Paintball draws youths to outdoors
June 20, 2013
By Nathan Deen
FORT BENNING, Ga., (June 19, 2013) -- Paint splattered across jerseys, trees and fortified areas of the Woodlands Paintball Area Wednesday as about 20 kids took part in a paintball camp hosted by Child, Youth & School Services.
CYSS hosts numerous camps for sports and activities throughout the summer, but paintball tends to be among the most popular, said CYSS camp supervisor Bert Baugher.
Whereas parents may have a difficult time getting kids outside for other activities and away from videogames, paintball seems to be an instant draw to kids, he said.
"The kids love the competition, the rush and the experience," Baugher said.
"It's action-packed. It's like a videogame to them, but it gets them out (of the house)."
The three-day camp was preceded by a safety course on Monday, Baugher said, and safety principles were reinforced throughout the week.
"Every time we come out, we tell them safety first," he said. "We tell on their guns."
Generally, no injuries occur while playing paintball, Baugher said, but being hit in an unprotected area usually results in a swelling bruise.
"We encourage (the beginners) to get next to an experienced player," he said. "Some do get intimidated by it because you do get hit and it does hurt sometimes.
"Some of the kids are first timers. They're getting good experience in teamwork. Usually, the beginners end up signing up again. They can't get enough."
Alex McCoy, 15, said he played paintball for only the second time on June 12.
"I was afraid of getting shot, but now it's not so bad," McCoy said. "It doesn't hurt as much as you think and it's a lot of fun."
Players were divided into two teams -- red and blue -- and generally played a defend-and-attack game format Tuesday through Thursday. One team would defend the main fort at the center of the paintball area while the other team would advance on it.
"You have that feeling that you're at an abandoned site and you're just trying to watch your back and check every corner," McCoy said.
For more information about CYSS summer camps, call the CYSS offices at 706-545-1853.