Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

50th FSS to host inaugural Winter Wilderness Games

By Marcus Hill | Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — As the pandemic lingers throughout society, the 50th Force Support Squadron, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, has created an event to keep Airmen and Guardians safe and entertained.

The 50th FSS will host the inaugural Winter Wilderness Games at the softball fields Feb. 26, 2021, noon-2 p.m.

The games will include a slate of five events for units at Schriever including axe throwing, a snowshoe race, logrolling, tug-of-war, archery tag and Crosscut saw log cutting.

“Major [Gisselle] Oppenlander, [50th FSS commander], said that we could safely run the event under the current public health directive,” said Gabriel Laramie, 50th FSS deputy commander. “With us going back to 50% [in-person manning], we wanted to have an event that would bring people together and shake off the rust of not being on base.”

In archery tag, two, five-person teams attempt to shoot five targets with foam arrows while striving to avoid the opposition and protect their own targets. The first team to hit all five targets wins the match.

Crosscut saw log cutting involves two participants using a two-handled saw to see who cuts through a 5-to-8-inch log the fastest.

“This will kick-off monthly events going through the summer,” said Eric McCullough, 50th FSS community cohesion coordinator. “Eventually, we’ll be back outdoors for First Fridays, but for right now, we want people out and having fun in a safe manner.”

The event will follow current COVID-19 guidelines such as physical distancing when applicable, use of masks and attendants will sanitize equipment to curb spread of the virus.

Along with safety, Laramie said the 50th FSS wanted to produce an event that revolves around winter. They also hoped to create an event that strayed from Schriever’s normal schedule.

“We wanted to break from the norm of just hosting four big events per year,” Laramie said. “We want to do different programs that cater to the different populations on base. The idea was to find something that could get folks outside, doing something fun. Hosting the event outdoors allows us to stay within [21st Medical Group’s] guidelines.”

McCullough hopes weather won’t impact the inaugural event, but believes Airmen and Guardians will brave the cold to participate.

“Unless someone says we’re closed or it’s determined to be too cold to be outside, then we’ll reschedule,” McCullough said. “Other than that, the games must go on.”

The winning unit will receive a golden axe with this year’s event inscribed in the handle. The event will have hot cocoa, cookies and feature an appearance by Sasquatch.

“Our intent is to get folks together in safe manner, get them out of their work centers and do something fun,” Laramie said. “It’s an opportunity for people to come out and boost morale and see faces they haven’t seen in a while. It’ll be fun and commanders can use this to drive that competitive nature.”

For questions regarding the event, contact Eric McCullough at 719-567-2525 or email

50th FSS to host inaugural Winter Wilderness Games
To Top