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Event offers camping, stories, movies, s’more

Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, reads the book “Click, Clack, Moo-Cows That Type” to children on West Beach at Lake Tholocco during a previous Camping Under the Stars. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, reads the book “Click, Clack, Moo-Cows That Type” to children on West Beach at Lake Tholocco during a previous Camping Under the Stars. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: November 7, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 7, 2014) -- Soldiers and their families are invited to enjoy the cozy comfort of a crackling campfire during Fort Rucker’s fourth annual Camping Under the Stars beginning at 5 p.m. Nov. 14 at Lake Tholocco’s West Beach.

According to Brian Jackson, Fort Rucker program manager, the event will feature two movies on the big screen outdoors beginning at 7 p.m.

“The movies selected are ‘Frozen’ and ‘The Lego Movie,’” Jackson said. “There will be a story read by a Fort Rucker command staff member for the youth, as well as s’mores and hot chocolate for patrons.”

The event opens to the public at 5 p.m., he added. Patrons are welcome to arrive earlier to set up their camping equipment for the night.

“Camping is optional,” Jackson said. “Patrons are welcome to attend the event from 5-10 p.m. at West Beach. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and warm-weather clothes. If patrons plan to camp out, please bring tents and other items as needed to make your night comfortable.”

Outdoor recreation also offers three-person and  six-person tents for free use during the overnight camp out. Tents are limited, so families are urged to call early and reserve to ensure availability. Anyone interested in reserving a tent for the event should contact MWR Central at 255-2997.

The event will be similar to previous years, maintaining a focus on providing a night of relaxation and fun for Fort Rucker families.

“Camping Under the Stars has proven to be a great night of relaxation and fun,” Jackson said. “Both the youth and adults have enjoyed our movie showings in the past, and this year won’t disappoint. Patrons have also enjoyed this program as an opportunity to camp out with their families, whether it be their first time or not. Since we don’t get too much cold weather down here in the South, this provides an atmosphere to enjoy that camp out evening folks are used to in other locations of the country.”

According to Jackson, a clean camp site and cozy atmosphere have helped make the event a success each year.

“Outdoor recreation really cleans up the camp site well at Lake Tholocco’s West Beach,” he said. “The staff makes the fire pit relatable to the event itself. Patrons have expressed that they like the atmosphere, the movies and how it genuinely feels like a camp out event.”

The event is free and open to all military I.D. holders.

“The community, especially our military families, deserves events like this,” Jackson added. “It not only satisfies a need, but it provides a different event that is right here on base. On our surveys in most recent years, patrons have expressed having a camp out related event. As we have planned and executed this particular program, the comments have been nothing but positive.”

For more information, call 255-9810.

This article was originally published at

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