Paintball !

Raphaël, whom I know from my last internship within Siemens Business Services, is currently performing an internship at Siemens Medical Solutions in Malvern, PA. We recently met in Princeton, and somehow we ended up talking about paintball. He found a nice paintball field in the vicinity of Philladelphia, and they had a special anniversary promotion for january 19th: Half Price on everything and $1 hot dogs !

He told me about it and he gathered 7 other interested interns from Malvern, he registered a team named “Intern Intruders” ( :D ) and then asked me if I wanted to come, and if I could bring other interns from Princeton. After a few persuasive emails and a laudatory speech about how amazing paintball is, I managed to convince 13 (!) interns to sign up for the team: Ulrich, Fabio, David, Ivan, Maté, Olaf, Samuele, Daniel, Robert, Mirja, Marian, Matthias and Christian. Jep, a lot of “Intruders”.

Poco Loco Paintball is located in Pottstown, 75 miles from Princeton. We subscribed for the 9:45am show-up time, therefore we had to leave pretty early in the morning if we wanted to be on time. We met at 7:30am at Siemens, and we left at 7:45am with 4 cars. My precious GPS made the ride very comfortable and after an hour and a half, we finally got there. The paintball field is located in the midst of a forest, partially covered in snow. This special day had attracted crowds of visitors, the parking lot was already quite full.

After a quick bag inspection and a security briefing about what to do and what is forbidden, our group could start checking in and preparing for the battle. The whole process took longer that expected, but at 11:45 am we were already marching towards what appeared to be a certain death: The Castle map ! An assault and defend scenario map, with a central flag in a tower. This map was amazing, and definitely the best one in my opinion. With no real teamwork, we first defended and then attacked the castle. Paint balls are flying everywhere, and you begin to feel lonely when 3 of your teammates get shot just next to you. You know that you are next on the list, but you don’t want to. It’s in those situations you realize you don’t want to be in a real war, where bullets leave more than paint stain and small bruises !

We fought on several maps, and we had a lot of fun. For a small extra fee, we could rent camo suits, knee pads and other accessories. For $16, almost everyone bought a bag of 500 additional paint balls. The $1 hot dogs were OK, we did not expect that much for that price. I wish we had taken more pictures, but no one wanted to take his camera on the battlefield. The pictures we have were taken by our referee, who was nice enough to do it. Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car. Next time, I’ll make an in-game movie :D I hope the camera won’t get shot ^^

One thing that bothered me in the late afternoon was the fog appearing in the goggles after a few minutes of playing (even though I chose the anti-fog goggles)… so after a while I was basically shooting at random directions, hoping an enemy would be around :D So I’ll be prepared for the next time, we’ll get our own field (which is possible if you bring more than 20 people), and we will already know the maps and the different scenarii, so we’ll be prepared. Let’s see if there is any possibility to get Siemens to pay for our next battle :)

Make sure to check the pictures, some of them are actually really cool, and most of them were taken while playing !

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