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Think Sumter is boring?

Will Oaks, recreation aid at Shaw Air Force Base S.C., poses for a photo at Outdoor Recreation, Jan. 08, 2019.

Will Oaks, recreation aid at Shaw Air Force Base S.C., poses for a photo at Outdoor Recreation, Jan. 08, 2019. Outdoor Rec. is a resource for team Shaw members to attend free sporting events, among other recreational activities in the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer)


Whether it be traipsing through a colorful state park, tackling white water rafting, peacefully kayaking towards a sunset, or going to sporting events for free, 20th Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation is a great resource for those wanting to expand their horizons.

Outdoor Rec. is a way to network, get out of the dorms or house and meet new people.

“We provide information on local fisheries, hunting, and fishing locations through department of natural resources with South Carolina,” said Jim Vause, 20th FSS Outdoor Rec. director. “We gather all the information for Airmen to have a fun time here, but we cannot force people to use it. Outdoor Rec. should be every service member’s first stop in and last stop out the door.”

A lot of Airmen do not know the resources they have available to them, but Outdoor Rec. is set up for Airmen to get out and do what they find to be fun.

Outdoor Rec. will rent camping gear, and recreational vehicles so everything is less expensive, for Airmen to have fun within their budget.

“We encourage people to come check in with us any time they travel because we can help you plan a trip for much cheaper,” said Vause. “We can get you hooked up with cabins or travel trailers along the way for half the price if you did it yourself.”

The last event hosted was a trip to Darlington Raceway with 96 people, where they had a tailgate party and cake.
Although there are many Airmen who might not know about the resources available to them, those who do have expanded their knowledge of the area.

“I’ve done deep sea fishing, radical ropes, NASCAR, and every time I go it’s always been cheaper or half the price than if I were to have gone and done it myself,” said Senior Airman BrieAnna Stillman, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist. “I was more of a beach bum before so I would have been looking for ways to surf or kayak around here and never would have even thought about deep sea fishing or racing.”

Not everything is just about getting outdoors; there are often free tickets to football games. The more interest members show in events more funding can be put into the vents, leading to a better outcome.

Essentially, there are plenty of activities for members of Team Shaw to experience.

“There is more to Sumter and South Carolina than one would imagine,” said Tim Godwin, 20th FSS Outdoor Rec. Supervisor. “Just get out there and ask the questions. Come in and ask us for ideas or give them and we’ll help you realize there is lots of fun to be had.”