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Posted 11/14/2016

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By Gwyn G. Neill
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs

Although Mother Nature played a trick with the weather, the decision to move Corps Day to Oct. 21, proved to be a treat. The fall weather was exceptional and likely the reason for a great turnout by ERDC employees, retirees and their families. It was a day away from the desk, phone and emails, and the fall day was made to order.

Barbeque grills were fired up before daylight, then shortly after, the disc jockey began playing to welcome everyone to the day’s activities. The festive music throughout the day inspired dance lessons in the street which were a hit for all who participated as well as onlookers.

Participation was up and included a new format of competition for the various activities on and off campus. The old standards were back which included fishing, golf and ragball tournaments. The 5K run/walk was a rigorous trail event and the bake-off included three times as many entrants as in years past.

Two large birthday cakes were presented and cut with Col. Bryan Green’s sword in celebration of the 1775 establishment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There was plenty of cake to go around.

New activities included bicycling events of two lengths both on campus and off, a delicious taster’s choice Chili Cook-off and late afternoon Octoberfest brats and kraut served by the Post Restaurant.

Other activities on the front lawn included a jumpy house for the children, bean bag toss games, card games and Frisbee.

Situated front and center, the Castle Club reported brisk sales of ERDC T-shirts, polo shirts and tumblers. They were also responsible for a late afternoon band who closed the day with music on the front porch of the headquarters’ building.

Corps Day medallions and trophies designed and made by the Department of Public Works and the Information Technology Laboratory were awarded for events throughout the day. The fishing tournament on Lake Chotard was won by Heather Theel with a bass weighing 3.94 pounds. The Environmental Laboratory brought home the ragball championship trophy and the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory’s Lorraine Smithhart won the bake-off with her award winning southern pralines. CHL’s Anthony Triestas dominated the Chili Cook-off and overall winners of the 5K run/walk were also awarded. The Vicksburg Country Club was the site for the ERDC golf tournament and this year’s winning team consisted of Thad Pratt, William Butler, Jay Ehrgott and Matt Hossley.

After all the events were completed and points tallied, the Commander’s/Director’s Cup Championship Award was awarded at the closing ceremony to the Directorate of Enterprise Operations with EL close behind.

The event was definitely a come early and stay late kind of affair, but if you spent any portion of your day involved in ERDC’s Corps Day 2016 then you know it was a huge success with good times and good people!