Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Single Airmen rock the Rockies this summer

By By Scott Prater

Schriever Sentinel

Master Sgt. James Powers, white shirt, completed a tandem jump during the Schriever Single Airman Initiative program skydiving activity Sept. 14, 2012. The SAI program has provided funding for single airman activities this summer as well. (Photo courtesy Sky Dive Colorado)

The Air Force-wide program, which was designed to provide single and unaccompanied Airmen with opportunities to take part in trips and activities, provided funding for the base. Seth Cannello, Schriever sports and fitness manager, took control from there and planned 10 activities throughout the next five months.

Single Airmen who sign up to participate will get a chance to maneuver through rapids on one of Colorado’s most famous rivers, take a hot-air balloon ride or hunt, fish and hike in some of the state’s most scenic terrain, among other activities.

“During phase II we sent single airmen on skydiving and zipline trips last year,” Cannello said.”That phase included funds for buying equipment and supplies on base as well, so we were able to also build an archery range here.

Staff Sgt. Melissa Mollenkamp dispelled her fears and skydived for the first time thanks to an SAI sponsored trip last year.

“I always wanted to skydive, but never had the nerve before,” she said. “It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It was set up well for single Airmen too. We were able to socialize and get to know each other and that really helped as we prepared to jump. The encouragement went a long way. Now, with the latest phase, I’ve signed up to go river rafting, something else I’ve always wanted to do.”

Cannello sent messages to all single Airmen on base a few weeks ago mentioning the specific activities involved with the program and said the planned upcoming events have been well received.

“We’ve reached our maximum participation for some of the activities, but there is still room for more participants in others,” Cannello said. “If we don’t get sufficient numbers for an activity we’ve already scheduled, we’ll offer opportunities to other folks on base as well. Anyone who is interested in participating should contact me.”

Phase III starts Friday with a turkey hunt followed by paintball May 17 at a downtown paintball center. Later in the month, participants will travel to Blue Mesa Reservoir for a two-day fishing trip and will camp on site the first night.

June brings a hot-air balloon ride, while July features flying fishing and white water rafting.

“I’ve signed up for the whitewater rafting trips,” said 1st Lt. Joana Everett. “It will be my first single Airmen event and I’m really looking forward to getting out and experiencing Colorado. It’s great that people are looking out for single Airmen and organizing events that we can participate in with others in a similar situation in life.”

Cannello said he and Karen Draper, 50th Force Support Squadron sustainment services flight chief, tried to offer a wide variety of activities in an effort to capture the interest of as many Airmen as possible. In August participants can ride an all terrain vehicle along the continental divide. September brings a hike of Mount Cameron, a Colorado 14er, and an eastern Colorado pheasant hunt later in the month.

For more information on or to sign up for any activity contact Cannello at 567-6658 or via the Schriever global e-mail system.

Summer schedule of activities

Friday – Sunday — Turkey hunt. Go to www.southerncoloradooutfitters.com for details on the hunt. Participants must have a valid Colorado Hunting and Turkey Permit and an appropriate weapon [shotgun/bow].

May 17 — Paintball at All-Stars Paintball. Go to http://www.paintballallstars.com/ for more information. We will meet at the paintball park at 11:45 a.m. Play will start at noon and run until 3 p.m.

May 23-24 — Guided fishing trip. Want to catch a monster Lake Trout? Go to http://fishbluemesa.com/ for more details. You will need a valid Colorado State Fishing license. We will leave SAFB at 2 p.m. May 23 and drive to Gunnison/Blue Mesa. You will need to camp the night of May 23 in order to fish on May 24. All camping gear will be provided; however, food will not.

June 7 — Hot-air balloon ride. Go to http://coloradoballoonrides.com/ for more details.

July 5 — Fly fishing. Go to http://www.northforkranchguideserive.com for more information. You will need a valid Colorado State Fishing license.

July 12 — Whitewater rafting “Park and Paddle.” Go to http://www.noahsark.com/site/packages/-8_paddle_-_park.html for more information.

July 26 — Whitewater rafting and “Sky Coaster.” Go to http://raftmasters.com/royal gorge.php?_vsrefdom=p.2763 for rafting information and http://royalgorgebridge.com/ParkInfo/Rides.aspx#Royal-Rush-Skycoaster for more information of the scariest ride in America.

Aug. 9 — ATV across the Continental Divide. Go to http://www.allseasonrentals.com/atv/atv-guided-tours/ for more information.

Sept. 6 — Hike Mount Cameron. Transportation to the mountain and all the clean air you can handle.

Sept. 27 — Steel Fork Pheasant hunting. Got to http://www.steelforkpheasants.org/ for more information. You must have a valid Colorado Hunting License and a shotgun.

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