Lake fun
Boaters enjoy the wide range of watercraft available for rental on Fort Sill Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area (file photo by Monica Wood).

Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area water activities open for the season May 28 and admission to the park is free this year, thanks to the Army Family Covenant.

"Our budget allows us to give customers a break by not charging an admission fee at the gate to foster positive, family-centered recreational opportunities," said Kristy Prather, LETRA manager. "There is no cost for swimming or the water slide but there is no swimming or water slide activities unless a lifeguard is present and on duty."

Rentals
The price for watercraft rental ranges from $5 to $13 an hour and for miniature golf the cost is $3 per day per person. To rent these items, stop in at the Country Store. The water slide, beach with lifeguards, watercraft rentals and mini-golf are open Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cabins
The 10 new, rustic wooden cabins on the west side of the park are available in three different sizes: four small cabins that accommodate up to four people; three medium cabins that accommodate up to six people; and three large cabins that accommodate seven people.

Reservations can be made up to two months in advance at the Country Store daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The prices for the cabins are $55 to $75 per night with an additional $10 cost for civilians. The cabins come with all the amenities including all furnishings; heat and air; a TV and DVD player; fully-stocked kitchens with dishes and silverware; and linens and towels.

"All 10 cabins will be set aside for unit functions the second weekend of every month," said Prather. "We're providing these cabins as quality of life. We have lots of people pitching tents in summer and the cabins provide another option for campers."

Retreats
According to Brenda Spencer-Ragland, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director, there is a trend for units to off-site family retreats, "Our goal is to keep the promise of the Army Family Covenant by providing other options to build family wellness and resiliency that won't put our units over their budgets," she said. "If there are units that want to take advantage of the free cabins for an off-site, we don't want them to be burdened with a cost. We are offering them a quality place these families can go for respite and for family wellness right here at Fort Sill."

"We have a complete playground onsite now but we will have a second playground near a group use site, which we will break ground on this month," said Prather.

RVs
The RV Park has 45 pull-through spaces available featuring both 30- and 50-amp service and on-site waste disposal and fresh water. The RV Park also features coin-operated laundry and shower facilities. In the event of a tornado or severe weather, the restroom facilities and the lodge basement serve as storm shelters.

The lodge
LETRA also features a lakeside lodge with a view of Mount Scott from the windows and deck, which is available for reservation in four and eight-hour blocks. No outside catering can be brought in but the Patriot Club offers on-site catering or customers can prepare food and bring it to the lodge. "Many people reserve the lodge for weddings and receptions because of the picturesque photo opportunities and serene setting," said Prather.

One of the scheduled events for LETRA this summer is the Co-Op Military Appreciation Family Fun Day on July 17. The event is open to all military and their families and Co-Op partners.

All price lists and additional information can be found at www.sillmwr.com or by calling 580-442-5854.

Page last updated Thu May 20th, 2010 at 14:43