News: 'Battle of the Bay' boosts Coast Guard Reserve teamwork and morale
BALTIMORE - The first Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Olympics was held Feb. 16, at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore. Teams made up from more than 40 Coast Guard Reserve members from stations Washington, D.C., Curtis Bay, Md., and St. Inigoes, Md., as well as Sector Baltimore’s Vessel Boarding and Security Team, Incident Management Department, Prevention Department and Servicing Personnel Office, gathered to participate in a variety of events to earn the newly coveted “Battle of the Bay” award plaque.
“We started the Sector Baltimore Olympics for several reasons,” said Chief Petty Officer David Donohue, event coordinator. “We want to encourage morale through team-building exercises, as well as promote strength and fitness with Coast Guard-oriented activities.”
Cooperation was paramount in completing all of the events. Each team had to collectively complete 500 pushups and 750 situps, as well as help carry a loaded stokes basket that weighed about 150 pounds during a sprint race. Other competitions included a volleyball game, a tug-of-war, a life-ring toss and a 5K relay race. Most events were held indoors at the Columbus Recreation Center on base, while some were held on the Yard campus.
“Events like this have a direct impact on our group dynamics at the station because it helps us learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how we can help each other on our missions,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeff Kelnberger, a machinery technician and the Reserve Fitness Coordinator at Station St. Inigoes.
“Our goal here today is to win, of course, but it is also nice to meet fellow reservists from the area and develop camaraderie with other units.”
The teams earned points for each contest and after the scores were tallied first place was awarded to Boatswain's Mate First Class John Stephanos, Boatswain's Mate Second Class Scott Slingland, Machinery Technician Second Class Jeff Kelnberger, Boatswain's Mate Third Class Cameron Buckingham and Boatswain's Mate Third Class Gregory Schappell of Station Saint Inigoes. Second and third place went to the members from Station Curtis Bay and the Sector Baltimore Vessel Boarding and Security Team, respectively.
“I hope it’s a good team-building effort,” added Donohue. “I would like to see this continue on as an annual event and improve the health and well-being of our members.”