By Mr. Matt Decker (Leonard Wood)January 29, 2015
February usually arrives with chilly temperatures, but for participants in Fort Leonard Wood's annual "Bold In the Cold Plunge," it's the perfect time to take a jump in the lake.
The fourth annual Plunge is scheduled at 11 a.m. Feb. 7 at the lake at Training Area 250. Participants can choose to compete as individuals, couples or teams, and are invited to dress in costume and enjoy a dip in the freezing waters for a chance to win a variety of prizes. The event is hosted by Better Opportunities for Single Service Members and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
"It's a fun event that is open to the public," said Conny Obermuller, Special Events coordinator with the FMWR Installation Wide Events office. "We are looking for individuals and teams that have the right kind of spirit -- and who are ready to get freezing. It's a great event, and in the past we've had a great turnout."
Prizes will be awarded for the best team theme, couples theme, individual costume and the individual with the "most moxie." In all categories, judges will be looking for "outside the box thinking," Obermuller said.
"For best individual costume, we're looking for the funniest or the most 'out there' costume. It also counts if we can tell if they put some work into it," she said. "Couples theme winners in the past have included some famous movie couples -- two years ago, we had a Bonnie and Clyde entry, for example. Teams usually have members that follow a central theme -- last year, for example, we had a family that dressed as Mario Bros. characters."
"The 'most moxie' award goes to the person who shows the most spirit running into the water -- or when they're in the water," she continued. "The person who won it last year ended up winning by doing a handstand in the water."
While participants can come up with nearly any costume they like, participants are required to keep entries within Army decency standards. Obermuller advises participants to both, "keep it decent" and keep safety in mind.
"We don't want you to be unsafe. If, for example, you are in extremely heavy garb, that can be a problem," she said.
Safety is a priority each year during the Plunge. Safety boats will be on hand, just off the entrance to the water, as will members of the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department, who will be ready to provide help to any participants who may need it.
Advance registration, which is open now through Feb. 6, is $5 per person or $20 for a team of up to five participants. Same-day registration is $10 per individual or $25 per team. The event is open to all ages, but children younger than 18 must have written consent from a parent or guardian on the day of the event.
Proceeds benefit Fort Leonard Wood's Better Opportunities for Single Service Members program.
Obermuller said BOSS volunteers will be on hand to conduct the event.
"It's a BOSS event. They will actually run the whole event," she said.
Advance registration can be completed online at fortleonardwoodmwr.com or in person at the Installation Wide Events Office in Building 1000.
For more information, visit the FMWR website or call 573.596.0131, ext. 66912.