Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Marine Corps Community Services’ Outdoor Adventures program aboard Quantico hosted their first ever Kids Splat paintball event for teenagers 11 to 15 years old at the newly opened Paintball Park located off of Burton and McCard streets behind Butler Stadium.
The event was hosted for 28 teenage Marine dependents and was organized to assist with the mission of providing outdoor recreational opportunities which inspire participation in healthy and active alternatives that will improve quality of life and increased physical, mental and spiritual growth.
“In today’s culture it is so easy for military kids to stay within their comfort zones and stay inside, being consumed by the television, computer and phone screens that sit in front of them,” MCCS Outdoor Adventures event organizer Meghan Meadows said. “ The mission of this event was to get kids out of their comfort zone and get them active by offering something that everyone can identify with—being outside in the fresh air.”
According to Meadows, the paintball event offered the teenagers a healthy outlet to exert energy that might otherwise be wasted elsewhere.
Ian, an 11-year-old Marine dependent took the Paintball Park by storm as he found cover within the Valley course and led his team to victory offering tactful strategy on how his team might eliminate the opposing teams.
Ian described the experience as exciting and much different than anything he has done in the past, including playing Call of Duty on his XBOX.
However he was not the only kid to express the feeling of adrenaline that coursed through him as 13-year-old Isabella described the experience as “crazy suspenseful” and tactically challenging.
“The hardest part for me was finding a good place to take cover so I wouldn’t get shot, but being close enough to hit the other team,” Isabella said.
Isabella’s brother, Cooper, 11, said the event was awesome and really got his heart racing.
As many of the teenagers learned to play paintball for the first time, they also learned leadership and team-building skills, while connecting with other dependents on base thus creating new friendships.
“We want the children aboard base to be active members of the community,” Meadows said. “The paintball event was a perfect example of ways we can incorporate youth into the community.”
As the event progressed the teenagers could be heard from all throughout the course making leadership decisions, calling each other by name and firing their paintball guns as the paint smacked against trees, tires and pavement.
According to Meadows the paintball event was their largest turnout for the summer.
MCCS Outdoor Adventures hopes to continue the success of their first event by increasing the age range to include 17-year-olds.