The Outdoor Recreation Equipment Center helps Fort Hood organizations, like Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, and families have fun outdoor experiences by renting out equipment.

It’s located next to the Clear Creek Exchange and Jessica Schultz, acting facility manager of the Outdoor Recreation Equipment Center, is there to help you get the equipment you need.

“We offer a large variety of different recreational and non-recreational equipment. One of our most popular things we have are our inflatable bounce houses,” she said. “We also have a bunch of different watercraft items, (including) canoes (and) kayaks. We have a fishing boat as well as sports equipment, (including) basketballs, footballs, tug of war, horseshoe sets (and) cornhole.”

They also offer “fun food machines” that make fun treats like snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn, and hotdogs. The things required to make these treats are also available at the Rec Center.

Those who wish to check out the equipment must have a military identification card, whether it’s a retired military ID, Veteran’s Administration ID with service connected on it or an active duty or spouse ID. Rentals also must be made in person or over the phone.

“You do have to either come to or call our location and then we can check the availability and either do the reservation and the payment all over the phone or in person,” Schultz said.

If you want to take the fun on the road, the rec center can also help. They have several trailers, campers and towable barbeque pits for rent. They also have propane, but the customer must provide their own bottle or tank.

“I definitely enjoy being able to do this for the Soldiers and retired military,” Schultz said. “I’ve seen prices off post with their inflatables. At one place with an inflatable, you’re paying well over $400 for a four-hour timeframe, but here you can get the same size for a lot cheaper. I definitely like working on post and helping the Soldiers out and know that I can provide this stuff for them (for) a lot cheaper.”

It’s good to think ahead when planning to rent equipment. Some of their amenities are more popular at certain times of the year.

“During Thanksgiving timeframe, all of our flag football sets and footballs are gone. Cornhole wars and our travel trailers (are popular as well),” she said. “We can do reservations 90 days in advance all the way up to the day of. If you know for sure y’all are going somewhere and you need a trailer, go ahead and book that. The likelihood of us having it available the weekend you want it on that weekend is slim to none.”

The Rec Equipment Checkout Center is open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and federal holidays. For more information, please call 254-287-4126.