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JBER Outdoor Adventure Program leads way to Alaskan adventures

By Airman 1st Class Crystal A. Jenkins | JBER Public Affairs | June 20, 2018

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —

During the popular Alaska summer months of June, July and August, the Outdoor Adventure Program shifts into full gear offering unique adventure trips and classes every week at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“The OAP truly has something for everyone, whether you are single or married, young or old, experienced or inexperienced,” said Karl Lavtar, OAP director. “Our goal is to offer service members and their families a way to experience the adventure Alaska has to offer while they are stationed here.”

OAP is open to all active-duty, retirees, Department of Defense civilians, National Guard and Reserve employees and dependents. Registration is strongly recommended and most of the time required, depending on the activity or class.

“The trips we are able to offer for $10-$149 per person would normally cost individuals $300-$800 per person off-base,” Lavtar said. “It’s an extremely valuable resource not only for adventure but resiliency. The trips are group-oriented which provide for a safer, more controlled environment. Our experienced guides are Wilderness First Responder certified and are able to act as instructors on Alaska-specific matters one might encounter in the wilderness.”  

Trips can be further geared towards specific groups by looking at the RecOn, Women in the Wilderness, Single Airman Program (which is open to all military branches) and Recharge for Resiliency programs.

Some of this year's OAP trips include:

- Stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, kayaking trips, Eagle River rafting, outdoor rock climbing, and ATV trips

Some of this year’s OAP classes include:

-Bear awareness, Captains class, kayak safety training, Caribou processing, and hiking/backpacking 101.

Reservations for a SAP or Rec-On trips can be made 30 days prior to the date of trip or class. Reservations for main OAP trips can be made at any time.

Custom trips for friends, families, squadrons, and special occasions can also be arranged when available.

“OAP is a really great program,” said Sgt. 1st Class Greg Lamecker, a saxophonist in the 9th Army Band. “It can be really expensive off-base to experience the distinctive activities offered in Alaska. It’s a great way to partake in something you think you might be interested in and might be reluctant to do on your own. They have a really good group of guides who are safe, friendly and very approachable.”

For more information about the trips, classes or programs offered, call 552-3812.

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