Experience Missouri firsthand with Outdoor Rec

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jazmin Smith
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
It's the prime season to take the family camping or even to gather fellow Airmen and plan a little rest and relaxation in the great outdoors, but members of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, don't necessarily have to wait until their vacation to enjoy these stress-reducing activities.

With the right equipment and a little planning, there are opportunities to enjoy what's left of the summer months. The outdoors beckon; why not make the most of it?

Whether you're traveling to Knob Noster State Park or a little further down the road, Outdoor Recreation and Equipment Rental (ODR) at Whiteman carries items essential to ensuring that trip is a memorable one.

Eligible patrons, who possess a valid Department of Defense ID card or are base contractors, can utilize ODR's wide selection of equipment and services.

"Within ODR is the Information, Tickets and Travel office which offers discounted tickets for local attractions as well as some of the more commonly known theme parks," said Cheryl Adams-Johnson, 509th Force Support Squadron Outdoor Rec manager. "ODR also manages a skeet and trap range, a range for archery and paintball, as well as the base swimming pool."

To experience more outside of Whiteman, Airmen and their families can look into many of the trips planned by ODR.

"We have horseback riding, sky diving and zip line," said Adams-Johnson. "Past trips that have been offered are snow skiing, snowboarding, pheasant hunting and camping."

There may not be beaches nearby in Missouri, but there are an abundance of lakes and rivers veining through the state, along with caves and trails for the adventurous explorer.

Since many service members and their families come from out of state, they may not have all the gear for their trip in Missouri. With a wide selection of items available for rent, including paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, boats with motors and water safety equipment, customers can look to ODR for the essentials.

"Campers, bounce houses, boats, lawn mowers, tents, bikes and trailers," said Adams-Johnson. "All of these items are rented daily, but we do have weekly rates on the larger items like campers."

As Whiteman's primary resource for rentals, the specialists at ODR welcome any suggestions for new rental equipment.

For those planning to start or finish a project this summer, but are missing that C-clamp or even gardening equipment and don't want to purchase it for one-time use, ODR carries tools catering to those endeavors.

"We have a wide variety of tools from small sanders to wet saws and table saws," said Adams-Johnson.

By using a 5-year projection plan to replace outdated and unserviceable equipment, ODR is able to provide a well-maintained stock.

The staff also consists of a mechanic in charge of maintaining and repairing most of the equipment, with the exception of the larger items, such as boats and campers, which are sent out for service and warranty work.

"Our staff is friendly and knowledgeable on our rental items and equipment," said Adams-Johnson. "Our items are kept clean and serviceable, and we offer discounted pricing to eligible patrons."

ODR strives to be within 25 percent cost, or less, of outside vendors. Most of their trips are funded with RecOn or Single Airmen Initiative funds, so cost to the customer is kept down.

Outdoor Rec is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. till 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. For those wishing to check out the facility, it is located at 725 2nd Street.

For more information on rentals, trips and programs, check out the Facebook page at Whiteman AFB Outdoor Recreation, or call the staff at 660-687-5565 during the hours of operation.