One of the best things about being military-related is having access to MWR: Morale Welfare and Recreational resources. If you’ve ever walked into the on-base gym, or the on-base pool, the on-base golf course, bowling alley, or the library (including the awesome digital resources from the library like ancestry.com or access to The Great Courses), you have utilized MWR. Each branch has their own MWR program, but the offerings are pretty universal throughout each program, and I have provided links to each branch’s MWR website below so you can explore. With the summer season in full swing, here are 5 Ways to Utilize MWR no matter what branch you belong to:
1. Rent a Boat
When we lived at Fort Jackson, we were one hour from a beautiful lake. We knew we wanted to go out on the lake, but we didn’t own a boat. Neither did anyone we knew. While my spouse thought this was a sign that we needed to buy a boat of our own, common sense reared its ugly head about how often we would really use a boat, and I reminded him of what boat really stands for “Break Out Another Thousand (dollars).” Rather than be boat-less, we met up with four other friends and rented a beautiful large boat (that none of us could have ever afforded) for a weekend. It cost much less than owning, storing, and maintaining a boat and we still got to have our on the water adventure.
2. Stay at an On-Base Campground
Whether you want to stay in a tent, an RV, or a cabin, every state has a DOD campground for you. If you don’t own an RV, you can even rent one from MWR. On-base campgrounds are great because not only do they provide campground sites, but often many of these places have ways to rent canoes, fishing materials, and other camping wants and needs.
3. The MWR Summer Reading Challenge
Your on-base library is a great way to escape the heat of summer. Not only can you check out books from the library, but many on-base libraries offer different programs such as reading challenges and Lego-meet ups and children’s story time. The Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to connect with your family over a book or just get the kids off the screens for a little while every day. For more on the MWR Summer Reading Challenge click here to find out more from Military One Source.
4. Blue Star Museums
Another way to escape the heat is to explore museums nation-wide with your family for FREE! Yes you can entertain the family in an air-conditioned museum for free to children’s museums, art museums, history and science museums, zoos, and nature centers across the United States. The program is good for the Military ID holder and up to five family members. The Military ID holder can be the active duty service member or another dependent with the appropriate ID (the active duty soldier does not need to be present). To find out more about the program and to find a participating museum near you click here.
5. Check Out a Theme Park
On-base you have an Information, Tickets and Travel office that can provide you with information. The ITT office could offer you discounted prices for airline tickets, cruises packages, theme park tickets, sporting events, and local entertainment. I know that when we were stationed at various bases in Georgia and South Carolina that our bases had discounted tickets for Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando Florida.
Summer is great time to utilize all the things that MWR can offer you. As promised here are the links for each of the branches: