USAFE drops Extreme Summer program due to low interest
U.S. Air Forces in Europe is dropping its Extreme Summer program due to lagging interest and a desire to update its approach to supporting community outdoor activities, an official said Friday.
In its place, USAFE Services is creating or revising three programs to fill the void, said Mandy Smith-Nethercott, the agency’s chief of marketing, sponsorship and entertainment. One new initiative is a health and wellness expo set for May and June at main operating bases in the command.
"It’s run its course," Smith-Nethercott said of Extreme Summer. As with a lot of programs, she said, over time "you see less and less participation."
Launched a decade ago, Extreme Summer was created for youths and grew in subsequent years to include adults. But over the past several years participation has dropped by about 8 percent annually.
To make such activities more relevant to today, USAFE Services is focused on making opportunities more fun and trendy. She mentioned as an example last summer’s clinic by Billy Blanks, creator of Tae Bo.
Smith-Nethercott said the decision to drop the Extreme Summer program also spells the end of a system participants used to earn points toward possible prizes, such as cash or a new car. Cash and car prizes will remain in the mix but under the new lineup of programs, which includes one geared toward sports and another toward newcomers, prizes won’t be based on points but on participation.
"We’re implementing some new and exciting programs to take [Extreme Summer’s] place," Smith-Nethercott said.