Robert Rice – Cmdr. Rice was a visionary worker bee. When it became clear that we had the site and the roads to access, he birthed the dream of a repelling tower. Not only did he gather the materials (at his own cost), but he did the design and the welding for the components of the tower. He and Cmdr. Brock wanted the tower at what is now the site of the Stones of Remembrance. They got overruled and agreed to muscle the tower up to its hilltop location. There it was painstakingly erected and welded together. Then came the insurance issues. We were allowing people to go up and down the massive structure. Finally, additional safety procedures were installed, and the tower became a reality. It became a strategic landmark.
Then the zip line was added. Oh, how popular Cmdr. Rice became. Every place they could corner him, they would, for the opportunity to repel. We have been very cautious with safety regulations and have not had a significant injury on the zipline, but have had loads and loads of fun from zippers of all ages!
Hands down it became the center of attraction, and remains so today. There is always a tremendous demand for access and use. Some boys vie for the opportunity to make multiple repels in one day.
Not only was Cmdr. Rice the creator/builder but a top-notch leader, trainer and great Ranger. We will be forever indebted to his insightful and visionary leadership, and great heart as well.