On the bus ride to Skirmish Paintball, there was an air of nervousness and excitement. It was the first time half of those going had ever experienced paintball, and they were scared. Numerous people were discussing how much it hurt to be shot, and many were wondering why they had signed up for the trip. I heard nervous giggles from newcomers and excited chattering from veterans.
When we arrived, we donned layers of sweaters, hats and gloves. Many rented camouflage suits, which not only insulated, but also made them feel really cool. After signing in, getting in gear, and buying smoke and paint grenades, we were tentatively ready for battle. We split up into two teams divvied up by Mr. Compton and Mr. Newell who were chaperoning.
The first map we played on was made out of cargo boxes at various angles. They had holes cut out for shelter as well as a fortress for firing. The team I was on was with Mr. Newell, the white team, but we were no match for the other team. Most of the kids on our team were inexperienced and terrified. The referee told us at the end of the game that we “really sucked.”
As the day continued, we frequented many maps, including ones with a castle, a small town, and much more. Both teams improved, learning to work together and communicate. By the end, the teams were evenly matched. There is some debate about this, but by the end of the day, our team had won more games.
In contrast to the ride there, the ride back was filled with excitement and reminiscing about the adventure-packed day. People showed off battle scars – welts made by the paintballs- which included one on the neck and numerous others on hands, arms, and legs. Those with more gruesome stories, such as running into enemy fire to act as a distraction, recounted them with glee. Everyone was ecstatic after the trip. I still find myself talking about it to this day. I loved the trip, and I would recommend going to anyone who was a little bored over the weekend at Blair.
(Copyright 2016 Ryan Green)