Recreation is #betteratbenning

Canoes, kayaks and other equipment are available to rent throughout the year at Outdoor Recreation located in Building 1707.

Canoes, kayaks and other equipment are available to rent throughout the year at Outdoor Recreation located in Building 1707.

By Bridgett Siter, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation /

The calendar says we should be dragging sweaters from the spare closet and stocking the pantry with hot chocolate. Autumn is just around the corner, they say; fall is in the air. Who are they kidding? The thermostat says its summer, and summer is going nowhere fast.

Don’t let it get you down. Here at Fort Benning, we’ve got all kinds of ways to add fun to your fall and compensate for the fact that you’ll have to enjoy the season in short sleeves and flip-flops. At Fort Benning’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, we’re all about fun. And we ramp it up every fall with a hefty schedule of exciting activities and events for the whole family.

Here are just a few of the many great plans we’re working on to make sure your fall is filled with fun:

Uchee Creek will host a fishing tournament Sept. 17, with a payout for overall winners and Big Fish winner. Boats are available for rent on site, and active duty military will receive rental discounts. The entry fee is $45 per boat and $15 for the Big Fish contest. To register, call 706-545-2063.

Join us for a free concert, featuring Whiskey Bent, Sept. 17 at Wetherby Field. The show starts at 7 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m. Whiskey Bent is billed as a southern rock band with an old country kick. We do not allow pets on Wetherby Field, but we make an exception for service animals.

It’s time for our favorite (free!) Family Fishing Night at Russ Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 20. Bring your own pole or reserve one when you register at 706-545-7978.

The Recreational Shooting Complex will host a 300-Yard Rifle Competition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 24 for $10 per person. Participants will compete in at least three positions. Awards will be given to first and second place winners. Use your own firearm or rent from us. To register, call 706-545-6158.

We call it Ballroom Boxing! Join us Oct. 15 at Uchee Creek to relive the glamorous and glorious days of boxing, the fabulous 1940s, when the sport was synonymous with big bands, big hair, wingtips and really fine cigars. This is a free event and open to the public. Come dressed in your best period costume! Enjoy choice beverages and hors d’oeuvres as you watch the Army’s finest boxers from various installations compete for the Benning Belt. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

Join us for the King’s Pond Family Campout at one of Fort Benning’s most popular recreation sites. This free event starts at noon Oct. 15 and ends Oct. 16. Guests leave at their leisure and are not required to stay overnight. Saturday activities include free games, fishing, kayaking and more. Bring your own camping equipment or rent from Outdoor Recreation. To reserve your spot, call 706-545-7978.

We’ll round out fall activities with the annual Oktoberfest celebration Oct. 21-23 at Uchee Creek, one of our biggest and most popular events of the year. This free event includes German music, dancing, contests, rides, games, the Oktoberfest 10K and more. The German foods and beverages will cost you, but the rest is free! Check benningmwr.com for a schedule of Oktoberfest events.

And finally, it wouldn’t be fall without football. Your Benning bucket list should include a Fort Benning Doughboy football game at historic Doughboy Stadium. Home games are free, and the season culminates with the annual Doughboy Bowl against Columbus State Oct. 20. The Doughboy Bowl starts with a free tailgating party, which includes kids activities from 6 to 8 p.m., food vendors until 6 p.m., pregame activities at 6:30 p.m. and kick-off at 7 p.m. The full 2016 Doughboy schedule can be found at benningmwr.com/sports/.

You’ll find a calendar jam-packed with information on our homepage at benningmwr.com. We list our events and add new information every day on our website and our Facebook page at facebook.com/BenningFMWRfans, but the most effective and convenient way to stay in the know about all that we have to offer is through email. We send a comprehensive Up Next! list of events each month.

Register for email notifications at benningmwr.com or simply email benningmwr@gmail.com and request to be added to our events list.

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