By 2nd Lt. Darren Domingo
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Front range youth hustled on bicycles throughout Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, during the first-ever Amazing gRace: Kids Edition Saturday.
The base-wide scavenger hunt tested the competitors’ creative skills, physical resilience, knowledge of world religion and random virtue-based trivia.
Chaplain (Capt.) Portmann Werner, 50th Space Wing chaplain and event organizer, believes chapel events like these positively impact the development of young people in the community.
“We at the chapel feel like there’s a lot of things that can be taught in schools — but there’s some things that aren’t. So to be able to help kids be mentally and spiritually prepared for their futures is extremely important,” said Werner.
Maj. Latoya Smith, 50th Comptroller Squadron commander and station leader, concurred.
“I thought this event was an excellent opportunity to get children involved and moving and get it to be more than just a competitive event. It was more of an event to teach them virtues and think about their morals through playing games and activities,” she explained.
The participants, aged 7 — 18, gathered in the Building 210 Atrium to receive instructions from Werner prior to starting the race.
Kids then divided themselves into teams with a child who had a smartphone to research information if needed.
Itching to go, when Werner released them, the racers darted out the door to get to their station stops.
Groups biked to each of the stations throughout the base, including some stops in the Tierra Vista Community. Upon arrival at each hidden station, the teams had to accomplish tasks and answer questions.
Some of the station’s tasks included building paper air planes to successfully fly a certain distance, completing an egg on a spoon relay, rolling a tire around the entire distance of the indoor running track, building satellites out of blocks and braving a “Pie in the Face” game.
“My favorite part of the day was watching kids get smashed in the face with whipped cream and watching how the kids actually took to it and just said ‘Let’s do it.’ It kind of spoke to me and I just thought, ‘You know what, why should I be afraid of anything when these kids are fearful of nothing? Just enjoy life and enjoy what you’re doing at the time,’” said Smith.
Different questions were asked after each successful task completion. Once all the questions were answered, the team would earn a sticker which, combined with the remaining station’s stickers, would lead to one final answer that needed to be presented at the finish line to complete the race.
“The event went ridiculously well,” explained Werner. “There were 17 kids who were able to compete but even more parents and children who got to be spectators. And it was really fun because the first place and second place teams were about 13 seconds apart — so it really came down to the wire.”
Werner explained the event would not have been possible without volunteers stepping up to lead each station.
“The volunteers were amazing. They were completely necessary and every single one of them not only went above and beyond what was expected of them, but they also made it fun and had fun with the kids,” he said.
For the older Team Schriever members who desire to participate in the next Amazing gRace, Werner shared there will be another one in the coming months.
“I expect it to be even bigger and bolder and badder than last year’s,” he said.
For more information on upcoming chapel events, or chapel services in general, contact 567-3705.