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Paintball is newest feature at Family Recreation Park

November 07, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - Family Recreation Park is in its 19th season, but the facility has constantly been reinventing itself over the years to keep up with the changing tastes of the American public.

And 2006 is no different, according to Jayne Angle, park manager, and her sister, Jeanine Horst, both daughters of the park founders - Evelyn Barr and her husband, the late Jack Barr.

The new lighted paintball arena at the 21036 National Pike park is open and ready for play, Angle said.

After Oct. 31, seasonal activities at the park come to an end, except for paintball, according to Horst.

Area paintball enthusiasts have had to journey to either Frederick or Marion, Pa., for an outdoor paintball arena, said Mike Hunsberger who has been a player for about 10 years.

"This arena opened in mid-August," he said, noting that he and his fellow players now can enjoy their sport a little closer to home.

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Because paintballers tend to dress in long sleeves and long pants because of the nature of the sport, cold weather doesn't have a big an effect on them.

Hunsberger pointed out that the paintball "markers" provided by the park operate with compressed air so the cold weather doesn't affect them.

The arena is open to anyone 12 years of age and older, both in groups and individuals. Those under 18 are required to have a guardian's signature, according to Family Recreation Park Web site. Prospective participants are asked to call ahead to make sure the arena is available.

Angle and Horst said the paintball arena is being promoted among church groups, for corporate teambuilding, birthday parties, bachelor or bachelorette parties, as well as other groups.

"Evening is really the best time to play because we have lights now," Angle said.

The park was created in 1987 by the Barrs, who were frustrated that there wasn't more for families to do together in Washington County. The grand opening was in August 1988.

Armed with a scrapbook that was started in the beginning, Angle pointed out that the first attraction was miniature golf. Then two go-cart tracks were added, a snack bar, game room and then a second miniature golf course.

Junior rides came along in 1992 followed a year later by the pavilion, water wars in 1994 and batting cages in 1995.

The train went into operation in 1997, and the inflatables and the remodeled game room in 1998.

The season for those attractions is April through Oct. 31.

The hours for the paintball arena are Wednesday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m., Angle said.

Other times can be arranged by appointment.

More information on rates, equipment and conditions may be obtained by calling 301-733-2333 or by going to www.famrecpark.com/paintball.html.

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