If you think you know all that Morale, Welfare and Recreation has to offer, with installation pools, organized sports, bowling centers, equipment rentals and fitness centers, you're in for a surprise. These programs are available on installations worldwide and there is no denying their popularity, but they just scratch the surface of what Morale, Welfare and Recreation can do for you.
Rod and gun facilities
If you are interested in archery, hunting, range shooting or joining a club with any of these specialized interests, your installation may have facilities to accommodate your interests for a fraction of the cost that you would pay in the community. Some Morale, Welfare and Recreation locations offer membership to a rod and gun club for a bit of camaraderie and special events. If you are more interested in learning at your own pace, you can benefit from installation range activities like target shooting, skeet or archery.
Depending on your installation, hunting and fishing clubs, trips, competitions or lessons might also be available. Installation lakes, ponds or streams may be stocked for fishing, and tournaments may even be available for your young sportsman. Be sure that your hunting and fishing licenses are current in your state. If they are expired, your installation's Morale, Welfare and Recreation may have information on renewal.
If the facilities are available to accommodate it, your installation may offer equipment storage for your personal needs or rentable equipment for use at ranges.
Automotive skills centers or hobby shops
Repairs or even routine upkeep on your vehicle can be expensive. Morale, Welfare and Recreation automotive skills centers offer service members and their families the opportunity to perform regular maintenance on their automobiles themselves using the space, equipment and instruction from the automotive skill center. Facilities may charge a minimal hourly fee or flat usage fee, and any equipment you need to perform routine maintenance on your vehicle should be available.
Centers can also offer classes to improve overall automotive knowledge, including emergency readiness, vehicle basics and safety orientations. The instruction and hands-on experience can improve your overall knowledge of your vehicle and equip you with the skills you need to keep your car running safely while saving you some money.
Horseback riding and stables
Whether learning to ride a horse is on your bucket list or you're an expert rider in search of a safe place to board your horse, check with your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Some locations offer ring, English, and western riding lessons beginning with school-age children, trail rides, horse rentals, seasonal activities, birthday parties and more.
Boarding services may also be available at lower rates than you might find in the community. Facilities likely have limited availability and may have their own vaccination requirements for boarding your horse, so it is best to inquire locally.
Dog parks and boarding
Four-legged military family members often have more military moves under their belts than some military children, so they are entitled to some fun as well. Your installation may have the perfect place for your dog to let loose and enjoy the company of other dogs. Your installation's dog park most likely has some basic ground rules, including up-to-date vaccinations, food bans, mandatory supervision, park curfews, prohibited violent behaviors, age requirements and leash requirements outside the play area.
If you need a safe and reliable option for your pet in your absence, your installation may offer low-cost pet boarding services as well. Some kennels accept only dogs, while others may board a variety of animals. Fees may be calculated by the day or week, depending on your needs, and locations may offer additional services, like grooming, additional playtime or sleeping cots for an added fee.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation benefits extend far beyond the gates of your installation; a variety of military lodging is available for leisure travel. If you have already decided on a travel destination, then check the availability of installation lodging, recreational facilities, resorts or nongovernment-owned hotels near your destination or on your route before you book a traditional hotel room. Eligibility can vary. Certain accommodations, like installation lodging may only be available on a space-available basis for recreational use, but other options may take reservations up to a year in advance.
If you're up for a little adventure, pick a destination from the Best Kept Secrets Joint Services Campgrounds and Facilities directory. Accommodations vary from tent sites to beachfront condos, and reservation requirements are as unique as the locations themselves. Start planning early for a memorable adventure.
Whether you're traveling alone or with your family, taking advantage of Morale, Welfare and Recreation lodging can help you save hard-earned money on your next trip, which can only add to your rest and relaxation.
The next time you host a party, whether a small spouse function or a wedding reception for hundreds of people, consider the facilities and catering options offered on your installation through Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Your installation may offer event catering - food and beverage, venue options, entertainment programs, restaurants and snack bars. Options vary by installation, but Morale, Welfare and Recreation can help you make your next bite or your next big event budget-friendly while delivering great service.
Special interest outdoor programs
Installations stretch all over the globe, and each little corner of the world has a unique geographic setting. Special interest Morale, Welfare and Recreation outdoor activities can help you take advantage of the nature surrounding you. Activities can include rappelling, scuba diving, sailing, sailboarding, surfing, mountain biking and snow skiing. You might be able to join a special-interest club or sign up for lessons to learn a new skill in a new place. Weather and geography drive these activities, but local interest can also impact availability.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs and facilities from bowling centers to special interest activities, like shooting ranges are available to service members and military family members regardless of your current phase of military life. Whether you're a single service member, a newlywed, a military family member or a retiree, you are welcomed and encouraged to take advantage of the recreational opportunities near you. Since local interest and geographic location dictate the availability of programs, you can find out if any of the programs listed — or any new and exciting programs — are available on your installation, by contacting your Morale, Welfare and Recreation location.