After months of begging (and surprisingly good behaviour!) I decided to treat my son to a paintball experience for his 12th Birthday. He'd been wanting to go for a couple of years and eventually I had to give in. For some reason 12-year-old boys find the idea of running around the woods making as much mess as possible quite appealing, so after looking at a couple of different paintball experiences I decided to book a full day session at our local paintball centre.
In total he invited 14 friends, a mix of both boys and girls aged between 12-13. For most of them this was their first paintball experience, and after looking at some of the pictures online they were understandably very excited.
The day of the party soon came, and once everybody had been signed in the kids were given special overalls to change into. Before being let loose with the paintball guns they were also given a full safety briefing, which was short but sweet and covered everything they needed to know before heading into battle. The kids were clearly raring to get their paintball experience under way, so the instructor made sure they didn't have to sit and listen for too long.
Before heading into the arena the kids were given safety masks which they had to wear throughout the session, as well as their paintball guns and ammo. The paintball experience was split into two sessions, with a break in between the two for lunch. The two sessions lasted around 3 hours each and consisted of loads of different games, which gave them a chance to take on different missions and play in different game zones. Although I chose not to join in I could see from the 'safe zone' that the different game zones were full of obstacles and places to take cover. Some even had wooden forts and burnt-out tanks, which the kids absolutely loved.
The morning's games flew by and before we knew it it was time for lunch, which was included in our package. The lunch provided was a light snack which was just what the kids needed in between games, and to be honest they were more interested in getting back down to action as quickly as possible. After wolfing down lunch the kids took part in some of the trickier games, and instead of just covering each other in paint you could see they were really trying to work as a team.
Before booking I'd looked into low impact paintball experiences and even though I was worried about the paintballs hurting there were no complaints from the kids, in fact they were all just desperate to do it again. Nothing was going to spoil their fun and the birthday boy thoroughly enjoyed his day. Next time I book a paintball experience I'll definitely be joining in!