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News > Feature - Summer fun in the sun
Summer fun in the sun

Posted 7/10/2009   Updated 7/10/2009 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Rachelle Elsea
325th Figher Wing Public Affairs

7/10/2009 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- With summer in full swing, the sun is high in the sky, the water is warm and adventure is knocking at the door. What would be a better way to spend the day then by enjoying the outdoor recreation Bay County and the surrounding areas has to offer? 

There is no need to travel far or dig deep into your pockets. 

Bonita Bay Outdoor Recreation, located less than one mile from Tyndall Air Force Base main gate, offers an endless array of fun in the sun for military members, their families and friends. 

BBOR is open seven days a week during the summer months, and five days a week during the winter months, with easy access to an assortment of rentals, activities, classes and on-base entertainment. 

Rentals include, but are not limited to, pavilions, outdoor gear, hand and power tools, recreation and water ski equipment and a large selection of water vessels. 

"The Pontoons and Center Console boats are our most popular rental," said Shamra Y. Slappey, the Bonita Bay Outdoor Recreation Manager. 

The boats can be used for fishing, water activities such as wakeboarding and inner tubing, or a day trip to Shell Island, said Ms. Slappey. 

Kayaks and Canoes are also available to explore the warm ocean water and possibly spot an interesting sea creature or two. 

As a new addition to the already ample amount of services, BBOR has come out with a new special to give back to the deployed troops and their families. If enrolled in the Hearts Apart Program, families are eligible for a one free canoe or kayak rental during the time their loved ones is deployed. 

Upon the troops arrival home BBOR will also provide them with a free Pontoon or Center Console boat for half a day. 

For those who like to plan ahead, a yearly calendar of activities can be located at the BBOR main office. With an average of three or four activities planned monthly, it is a great opportunity to meet new people and take full advantage of the resources BBOR has to offer. 

On July 25, BBOR has scheduled a canoe trip to the springs of Ecofina Creek. Participants will also have the opportunity to dive-in and see what lies beneath. Cost is $20 per person. 

For all scheduled events, BBOR requires prior sign-up for accountability and limited space. 

If there are any activities not posted that servicemembers would like to see added to the schedule, BBOR has a solution. 

"Anyone can call-in or use ICE (interactive customer evaluation) online to offer suggestions of activities they would like to see scheduled on the calendar," said Slappey. 

ICE is found on the 325th Force Support Squadron web site, www.325fss.com, under the "Let Us Know What You Think!" link.
In addition to rentals and activities, BBOR offers classes including sailing lessons and yoga. 

Sailing lessons are held monthly and last for two days with a total of eight hours of training. The cost is $50 per person. 

Milton L. Burdeaux, the sailing instructor, is a native of Florida and has spent his whole life in or around the water. He is also a proud veteran. 

"I spent time in the Navy and I am retired Coast Guard," said Mr. Burdeaux.
Yoga classes, taught by Ms. Slappey, are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Base Community Center. The cost is $3 per class or $20 per month.
If you are looking for something to do on- base, you also have several options. There is the ropes course, skeet range, and paintball field. Instructors are provided for the safety of participants. 

So don't waste away the sunny summer days indoors. Make sure to take full advantage of the resources offered to you. 

To contact Bonita Bay call 283-3199. Summer hours through Sept. 30 are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and holidays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

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