Amy Zier knew if the weather cooperated, last week’s Outdoor Exploration Day would be a big success.
Zier, with Marine Corps Family Team Building, led about 25 military spouses on an afternoon of canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and yoga.
“It’s beautiful out here. Gorgeous water, clear skies, wonderful day,” Zier said. “The weather cleared out for us, which is wonderful. Everyone is really enjoying everything. Everyone is trying something new today, like kayaking or paddle boarding, that they hadn’t done before and they seemed to really enjoy it.”
The event was held on the banks of Slocum Creek at Ordnance Point aboard Cherry Point.
“We want to make sure that our military spouses feel empowered and that they have opportunities to make friends, meet new people and make connections here on base, so this is a great way for people to come out and try out a new hobby and see some of the things we have to offer aboard base like the kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and yoga classes that are offered every day,” Zier said. “This is just a great way to share it with them.”
Melanie Stone was one of the participants.
“It was difficult because you have to hold your balance while trying to move and paddle at the same time,” she said of paddle boarding. “It was the first time I’ve done it. It was difficult, but you get the hang of it once you start standing up and moving around. I’ve tried surfing, but it’s the first time I’ve done standup paddle boarding. I love being active and doing anything athletic.”
Stone liked the setting of the event at one of the bases many water access points.
“It’s really pretty. I’ve never been to this park before and my husband didn’t even know it was here,” Stone said.
Andrea Sharples participated in the yoga class and was about to board a canoe for a paddle on the creek.
“It’s fantastic,” she said of the event. “It’s something that’s never been done before. It’s a great opportunity for spouses to get out, see what MCCS has to offer and also relieve some stress and get away from our kids for a day. It’s a great networking opportunity to meet other spouses and spend the day together.”
Courtney Norris said she liked being out with friends, having time away from the kids and spending time on the water with the jumping mullet.
“My husband is very interested in it. He loves being outdoors and I just wanted to do it,” Norris said.
Sheri Surels, a Marine Corps Family Team Building staff member, said the event went over well despite the threatening skies.
“I think it’s fantastic for all of the spouses to get together,” she said. “The Marine Corps is kind of like a community in itself. We can support one another whether our husbands or wives are deployed or not, so it’s just a sense of family that the military has and a sense of camaraderie within the spouses. It’s fantastic. Nothing but good praises so far.”
For more information about Marine Corps Family Team Building events and programs, military spouses at Cherry Point can call 466-4908.