The pavilions are now open for rent at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area as well as the Warrior Adventure Quest activities.

After COVID-19 sunk its claws into the Central Texas area in March of last year, many of the activities that the community came to know and love out at BLORA were put on hold, but finally events are being held again.

Shelly Mores, Adventure Programs programmer, joined the WAQ team in December of 2020 and was happy to have Soldiers out at the WAQ ropes course March 26.

“It was pretty good. We’ve been kind of preparing for the ropes course for a while,” she said. “We had a bunch of cancellations due to the weather. And so, I was ready. I was excited to have a group out there.”

It was her first time helping the Soldiers through the course and her favorite part was watching them help each other out.

“I saw the camaraderie of them just kind of telling each other, ‘You can do this,’ giving them that encouragement, especially on the zip lining,” she explained. “I was up there with them and you know you can see the fear (but) everyone was very supportive (of each other).”

Before they conquer the high ropes course, they build camaraderie by doing team activities on the ground, which is what Mores believes they benefit from the most.

“I think that was most beneficial to the Soldiers to get to know one another,” Mores said about the ground activities, “because a lot of times they’re working together and all they do is work and they’re tasked a certain job. This kind of breaks them out of that. Their goal is a little bit different and they have to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses when they’re doing something like the litter carry.”

Other fun activities have resumed out at BLORA including larger mountain biking groups and paintball, which also kicked off on March 26 with Adventure Programs.

“I think it’s really about them letting off some steam,” Mores said about Soldiers participating in paintball. “It’s like a fun day for them. Then as the day goes on and we facilitate more games for them, they become a little bit more aware of everybody’s strengths, then they become more efficient at winning.”

Mountain biking was allowed during the pandemic, but not in large groups. Now larger groups can be hosted out at BLORA.

“There are different trails that they can ride, depending on their skill level. There’s a green trail, which is a little bit more enjoyable if you’re just wanting to go out and do something that’s outdoorsy and a little bit rugged. You have the blue trail, which is a lot more challenging. And of course, you’ve got … the red trail, but it might take some skill.”

If Soldiers are doing these activities through the Warrior Venture Class, they must do the activity in lieu of a duty day. Their social security number and identification card are required for post-surveys that allow WAQ to keep up with who all uses their programs and it helps pay for the program, which makes it free for the Soldier.

Civilian companies can also do team building activities out at BLORA, but they need to call Mores for pricing and other details at 254-317-5350 or email her at shelly.a.white.naf@mail.mil.

Another program being offered is Adventure Programs, where Mores can create a day full of activities.

“(For example) We could do steak and paddle, where we go out and we do paddle boarding and then in the evening we’d go out onto BLORA’s picnic and pavilion areas so that can actually be sold as a package as well,” she explained.

For more information on pavilion rentals, visit https://hood.armymwr.com/programs/belton-lake-outdoor-recreation-area1 or call 254-287-2523 or 254-287-8303.