A View From Our Side: The Goal- Let Them Experience Minot

Written by: Rodney Wilson

I am more convinced that our goal as a community is to give those “first time” folks assigned to Minot Air Force Base the true experience of Minot’s community.

Whether they are that new Airmen in the dorms or that family of four who moves into base housing, there is a definite lifestyle that Minot has that is different from any other military base, anywhere.

“Sure, you can say that Mr. Wilson. But where else do we have to plug our cars in at night and learn to navigate wind chill charts experiencing double digit below zero temperatures?” OK, there isn’t anything I can do about the weather. It is going to get cold, and the weather guy is more than happy to tell us how COLD it will be when you go to work tomorrow. But in a recent conversation with a couple of veterans of a North Dakota winter, they said their neighbors told them, “You’ll get used to the cold.” And the process of running from your heated home to your running car to the warm restaurant is not a lot different than living in Texas or Arizona where you replace heated and warm with cool and cold. “In Arizona, we let our car run with the air conditioning on, our house is air conditioned, every store is air conditioned, it’s the same,” said one of the ladies in the conversation.

So, weather behind us, let’s talk about Minot. Recently Downtown Minot welcomed a brand new recreational ice skating rink. Bring your skates, hit the ice, and skate all night for free. Really, for free! The next time it snows, grab a large cardboard box or a plastic sled and hit the slopes for an afternoon of the most fun you can have, once again for free. There are several slopes around Minot where families gather—once the sidewalks and driveways are shoveled—to enjoy sledding.
What about all of those other things we do on ice up here? Minot Air Force Base has its own curling league, the only base in the world to be able to lay claim to crowning a Curling League Champion! There are also hockey and figure skating opportunities for both adults and youth.

Turn the page and you’ll find the other activities that make Minot special. Our world class Minot Symphony Orchestra and Western Plains Opera perform incredible productions. I was able to share a couple of my tickets to the MSO last fall, and the recipients were absolutely amazed. So amazed that they are now MSO season tickets holders.

Not into the arts? How about a stroll through Downtown Minot where you can golf 12 months out of the year? Then there’s axe throwing, indoor miniature golf, cooking classes…it’s hard to name them all without forgetting something.
And soon the Minot Discovery Center will open, and it will be unique to Minot because it has activities for all ages.
I could certainly go on for another two or three pages, but the focus of this article is on the two communities, Minot and Minot Air Force Base. The people of Minot should always have their radar on for Minot AFB friends looking to get involved in our community. Believe it or not, we have a very special community to share.

And for our friends at Minot AFB, I can tell you with certainty that there is room for you to get involved.
You may have never placed your right hand on a curling rock (with your left hand on a broom) and slid that rock toward a target that seems like it’s miles away, but the opportunity for you to do so is available. And the invitation to join is always open.

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