By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Shutdowns and restrictions have presented Fort Carson Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) leaders with some difficult challenges over the past year, but as the post transitions into spring 2021, they’re planning for an exciting summer.
“Like many organizations, we were forced to go virtual around this time last year,” said Cpl. Devon Douglas, BOSS president. “We managed to put on some gaming tournaments and conducted a 10K-a-day running challenge that runners could do on their own.”
Around the holiday timeframe, restrictions eased somewhat, which allowed BOSS organizers to conduct a Thanksgiving event for single Soldiers and Families who couldn’t travel.
“As we moved into the new year and people began getting vaccinated, we were able to ramp things up a bit,” Douglas said. “Now, most places are able to operate at 50% capacity, which allows us to have more representatives at our bimonthly BOSS meetings. We’re starting to build our momentum back.”
While re-establishing relationships with community partners remains a priority for the program, Douglas announced that BOSS has a new full-time civilian program administrator, Gia Gillotte-Taylor, an experienced adviser who performed the same position at Fort Drum a few years back.
“One of our goals is to have someone in the program continuously as BOSS presidents, vice presidents and unit representatives are all Soldiers who (change duty stations) frequently,” Gillotte-Taylor said. “I have created continuity information for each BOSS pillar — recreation/leisure, life skills and community service.”
Gillotte-Taylor started with BOSS in September and will be on board when Douglas changes duty stations, which may occur as soon as this summer.
“Perhaps the best part of gaining a civilian adviser is the continuity that person provides,” Douglas said. “It will be nice for us to have that continuity as we continue to build momentum following the pandemic.”
One of his “pet projects” is also coming to fruition. Renovation will begin on the post’s new BOSS lounge this April 2021. This project was promoted by Douglas, who wanted a place where single Soldiers could hang out in a relaxed atmosphere. The lounge will include big-screen TVs and a gaming café among other amenities.
“Contractors will start by stripping out old materials and modernizing the room soon,” he said. “It’s a former bar area that’s located inside the Thunder Alley Bowling Center. “We’re hoping to open the lounge in the June 2021, time frame.”
BOSS leaders are also organizing a host of outdoor activities for the near future, including ziplining, trap-and-skeet shooting, jeep tours and horseback riding. They’re even hoping to host a karaoke night at the Hub’s indoor/outdoor area near the end of April, restrictions permitting. Besides new upcoming recreational and volunteer activities, organization leaders are planning to host BOSS town halls in the next few months, where Soldiers can learn about the Mountain Post and ask live questions.
“We’ll have the garrison command sergeant major and leaders from the Fort Carson directorates come in and address Soldiers’ concerns,” Douglas said. “We want to have the leaders on hand for these town halls so that Soldiers can voice their issues, and in turn, improve quality of life.”
For more information about BOSS programs, activities and unit representation visit https://carson.armymwr.com/programs/boss or call 719-338-0493.