Tucked away in the foothills of the Western Cascade Mountains, Camp Dakota flouts the constraints of gravity with high-flying adventures that test participants' skills, stamina, and propensity to scream at high altitudes. Suspended steel ziplines whiz above the forest canopy as squirrels wave from nearby branches and passing meadowlarks pause for fist bumps. Teamwork trumps individual heroics on the high-ropes course, whose elevated, threaded obstacles sway precariously above the distant ground.
The aerial odyssey doesn't stop there. Instructors supply safety harnesses and words of encouragement before leading the way to a vertical rock-climbing wall. Replete with slim footholds and perturbed mountain goats, the wall poses a challenge to climbers of all abilities, who take solace in the added safety of fully automated belays.
Normally, tree houses are hideaways where kids can relax with a comic book, hang out with friends, or pretend they didn’t hear their mothers assigning them chores. At Splat Action Paintball Park, however, they're a refuge from incoming pellets fired from semi-automatic paintball guns, not to mention a safe space to strategize next moves. The same goes for the bunkers, foxholes, and towers also populating the park's 47 wooded acres, which boast 15 playing fields speckled with streams, trails, and trees.
Teams comprised of players aged 10 and up clash on these fields under the supervision of veteran referees, participating in frequent scenario games or weekend walk-on games. Target ranges help sharpen each player's shot before games begin, and a covered picnic area accommodates spectators who are admitted into the park for free.
At seemingly random intervals, the sudden barrage of paintballs overpowers the sound of a nearby river rushing by. With faces hidden behind protective masks, paintballers slink through the lush green forest of Sandy, striking enemies and taking cover in the underbrush. This is how the purveyors envisioned their field of play at BullRun Battlefields: realistic combat scenarios taking place in the lush outdoors. And this is what they achieved. With two woodsball fields comprising 8 acres of playable area, they can accommodate large groups for all-day outings. Renting top-notch equipment such as semiautomatic markers, camo jackets, and protective gear, the team suits up all gamers for an adrenaline-fueled day of strategizing and shimmying through the obstacles of the playing fields.
NWTA runs a wide array of Special Operations Missions as a vehicle for teaching Corporate Team-Building. These are based off the US Army Team model in that everyone participates, there is a special MDMP (Military Decision Making Process) that is civilianized and taught for business applications.
The sparkle of coal is a common sight in mineshafts, but no minerals have ever been found in Warpaint International's mineshaft. Instead, the splatter of fired paintballs covers the walls, just as it does in the newly renovated, 20,000-square-foot arena's other three play zones. Within the exciting facility, competitors can navigate the small homes of an indoor shantytown and crouch behind stacked barrels in an otherwise sparse mock-hotel.
JT SplatMaster Paintball offers a gentler version of paintball for younger players who have outgrown Extreme Contact Face Painting. And Warpaint International has partnered with Sniperz Den Paintball in St. Paul to host once-a-month events on more than 50 acres ripe for play, including seven bases replete with flags. Players can also stop by the full pro shop to stock up on markers, paintballs, and other related apparel.