COPPERAS COVE — The youth ministry of Robertson Avenue Baptist Church figured there would not be much to do for their youth on the Saturday after Christmas, so they decided to load up all the kids, put protective equipment on them and break out the Nerf guns for a paintball-style game of capture the flag.
Sixteen members of the youth group showed up to get their game on, under the direction of four volunteers and youth leaders Billy and Alicia Pelkey. The game was open to any youth in the community who wanted to attend, Billy Pelkey said.
“We wanted to do something fun for the kids. We figured right after the holiday, they weren’t really going to be doing anything,” Pelkey said. “We came up with the idea and the youth really seemed excited about it, so we put together a ‘Nerf war.’”
The game was originally going to be an outdoor event, but with the weather deciding not to cooperate, the halls and rooms of the church became a maze of obstacles perfect for dodging foam projectiles.
Tyler Foley, 12, a sixth-grader at S.C. Lee Junior High, is a church member and part of the youth group. She helped make the obstacles for the course and was excited about setting up and capturing the other team’s flag.
“I think that this is really cool. I think it’s a great way to get involved and a great way for our youth members to get closer together,” she said. “We had a couple of people donate some of the (Nerf) guns for those who might not have one, and I think it’s really great because we’re working on a couple of other projects and doing a lot in the community.
“We started off with only two members in the youth group a couple of months ago, and now it’s grown into this. I’m pretty excited about it. And being safe is a No. 1 priority,” she added.
Bryant Howe, a 12-year-old homeschooled sixth-grader, also helped make and set up the obstacles.
“I think there should be more stuff like this. I think it’s fun and a great way to make friends,” he said.
The youth ministry intends to do some sort of mission outreach every month as a way for the kids to get involved with the community, Pelkey said.
“At least one Saturday a month, whether it be going to nursing homes or just getting out in the community and trying to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “Our church is mission-based. Any event we do is open to the entire community, and the youth group is open to the entire community any time.
“They can come and go — if they just want to come and do the fun stuff, we won’t hold that against them in any way,” Pelkey said.