|Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems &
Soldiers, civilians and their Families, while trying to
relax, still choose the challenge to take a one-foot diameter hard
plastic ball, and roll it at 10 one-foot-high pins 60 feet away, to see
how many of those pins they can knock down. And to keep score to see
which person in their group topples the most pins.
Sgt. Cameron Brinson aims for the
pins at McCoy’s Community Club during league action. Brinson is
with the 3rd, 335th Training Support Battalion, 181st Infantry
That’s bowling, and that’s at Fort McCoy.
Steve Gilson, manager at the eight-lane bowling alley at McCoy’s
Community Club, said bowling is designed not to be taken too seriously,
“but rather to just have fun and enjoy being with other people.”
“Bowling is also a Family oriented activity,” Gilson said, “and that
fits in real well for Soldiers with Families. We have bowlers as young
as kindergarteners, including in some of our established leagues.”
“Where else can you go for three hours and only spend about $10 to relax
and have as much fun?” Gilson said. Part of the overall atmosphere
keglers also may enjoy, he noted, includes Primo’s Express restaurant
with its buffet, sandwiches and pizza, two sports bars, an arcade, pool
tables and dartboard. Several cable TV channels play on large screens
throughout the facility and numerous tables and chairs are available to
“Bowling is just one of many things to do at Fort McCoy instead of being
bored,” Gilson said.
Gilson said, “We have extreme bowling, mostly for the kids, where we
crank up the music, turn down the lights, and plunge you into the
strangely sensory overload of bowling from 4 - 9 p.m. Fridays.”
League bowling is from October to March for youth and adults, men’s,
women’s and mixed categories.
The lanes use automatic scoring, and, for the youngest kids, bumper
bowling is available where rails are raised on the edges of the lanes to
keep the ball in the lane all the way to the pins.
“There are no gutter balls with the rails,” Gilson said.
“I give free lessons whenever anyone wants during our operating hours,”
Gilson said. “That’s what I’m here for. I help people figure out where
to stand, how to stand, how to approach the line and how to release the
Gilson, a 20-year Navy retiree, came to McCoy’s in 1998, the year after
the entire facility was constructed.
Bowling at a glance
Where: McCoy’s Community Club
When: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, 4 - 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday.
Extreme Bowling: 4 – 9 p.m. Friday (low lights, loud
Fees: $2.50 per game for adults, $2 for youth; Shoe
rental $1; locker rental $10 per year.
Food: Primo’s Express restaurant, sandwiches and pizza 11
a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 4 - 8 p.m. Saturday and
Other activities: Two sports bars, arcade, pool tables,
dartboard, cable TV channels 4 p.m. - 11 p.m. seven days a week.
Information: telephone 608-388-7060; Web page