June is the Great Outdoors Month Published June 6, 2019 By 2nd Lt. Michael Hardy 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairrs WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Summer is here and it’s time to get outside! June is the start of summer and is also the Great Outdoors Month. On May 31, 2019, President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation making this observed event official. Outdoor activities can double as social events with friends and families. Hiking on trails, swimming at a lake, camping under the stars, and having s’mores around a fire with friends and family can be great ways for Team Whiteman to celebrate. Here at Whiteman Air Force Base, there are many opportunities to escape the indoors. The Arnold and Ike Skelton Park and lakes on base provide Team Whiteman with places to get together. Families can get together for picnics and birthday parties or to play on the playgrounds. The parks also have barbeques. The lakes here allow for catch and release fishing. 1st Lt. Allen Palmer, assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs office, qualified for the Missouri’s Fish and Game Master Angler Award in May of this year by catching a 46-pound fish here on base at Arnold Lake. The Missouri Fish and Game has several opportunities for locals to try fishing and reward their efforts from awards like the “First Fish” certificate for catching your first fish to bigger accomplishments like the “Release a Lunker” award. To achieve this award, you must catch a lunker that is at least 18 inches long in 4 approved spots around Missouri between March and October. More information can be found on the Missouri Fish and Game website at https://mdc.mo.gov/. There are also a number of ways people can enjoy the great outdoors outside the base gates. Knob Noster State Park that allows camping, hiking, running biking and even boating. Trails in the park start at 1 mile and build up to 7 miles! Other approved activities include fishing and even horseback riding. Park staff members also host classes and regular events where participants can learn about basic navigation and bird watching! More information about classes and events the State Park can be found at https://mostateparks.com/park/knob-noster-state-park. While enjoying the sun, it is important to keep safety in mind. Hot weather safety tips Stay Hydrated! Aim to drink several glasses of water a day. Wear sunscreen and reapply regularly. Try to plan events during the cooler parts of the day. Stay inside during the more extreme parts of the day. Avoid caffeinated beverages that can dehydrate the body. Keep your house cool by using air conditioning and closing blinds. More information staying safe during the summer can be found at https://www.cdc.gov. There are many amazing opportunities here in the local area for service members and their families to enjoy. So turn the TV off, put down the controllers, and get your bags packed! Go outside and spend your time with family and friends.