BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., --
Although it's often described as being a remote base, or in the middle of nowhere, one Beale agency is determined to showcase all that the base, and the local area, has to offer. Whether it's offering discounted concert and sporting event tickets or renting out camping gear, Beale's Outdoor Adventure Center, recently named best Outdoor Recreation Program in the Air Combat Command, works to offer Airmen and their families a way to explore.
"Beale is unusual because people feel we're kind of in the middle of nowhere, but I always like to say we're in the middle of everywhere," said OAC recreation director Debi Best. "That contributes to the amount of programs I think we can offer and we also have more of a captive audience here at Beale, so that we're able to have a big retail store, we're able to sell tickets; we're able to have a bike shop and different things that some bases don't have because of the fact that we are a small inclusive base. It's far more that what your typical base offers."
This is the second time in the last 10 years that Beale's OAC has won the ACC competition, which is based upon an overall view of what the center has to offer, as well as financials, programming and leadership. In addition to their repair services and retail store, the OAC offers reduced cost event tickets for the Sacramento Kings and local sporting events, as well as concerts at Raley Field and the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento. They also have a large assortment of rental equipment from lawn care equipment, boats and trailers to camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags and packs.
"Everything we offer is more comprehensive than other OAC's in the Air Force," said Tyler Drace, OAC recreation specialist. "We have one of the largest rental fleets in the Air Force and for $50 you can rent pretty much everything you need for a camping trip. We also have a small engine repair shop so we can fix things like lawnmowers; we just expanded our ski and snowboard repair shop and we have a full service bike shop that has been growing in popularity."
Although Air Force regulations require the OAC to offer two new trips annually, Best said they probably offer two new trips a quarter, and at eight to 10 programs a month, they more than meet the four programs per quarter requirement. To continue providing the variety and the extent of their programs, Best said that the OAC is always looking for is trip volunteers.
"Because we are so busy and because we do so offer many different trips, it is really essential that we have volunteers. Its' a great way for Airmen to get involved, or anybody to get involved," she said. "They volunteer, they get to do the trips for free, they get everything they need, all the training, so not only are we assured they're doing a good job for us, our customers are assured they've been trained. It's a win, win for everybody. If we have Airmen helping us, we're in turn helping families and everyone on Beale as a whole."
The OAC is planning on releasing their spring planner soon, which includes trip information for April through July. Now that he's been certified as a single pitch rock climbing instructor, Drace said Beale members can look forward to some exciting new trips this spring and summer.
"We're getting ready to bring in a lot of new gear from spring and to release our spring planner with trip information for the next few months, and rental prices on seasonal items like camping and lawn care gear," he said. "We have some really awesome trips coming up this year."
For more information on the Outdoor Adventure Center, and what they have to offer, call 634-2054 or visit www.bealeservices.com