Would you send your kid to combat camp?

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, That's Entertainment

A week or so ago, we happened to be at a local mall where a summer camp fair was taking place -- there were tables all through the mall promoting science camps and horseback riding camps and nature camps and soccer camps and so on. One such table caught my eye, mostly because of the weapon lying on top of it. It was the booth of a local paintball facility.

Now, paintball is something I could totally get into (if it weren't for the whole getting-paint-all-over-you part). When I was younger, my brother and I and our roommate would run around the house we shared for hours playing lazer tag. Before that, the neighborhood kids and I used to run around the neighborhood shooting each other with bb guns. My overdeveloped sense of violence and competition is totally in line with the whole paintball idea.

But I'm trying to keep that hidden from my kids. I have enough trouble with Jared taking taekwondo lessons as it is; there's no way I'd let him be involved in mock combat. Still, I was curious as to why the facility was there that day -- I asked if they offered a summer camp. Yes, in fact, they were going to. With lessons in strategy and tactics, plenty of practice, and, of course, a tournament at the end.

That got me wondering, would people send their kids to what is effectively a combat training summer camp? Maybe not everyone has the over-developed sense of anti-violence that I do, but still, is this appropriate? What positive values or lessons could they learn? Surely, there must be some readers who participate in this sport; can you clue me in?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.