and in Florida, Disney World, Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space Center, and in California, Disneyland, Sea World, Universal Studios and the San Diego Zoo.
Also, since early this year, ITT began helping with options for cruise ship excursions.
"Any cruise offered online can be booked through ITT, and some cruise lines offer a military rate," said Alicia Dummar, an operations clerk who's worked at Outdoor Recreation/ITT for nearly two years.
More excitement is on the way at Outdoor Recreation/ITT as it expands its services. According to Spann, a paintball range near Lake Williams is scheduled to open sometime this summer.
"People can ask about a service, and if we don't have it, we can see about adding it," Spann said.
Re-discover the outdoors. Visit Bldg. 1022 or call 720-847-6101 or 6020 for information on rental equipment and the Outdoor Adventure Program's day trips. Call 720-847-6853 for tickets to attractions and to find out about cruise ship options.