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News > ITT offers fast track to summer fun
ITT offers fast track to summer fun

Posted 5/27/2009   Updated 5/27/2009 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Daniel Bowles
437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

5/27/2009 - CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- A persistent operations tempo keeps life busy for Airmen at Charleston AFB.

But, throughout the next few months as a wave of heat envelopes Charleston's flightline, crowds of Airmen will surge highways, the shoreline and byways in search of a perfect getaway from everyday tasks.

Between deployments, those seeking ways to make the most of their South Carolina summer, a friendly and distant cousin to the scorching desert heat of the Middle East, are in luck. Summertime solace is easy to come by at Charleston AFB.

Members of the Charleston AFB Outdoor Recreation Center are out searching for ways for Team Charleston to unwind through the Information, Tickets and Tours Program, making Charleston AFB an installation that offers an immense variety of warm weather thrills to enjoy.

"There's a lot of stuff to do in Charleston," said Merrill Troxell, the outdoor recreation center director. "There are 52 weekends in a year. Sometimes we have two or three events in one weekend and we still can't even begin to touch what is out there."

Ms. Troxell said Charleston AFB's ITT program is able to provide nearly three times the number of tours and tickets to events or attractions as many other bases in the Air Force.

The types of activities available to the members of Team Charleston are far from few. Choices range from activities suited for the simple life, to attractions for those who enjoy the taste of fanfare.

If taking some time with family on a weekend excursion is what one seeks, it is accomplished with ease.

Ms. Troxell said Boone Hall Plantation in nearby Mount Pleasant is a beautiful spot to visit and also happens to be the most photographed plantation in the U.S. today. Its crowning photographic attraction is its towering, double-rowed oak trees that line the plantation entrance grove, she said, and was the inspirational site used in the filming of "Gone with the Wind."

Airmen looking to connect with icons of military history along the Charleston shoreline can do so any day of the week. The ORC has information and discounted tickets available for Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum located in the historic Charleston Harbor, home of the USS Yorktown.

Also, anyone with an interest in exploring aquatic life can take advantage of reduced price tickets for the South Carolina Aquarium, Ms. Troxell said. The aquarium has a wide range of sites to see and recently opened its newest exhibit, Penguin Planet.

For those wishing to cash in on some well-earned leave, even low-fare vacationing on weeklong getaways is within reach.

Currently, free Disney World and Universal Studios resort ticket offers are available for service members and specially discounted seven-day tickets are available for family and friends.

Unfortunately, many people new to the base, or even those who are seasoned, may simply be unfamiliar with the ORC altogether.

"People come in and say, 'Well, I've been on base for three years and I've never been here,'" said Bert Bolton, a recreation aid at the ORC.

The easiest way for people find the center is to head toward the base picnic grounds, said Rick Baker, ORC programs director. An information sign is located just before the grounds at the intersection of Scarton Lane and Arthur Drive.

For some, another roadblock to adventure is simply having the gumption to pursue it.

"You have to get up and find things to do," said Ms. Troxell.

Whatever a person's interests may be, individuals from all walks of life are sure to find their fit for the 2009 summer season by exploring all that is available through the ORC and ITT program.

"Everyone is a potential customer," Ms. Troxell said. "We're constantly out and about and constantly paying attention to what's the new trend, what are the popular discounts and how we can turn around and give that discount to you."

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