Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers members from post went on a ski trip in 70-degree weather Feb. 17 at Snow Creek in Weston, Mo. Such outings are part of the recreation and leisure mission of BOSS.
BOSS members primarily used three of the five ski lifts at Snow Creek to take them to the top of the mountain and access the various slopes. Soldiers selected the Show Me lift to ski and snowboard down the steepest section of the mountain known as Sixshooter. The lifts allowed access to beginner and intermediate runs that provided variation in the course skiers could choose coming down the mountain.
Spc. Rachel Thorpe, Company C, 308th Military Intelligence Battalion, made gradual progress throughout the day by starting with the beginner training area, then progressing to ski down Sixshooter as her last run down the mountain.
“I enjoy challenging myself and the thrill of new experiences like this,” Thorpe said. “My outlook is if you don’t try, you don’t grow. This was a great new experience today and lots of fun.”
BOSS President Spc. Stephanie Jackson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, was happy to see the number of members who came out to participate in the trip.
“It’s beautiful weather today and not typical ski weather,” Jackson said. “But, a facility like Snow Creek allows us to go skiing throughout the year. We have several new members out today and that is good to see.”
As the soldiers gathered after completing their final runs down the slopes, BOSS Vice President Spc. Benjamin Watts, Medical Department Activity, said he considered the ski trip a successful outing. Several other soldiers standing nearby voiced agreement with his assessment as they watched fellow BOSS members Pvt. Joshua Lizardo, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 15th MP Brigade; Spc. Craig Jaramillo, HHD, 15th; and Thorpe make their way down the ski slope.
“Anytime we can get BOSS members together to get to know each other better is a good thing,” Watts said. “Engaging in recreation and leisure activities is an important element of the BOSS program because it provides balance along with work and other volunteer activities.”
First-time skiers Pvt. Maykayla Sessoms and Pfc. Sandra Duenas, both of HHC, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), said they enjoyed the outing and would do it again.
“It was very, very fun,” said Sessoms, who had considered switching from skis to a snowboard because it looked easier. “I decided to stay with the skis, even though skiing is very difficult to me.”
Sessoms and Duenas said they also started the day at the instructional slopes, but had moved on to the other courses by the day’s end.
Page 2 of 2 - Duenas said that she was surprised how much she enjoyed the outing, despite falling numerous times while skiing down the slopes. She also said learning to ride the lift to the top involved timing and coordination.
“I had a great time. It was fun getting out and trying something totally new for me,” Duenas said. “And, I did lots of falling, and not getting mad about it today. You just laugh it off because you know you are going to fall again. I embraced the fact and just kept getting up.”
Soldiers can learn more about BOSS at https://leavenworth.armymwr.com/us/leavenworth/programs/boss.