Recharging resilience through the great outdoors

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
There are not many regions in the United States where someone can take an adventure in a deciduous or rain forest, desert or arctic region, canyons, mountains or coastlands all within a few hours' drive, but Washington State is one of them.

Airmen at Fairchild AFB not only have the opportunity to enjoy all the recreational options this diverse region offers, they also have the benefit of an Outdoor Recreation Program that provides trips, tours and adventures for Airmen and their families.

One way of increasing resilience is getting outside. Whether that means an epic adventure through the mountains, jumping out of an aircraft with a parachute or simply going for a walk, Outdoor Recreation offers many different ways to get outdoors. Currently, the 92nd Force Support Squadron's Outdoor Rec program offers about 120 trips a year and is working toward being able to offer 200 a year.

"Getting outside not only lets you blow off steam, but it also allows you to feel a freedom of spirit you can't get anywhere else," said Damien Smith, 92nd Force Support Squadron outdoor recreation director. "Everything you would need for the adventure is included in the trips we offer with the exception of clothing and a few personal effects. We will feed you, get your tickets and whatever else is necessary," said Smith. "If you are a single Airman and you have a significant other who is a civilian, you can bring them with you."

A long list of programs is offered at Outdoor Rec including indoor and outdoor rock climbing, cycling, scuba diving, sky diving, skiing and rafting. Having all of these options is a huge benefit to Airmen, with one of the main benefits being teaching Airmen how to overcome challenges and pushing them outside their comfort zones.

"Airmen might not think they are able to climb a 100-foot cliff, but with proper support they can do it; and that's symbolic of the Air Force and what it means to be an Airman," said Smith. "With proper support you can accomplish any mission."

A group of Fairchild Airmen recently went on a skiing trip to Silver Mountain Resort that was provided by Outdoor Rec. The total coast for each Airman that participated in the skiing trip was 10 dollars. That price included transportation to and from the mountain, a lift ticket and rental equipment.

Outdoor Rec is able to charge so little for its trips because of the R4R (Recharge for Resiliency) program. R4R is funded by the Air Force and designed to offset the cost of resilience programs for Airmen. This program is primarily focused towards helping active duty and their families, but if spots are not filled they can be opened to other authorized users.

Airman 1st Class Georgina Adjei, 92nd Medical Support Squadron health service management apprentice, reflected on the ski trip, saying, "It was a lot of fun! Outdoor Recreation is an exceptional program that brings friends and families together. When I come back from a trip I always look forward to going back again because it was amazing."

For more information on Outdoor Recreation and what they provide call (509) 247-5104 or check out their website here.