Monday, April 2, 2012

Operation: Blue Wolf- The Review

I'm all for making plans and making them happen. Thanks to a church leadership that sees the value in guys spending time together, and a few key individuals that helped me plan and execute the mission I'd say Operation: Blue Wolf was a huge success. In the outline, I promised I'd give more details on how it went down, so before I forget everything, here's the practical side of how to pull of one of the coolest man-trips I've been a part of.
  1. Funding- come up with a budget for everything you'd need to make this happen. Include: paintballs, markers, food, masks, CO2, miscellaneous equipment, any costs associated with the land, gas, etc.. The group of guys you hang out with may have a different number, but I wanted to get everything under $40 per person to make it a fun weekend that most guys could afford. When I finished my budget the per person cost was closer to $60. So I presented the church with our numbers and what it would take to get the cost down to $40 per person. They ended up giving me more than I asked for and it knocked the price down to $30 if you didn't have your own equipment and $10 if you did. This was probably the biggest factor in getting the weekend off the ground. Thanks again to my church leadership for this. 
  2. Land- In Texas we have a lot of land. People just own property- like out in the middle of nowhere property. This was new to me when I moved down here in college, but we were able to use a portion of property out towards West Texas that has rolling hills, mesquite trees, rattle snakes, and plenty of open sky. We played on an unused portion of a cow pasture measuring .1 by .2 miles approximately with a substantial ridge running through the area. It was a great piece of land and it worked out great for 20 guys. 
  3. Pool of interested guys- a lot of the guys I invited came. You'll have some that won't be interested, some that have conflicts or other reasons not to go, but if you present a well thought out paintball game to a group of guys no matter what the age, you'll turn some heads. 
  4. Buy everything- Once you know how many are coming (I highly suggest an organized registration process including waivers, emergency contact info, and up front payment) buy everything you need. Search online for deals when you buy in bulk (like at Zephyr Paintball). Generally this saves you from paying sales tax and with a large order, shipping is free. We had everything we ordered within a week but give yourself at least two weeks for shipping if you plan to buy online. We had good luck with the Raptor pump paintball guns. You get what you pay for, but it lessens the amount of paint you need for the day by using pump guns. The guns we accurate and the rounds moved at a good speed out of the barrel. The only problem was the O-rings that gun uses started falling out and getting lost toward the end of the eight hour game. The gun takes two of the 12g CO2 cartridges at one time. 
  5. Come up with a detailed game plan. My mission plans varied slightly from my original ideas in the first post. I'll update the original post to reflect what we actually did in more detail. 
  6. Execute.
We shot live ammo after the game was over and everyone went home in one piece, happy, and I think most of the guys would do it again. This took quite a bit of work to head up and make happen, but I'm glad I did it and in the end it was all worth it. Some male bonding just can't happen in an hour- sometimes you need something like this for some new friendships to be forged. Yeah, you can do this for the fun of it- but I really tried to make this an event that guys got to know each other a little more and maybe meet some new people. I talked to the guys on my team about the importance of needing strong male relationships in our lives and how we have to be intentional about developing them, and how they could make the difference one day between a failed and successful marriage or a lost and a strengthened faith. In ancient Sparta there was a law that you would pay a monetary fine for losing your weapon, but if you lost your shield you were put to death. Reason: you were responsible for protecting the life of the man next to you. We'd be better off as men if we still viewed our relationships like that. Whether you choose to do an event like this or not, be a man in your community that makes the men around you stronger. Take time to build them up, pray for them, and spend time with them in ways that matter.

*For more ideas on getting getting guys together check out our article on guy's night.
**One thing we didn't do (and I apologize) was take pictures. I initially wanted to add some to show you how much fun we had so you'd have no choice but to do it too, but you'll just have to use your imagination.

You may also like:
Operation: Blue Wolf
Guy's Night
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