Fort Bliss, TX (U.S. Army) — The echoes of laughing children barreling down InterXtreme’s zip-line, water-slide and climbing wall, as well as the crackling pistols, shotguns and rifles filled the air.
The Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club and Southwest Adventures hosted the National Get Outdoors Day Expo Saturday at the Rod and Gun Club.
“The expo was held to get people outside in a nice, fun environment so that they could see what local outdoor recreation vendors and the Rod and Gun Club have to offer for the summer,” said Melinda McWeeny, assistant manager at the Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club.
The expo had activities like an inflatable climbing wall, water-slide and a zip-line for children as well as firearm, archery and cooking demonstrations for adults.
There were also representatives from Franklin Mountains State Park, Off-Road Adventures and a host of others on site to inform people to the outdoor activities and services available in the area.
“Although the entire expo was great, my wife and I particularly enjoyed the vendors from Off-Road Adventures because we had always wanted to ride a dune-buggy but couldn’t afford it and to hear you could rent one was new information to us,” said Spc. Darrell Kelly, an ammunitions specialist with 123rd Brigade Support Battalion.
“The archery demonstration was the best one out there for me simply because, my job demands extensive knowledge of ammo and firearms; it was nice to be taught something that was older than the ammo and firearms I currently work with,” said Kelly.
The shotgun demonstration involved instruction on the how to use the trap and skeet ranges and allowed guests to try their luck at hitting the flying targets.
“The guy who did the demo was great in explaining the weapon and how the range worked,” said Spc. Matthew Matous, a petroleum supply specialist with 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment of the shotgun demonstration.
“I learned that there is a thrower that throws clay pigeons on the ground and it’s called a rabbit,” said Brent Thorn, son of Sgt. Dennis Schoonover, an infantryman with 1st. Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment. “The trap was my favorite demonstration because the instructor actually showed me how to follow the clay pigeon.”
People who came out to the expo learned about a plethora of activities available in the local area as well as the different ranges the Rod and Gun Club has to offer.
Gunshots could still be heard as inflatable attractions retired into a transportable, compact state in preparation to leave as the event came to a close.
For information about services and activities offered by the Rod and Gun Club, visit www.blissmwr.com/rodandgun.