Green Initiative Day activities encourage ingenuity in recycling
April 18, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- None of the boats looked like they would float for very long, much less win any races. Most of them finished, though, despite being made out of used condiment containers, wooden pallets, kiddie pools and anything else that could be made to hold water, however temporarily.
It was all part of the Recycle Regatta last Saturday at Semmes Lake, the capstone event in the Green Initiative Day. In addition to following strict safety requirements, last week's racers were asked to create their own boats out of recycled materials. The goal of the event was to encourage ingenuity among the competitors, and to illustrate how everyday items can find second lives.
Also, just to make things more challenging, the boating materials could not include original bonding materials, such as tape, rope or straps. Saturday's winner was the team representing the 165th Infantry Brigade, with a time of 8 minutes, 34 seconds. Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Price had the best individual time with 8 minutes, 58 seconds.
That's not to say there were not a few entries that did not finish the course faster. Competition between those teams, representing the Fort Jackson Fire Department and the Naval Reserve Center, got so heated that members broke at least one rule in order to best the other.
"The Navy team stayed in sync and did really well," said Mark Smyers, outdoor recreation director for FMWR. "Unfortunately, in the heat of competition, they hopped out and started addling, which disqualified them. They would have won overall, but they swam, which was against the rules."
The event also recognized winners in several other categories. The Fort Jackson Fire Department won "Most Creative Use of Material" for bolting together water blivets to create the foundation of their boat.
The Cub Scout team won "Best Name and Costume," competing as The Akela Crushers.
And the Army Community Services team was recognized as "Most Spectacular Failure" for a boat that capsized during the first of the day's races.
"We'll definitely do it again next year," Smyers said. "I think next year's going to be even better. Originally, we had 14 teams say they were going to compete, but several dropped out because they couldn't get a boat together in time. I imagine those folks will want to compete again next year."