If you’ve ever played paintball, you probably understand the allure of the game. In paintball, players compete in teams to eliminate opponents by tagging them with paint-containing capsules fired from a paintball marker. Easy to learn and play (and just plain fun), paintball offers a pure adrenaline rush to players, is a great form of exercise, and is ideal for team-building among adults and kids alike. Below we’ll explore more in depth some of the benefits of paintball for kids.
Promotes Teambuilding and Leadership
Paintball requires cooperation, strategy and execution, all of which require working together with teammates. When members of a team work together, oxytocin, a “bonding hormone,” is released in the brain1. Oxytocin helps promotes feelings of trust, generosity, cohesion and cooperation among team members—all important when working as part of a team. Paintball helps kids develop leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
It’s safe to say that the average American teenager has more screen time that playtime these days, and many kids don’t engage in sports or outdoor activities at all. Many schools have even removed physical education curriculums altogether in favor of an increased academic load. This is unfortunate, since exercise is critical for physical and mental health. Exercise promotes a healthy immune system and releases a host of feel-good chemicals in the brain, including endorphins, which boost kids’ mood and sense of well-being. Paintball is fun, it’s an excellent form of exercise, and it also helps sharpen coordination skills.
Childhood obesity has tripled in the last three decades, according to the public health organization SPARK2. Today, computers and mobile devices tend to dominate kids’ lives, and their bodies and minds have suffered the consequences of the increasing lack of physical activity. Paintball is a high-energy game that burns plenty of calories—and when kids lose weight and their fitness improves, so does their confidence.
You may be thinking, “Stress? What stress do kids have to deal with? They’re kids!” In fact, several reports and surveys have illustrated that kids, and especially teens, experience stress levels similar to or greater than adults. An annual survey published by the American Psychological Association reported an average stress level of 5.8 on a 10-point scale for teens, compared with 5.1 for adults3.
Adolescence can be stressful enough—add to it the pressures of schoolwork, social life and other activities, along with a pervasive and ubiquitous media culture, and teens are often more stressed today than ever. Paintball is a great way for kids to burn off excess energy, build leadership and teambuilding skills (remember the oxytocin?) and reduce stress.
The mission of River Way Ranch Camp is to challenge kids and positively influence their futures through memorable camp experiences. River Way has been providing exceptional camper experiences for 47 years, and we take pride in carefully selecting our camp staff. River Way has an unmatched safety record and employs only the most caring and compassionate mentors. We offer over 75 activities to keep kids active and engaged. To learn more about the River Way difference, visit our website at riverwayranchcamp.com.