Chamberlain's community event -- Battling the cold with Nerf
CHAMBERLAIN—The Chamberlain Community Center on Main Street turned into a battlezone Saturday with flying styrofoam and kids shouting with joy.
Children ages 5 to 12 were aiming colorful Nerf guns at each other and fighting for territory.
Ron LaMie, Chamberlain's recreation coordinator, directs the indoor event that lasts for about 2 ½ hours every weekend and was initially started as part of the summer activities program at the recreation center.
"It's a great thing," LaMie said. "We have been doing this for a couple of years. The kids come in and bring their Nerf guns and we supply the accessoires."
Nerf guns are toys that fire foam darts, discs, or foam balls, and Nerf wars can be battled anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as there is plenty of open space.
For Lamie, the community center is a perfect location to keep the area kids entertained and out of trouble during the cold winter months.
After putting on their gear and grabbing their guns and ammunition, the kids are split into two groups, each receiving a jersey protecting a flag. to win the game, the other team's flag has to be captured and brought back to the opposing team's territory.
"It's a lot of fun," said Frederick Vandelay, 8. "It's cool that we can do this."
Volunteers assist LaMie with enforcing the rules of engagement, while taking cover from the flying styrofoam. Parents can relax for a couple of hours, drop off their kids at the center or watch the action from the bleachers.
Jennifer Rodriguez, a Chamberlain resident and mother of 7-year-old Eric, has been coming to the Nerf wars since the event started.
"We come everytime," Rodriguez said. "We used to have to bring all the accessories like the bullets and gear, but now Ron provides it all and even gets pizza for us at the end of the event."
LaMie plans on expanding the program for the winter season and wants to add arts and crafts and other sporting tournaments for the youth like dodgeball, basketball and kickball.
"Admission cost for the Chamberlain Nerf Wars is $15 and all are welcome to sign up," LaMie said.