Garmisch wins big at Army Rec Awards
Puppet shows at the U.S. Army Garrison Garmisch Community Library in Germany are one of many activities that earned the little library the Army Recreation Award for the fifth year in a row.

GARMISCH, Germany - The results are in and the Pete Burke Community Center and Garmisch Community Library on Artillery Kaserne are the best of the best.

Both facilities won 2008 Army Recreation Awards for being tops in their garrison-size category worldwide. Additionally, the library and center have won the award several times since 2004.

The PBC, located next to the U.S. Army Garrison Garmisch Child Development Center, is the main facility for garrison events, with the library being located on the second floor.

"The multi-purpose facility strives to provide recreational, educational, physical, and entertaining programs to the garrison and surrounding communities," said Paul Dutro, tour guide for USAG Garmisch Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Big events, like transition of authority of Garmisch from USAG Stuttgart to USAG Grafenwoehr and signing of the Army Family Covenant were held in the building. Other events included the annual garrison holiday reception and annual ethnic observances held there throughout the year.

Individually, the library and center were both determined to have the two best small-installation programs of their type in the Army. Both were judged on by several factors, such as significant improvements, community special events, customer driven activities, renovation and improvement projects, and experimental programming. Despite tight budgets, both facilities continued to make major improvements in 2007-08.

By winning the 2008 Army Recreation Award, the library has earned that title for five years running, earning it a reputation of being one of the best community libraries - large or small - in Installation Management Command.

Much of the credit belongs to a creative staff who are constantly adding new programs, upgrading equipment and experimenting with community partnership activities. Puppet plays, Harry Potter book release parties and local artist exhibits give the library a constantly refreshed, cozy and inviting face.

Downstairs, the Pete Burke Community Center assumed more duties during the past year.

It has always been a home for community events, training and leisure travel in Garmisch - and in 2007 it gained the Outdoor Recreation office and the Bikes and Boards Shop.

"Operating hours and staffing were increased," said Drew Benson of Outdoor Recreation. "New programs were introduced ranging from mountaineering programs to cultural expeditions with destinations as far away as Rome."

Traditional programs were augmented with new ones, such as overnight mountain hut hikes and the
Fat Tire Race, which this year serves as the final event in the U.S. Forces Mountain Bike series and is being held here Sept. 27-28.

A recent addition to PBC family, not physically at the center but about a mile away on Kramer Mountain above the kaserne, is the Kean's Lodge facility.

Kean's Lodge is a bunkhouse nestled among the pines with extensive grounds and beautiful views. It is an inexpensive and ideal location for group activities like retreats or off-sites, allowing groups an affordable alternative when visiting Garmisch.

"We are more than happy to share our enthusiasm for everything the area has to offer," said Tom Creley of Outdoor Recreation. "We have all opted to stay in Garmisch ... because of the quality of life and the endless amount of things to do here."

Page last updated Fri September 19th, 2008 at 09:13