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Summer slam to embrace change

Summer Slam

Acrobats with the Colorado Renaissance Festival perform for a crowd at the annual Summer Slam Base Picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, July 20, 2018. This year, the picnic will feature BMX racers and a canine demonstration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Arielle Vasquez)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, is gearing up for the annual Summer Slam base picnic, July 19.

The event will include free food, drinks and various activities such as bounce houses, BMX shows, fire muster, canine demonstrations and face painting.

Additionally, the fitness center will host an archery tag tournament beginning at 8 a.m.

Master Sgt. Janelle Amador, 50th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor, said her primary role in this year’s picnic is leading the volunteer search.

“We’re more than 50 percent there, but we still need as many volunteers as we can get,” she said. “That’s for everything including set up, tear down, manning bounce houses, everything.”

Amador said she hopes Airmen and their families embrace new changes the summer slam will bring this year.

“This is going to be very different than anything we’ve ever done before, and I really do hope they like the substitutions we’ve made,” she said. “We try to make the food better and better every year. That’s usually my main priority.”

Additionally, Amador said a big change this year is the “concert in the park” concept.

“We encourage everyone to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs and just really enjoy the concert,” she said. “I want people to sit down, relax and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Eric McCullough, 50th FSS community cohesion coordinator, said this is his first time organizing a base picnic at Schriever AFB, and has had a vision for what he wants the picnic to look like before he began the planning.

“We’re trying to grow,” he said. “There’s risk in what we’re doing, but going outdoors, going big, I think it’s a good thing. If you’re not stressing then you’re not growing.”

McCullough began planning for the picnic more than three months ago, and agreed with Amador in that finding volunteers has been the most challenging part.

“It’s a big event, and you can’t get it done without the volunteers,” he said. “That’s been the only stop-growth for us.”

McCullough’s favorite part about organizing the event has been trying to make it as big as possible to ensure attendees enjoy themselves and talk about it long after it’s over.

Amador’s favorite part about organizing morale-boosting events like the picnic is seeing everything come together.

“Having the meetings and seeing everyone take ownership of their part of it and then coming together at the end to execute a fantastic event, that’s really where it makes me feel like everything is worth it,” she said.

McCullough praised Amador and Tech. Sgt. Wes Wright, 50th FSS noncommissioned officer in charge of First Term Airmen Center, for their hard work and dedication in making sure the event is as flawless as possible.

“It’s really those guys who make events like these possible,” he said. “I’m the face, but I’m not the whole thing.”

McCullough’s hope is people have a good time for four hours.

“Whatever is going on in their lives, they can put that stuff aside, come out with their families and enjoy it,” he said.

To sign up for the archery tag tournament, contact Seth Cannello at 567-6628.

To volunteer for the base picnic, contact Wright at 567-7329, or email him at john.wright.20@us.af.mil.

The schedule of events is as follows:

8-10 a.m.: Nerf Archery Tag tournament in fitness center

10 a.m.: Opening comments from 50th Space Wing commander

10:05-10:40 : USAFA “Wild Blue Country” Band

10:45-11:15 a.m.: BMX Stunt Show (Upper Fitness Center parking lot)

10:45-11:15 a.m.: K-9 Demo (Location TBD)

11-11:40 a.m.: USAFA “Wild Blue Country” Band

11 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: Food served at pavilion

11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: BMX Stunt Show (Upper Fitness Center parking lot)

Noon-12:40 p.m.: USAFA “Wild Blue Country” Band

12:45-1:15 p.m.: BMX Stunt Show (Upper Fitness Center parking lot) * final show

12:45-1:15 p.m.: K-9 Demo (Location TBD)

1-1:40 p.m.: USAFA “Wild Blue Country”

2 p.m.:  Event ends

* There will be vendors, bouncy houses, games, face painting, trackless train, caricature artists and more throughout the event. .