By Karl Weisel (Wiesbaden Family and MWR)March 13, 2019
WIESBADEN, Germany - "Outdoor Recreation is gearing up for a busy summer and fall season full of exciting adventure programs, educational classes, leisure travel and recreational trips," said Joseph Harris, Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation Center director.
Additionally, the center director is looking forward to the completion of a brand new facility, located on Clay North, at the end of summer.
"We are planning to open the facility this fall," said Harris, adding that the total project cost about $10 million in Non-Appropriated Funds Major Construction Funds.
"The new Outdoor Recreation Center will enable us to place all of our equipment in one central location," Harris said, "to include bicycle/ski/snowboard shops, training rooms for educational classes, plus (having space for) a new paintball field at the end of the property.
"This will become a one-stop shop for all ODR activities, classes, programs, retail shop, services, tickets, tours and trips," said Harris, explaining that a pro shop/retail area at the shop will feature hunting, fishing and sport shooting items such as ammunition and other supplies; paintball equipment including markers, paint, hoppers and masks; bicycle parts for all bikes and the option of "special ordering" firearms, bicycles, skis and snowboards.
Upcoming adventure programs include biking, camping, canoeing, climbing, hiking and skydiving. Educational classes range from fishing and hunting to climbing and sport shooting.
"As an agreement between the U.S. and German authorities we are able to offer (English-language) classes at an affordable price," said Outdoor Recreation Programmer Al Klaver, Hunting, Fishing and Sport Shooting manager. Successful completion of the U.S. Forces German Fishing or Hunting Courses allows participants to join their German counterparts in practicing these activities here.
"We have a great partnership with our host nation hunters," Klaver said. "As we help them out in their reviers (hunting areas) by managing game population, protecting forest and farm land, we make lifelong friends and memories."
Monthly recreational shooting days at the Wackernheim Range near McCully Barracks are another regular feature offered through Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation.
"The recreational shooting program allows U.S. ID cardholders and bona fide guests a way to shoot firearms without having to take a course to own them. Also if you want to learn how to shoot, we have volunteers out at the range who can work with you one-on-one to assist you," Klaver said. "We also offer shooting competitions at the range."
"ODR will be hosting inflatable park days on Clay North during the summer months," said Harris.
"Outdoor Recreation also provides vacation planning to multiple European locations with insights on activities, lodging, travel routes and tourist information," he said.
As spring gets underway and summer nears, community members should keep the various rental equipment and repair services at Outdoor Recreation in mind.
"Outdoor Rec has a full-service bicycle repair shop along with some great bikes and other water sports equipment for self-guided programming. Community members can also check out our inflatables, battle balls, dunk tank, sumo suits, barbecue grills and other party equipment for birthday parties, organization days or private gatherings," Harris said.
Another new Outdoor Recreation feature is .50 cal paintball gear for younger paintball fans (down to age 10). "This is ideal for birthday parties and other youth gatherings," said Harris. "Our normal paintball equipment/program for ID cardholders age 16 and older uses .68 cal. paintball markers."
Outdoor Rec's paintball season, from April through September (contingent upon the weather), will feature at least one normal paintball play day per month, Harris said, adding that other days are available by reservation.
Units are invited to take advantage of Outdoor Recreation's Warrior Adventure Quest program.
"This is open to all U.S. Army units that are deploying, returning from deployment or that have been in garrison longer than 22 months since their last Warrior Adventure Quest participation," Harris said. "This program is free to all U.S. Army units and other U.S. service members assigned to the Wiesbaden U.S. Army Europe footprint."
Paintball is a regular component of the Warrior Adventure Quest program, he added, but in the future Outdoor Recreation will include biking, canoeing and rock climbing as other options.
In addition to a host of great classes and trips in the coming months, Outdoor Recreation has an action-packed schedule of one day trips planned for Spring Break, April 8-13. These include a shopping trip to Wertheim Village, a museum visit to the Speyer Technical Museum, a day at wave pool (Rebstockbad) in Frankfurt, a Rhein cruise, Europa Park trip and canoeing adventure.
Other upcoming Outdoor Rec events include a Maimarkt Express on April 27; an Archery, Ropes Course and Barbecue on May 5; Rafting the Rhein on May 11; skydiving on May 18, July 13 and Sept. 14; a trip to Verdun on May 27; U.S. Forces German Fishing Course July 11-14; Sport Shooting Knowledge Course July 25; U.S. Forces German Hunting Course Aug. 6 to Oct. 19; Bad Duerkheim Wine Fest Sept. 7; Oktoberfest Express Sept. 28-29; Stuttgart Oktoberfest Oct. 12; and a Berlin Wall Commemorative Trip Nov. 8-10.
To find out details about upcoming trips, educational classes and other upcoming happenings with Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation visit the Wiesbaden Sports, Fitness and Outdoor Recreation Center on Clay Kaserne or https://wiesbaden.armymwr.com/programs/outdoor-recreation online.