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 January 22, 2010

Leisure

Community Activity Center offers
many off-duty activities for Soldiers

Story & Photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

Games, a library, a music room, DVD and video game check-out, television and movie rooms and 24 computers with Internet access are all available seven-days-a-week for authorized visitors at the Fort McCoy Community Activity Center (CAC).

The CAC, building 2000, is just one of the several large outlets for patrons to use during their off-duty hours, according to Jobi Spolum, Marketing director of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

PHOTO: Spc. William Watt gets in some computer work while relaxing during his off-duty time at the Fort McCoy Community Activity Center. Watt, training at Fort McCoy to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 1037th Engineer Company, was studying a National Guard assistance program and also reading some e-mail.
Spc. William Watt gets in some computer work while relaxing during his off-duty time at the Fort McCoy Community Activity Center. Watt, training at Fort McCoy to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 1037th Engineer Company, was studying a National Guard assistance program and also reading some e-mail.

The center is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven-days-a-week, designed to be available when Soldiers training at Fort McCoy may have at least a few hours off from military training duties.

 “The CAC is a good outlet for Soldiers to relax and enjoy these (off-duty) activities,” Spolum said. “That’s what MWR is all about, to provide many leisure, quality-of-life activities for Soldiers.”

Sheila Peterson CAC director, noting that more than 10,000 Soldiers visited the center this past July, and 11,000 in August, said the center is open to Soldiers, training or staff, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and their families.

Peterson said the center’s library provides paperback books for Soldiers to take and not necessarily return, “especially mobilizing Soldiers. We have about 10 shelves with paperbacks.”

The computers “are for leisure use, not for official duty,” Peterson said, “and Soldiers use them a lot. The computer room is very popular.”

The arcade has six video games, including Buck Hunter as the most popular. The CAC also offers three pool tables, ping-pong tables, foosball tables, a 22-foot shuffle board, poker tables and dozens of board games, particularly chess and checkers, with several tables set up to especially accommodate board-game players.

There are video game and DVD rentals for use in the building or to take out of the building. For people wanting to exercise, there are three stationary bicycles and four elliptical training machines at the center.

The center conducts special events to include video game, pool and ping-pong tournaments, all in evening time periods most likely accessible for off-duty Soldiers. Texas Hold-Em Poker Tournaments are held every Thursday.

Free movies are shown at 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays year-round, with popcorn served. “We show current movies — new releases — out of the theaters but not yet on DVD,” Peterson said.

Available during the somewhat more pleasant time of the year are two outdoor patio areas to relax at, and where there are gas grills, picnic tables, a sand volleyball court and two horseshoe pits.

A leisure travel service is co-located in the building.

The Rustic Inn restaurant, a separate Army Air Force Exchange Service entity, is adjacent to the activity center.

Information about the center’s programs is available on-line at http://www.mccoymwr.com or by calling 608-388-3213.

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