In the shadowy depths of the forest, men in camouflage moved. The only sign of their movement was the quiet crackling of underbrush underfoot, that is until one, a very hunted soldier, came through with a bright pink Hello Kitty backpack on his back. He wouldn’t have that pack for long.
While on the other side of town golfers were in slacks and polo shirts to help raise money for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, in the depths of the forest a small army of people dressed in dark colours and camouflage were shooting each other with paintballs to support the same cause.
Despite what may seem like a scary scene, participants were happy to be supporting a good cause.
“Whenever we can do anything for the kids it’s a plus,” Peter Bond, President of Northern Strike Paintball, said.
The game started at 1 p.m., with the 25 soldiers rushing into the forest in an attempt to capture the grand prize, a paintball gun valued at more than $1000.
With a prize like that on the line, there was an epic struggle for the prize — a struggle that lasted more than three hours.
The prize was represented by the bright pink, highly visible, Hello Kitty backpack participants had to find and bring to an extraction point without getting shot. Before the backpack, various other keys had to be found to unlock maps that lead from one objective to the next before leading to the back pack.
In the end, Dane Hryhoryshen managed to get to the extraction point amidst a hail of paintballs, but not before a lot of others tried and failed, one so close that he tried to dive through a window in the shelter, but got stuck and shot.
After the firefight, everyone gathered around to share war stories and eat burgers.