Couple years later my younger cousins and their friends approached me about doing a camping trip that was a little more challenging than their standard Boy Scouting camp out.
I set out to create the best hiking adventure these 14 year olds had ever seen. A 10 mile hike to camp, relentless attacks from parents armed with water balloons and bags of flour bags and of course, Paintball guns. At the moment when the kids were instructed to put on goggles to seconds later when the adults attacked with Splatmasters and everyone of the kids running off screaming, I knew I had something.
Survival Camp USA was born and little did I know at the time, Pentagon Paintball, Inc. would soon follow.
Survival Camp USA quickly became SCUSA. Next time you visit Pentagon Paintball's Discount Pro shop and Fields walk to the back of the store and look up. You'll see all the SCUSA Memorabilia. We'll never forget where we started.
Every year SCUSA grew. The second year the kids wanted to be able to fight back against the adults. We bought 10 Tiger Sharks (pumps) at $99.99 each and 5 Stingrays (semi-autos) at $149.99 each for the adults. That was a deal back then. Armed with 5 cases of paint at a quantity discount price of $97.99 a case, SCUSA took a big turn towards paintball..
The third year of SCUSA got it's new location. 99 acres of land on Ore Docks Rd in Albion PA. The third year brought twice as many kids, more adults and a lot more paintball. The small skirmishes along the kids hike, turned to overnight camp raids, drive byes all day and ambushes while they hunted for their food. Unknowingly, I created the first 72 hours scenario game in Erie County.
The fourth year of SCUSA brought more kids, more adults and more paintball. SCUSA got so big we had the attention of the National Guard Recruiting office. They came out and spent the weekend with us training kids on maneuvering tactics and the proper way to assault an objective. We also built the first speedball course at Pentagon Paintball because the older kids wanted a place to practice before Survival Camp weekend. This was another moment when the future of Pentagon Paintball became a little more clear. My friends began asking me if they could play on the SCUSA field. Adults wanting to play on a kids field? Hummmm...
The fifth and final year for SCUSA was the biggest year ever. The kids started bringing their own paintball equipment and the adults, not being outdone, started ordering their own equipment just for SCUSA. Mean while keeping in mind the adult "volunteers" are "suppose" to be there to watch over the "Kids" for their own safety. The total attendance that year was 93 People. The amount of food consumed over that weekend required it's own truck to haul it in and a cooking staff to prepare it all. We had fifth year kids that became the RAF Kids, many of whom are Proudly serving in the Military to this day. The battles went all weekend, day and night. With the final battle being the kids taking the adult camp. I think it's safe to say I had inadvertently created the first "Big Game Scenario" in Erie County.
Pentagon Paintball was created a year later after leaving my corporate job and spending sometime on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. When I returned we played around the area and I traveled all over the northeast and upper Midwest visiting paintball fields and stores. 75% of my visits were disappointing. Places where either closed or not there at all. Of the remaining 25%, 80% of them were a lot smaller than they led one to believe through their web pages.
I also noticed most of the fields and stores were very poorly maintained. The remaining 6% were nice places with friendly people. Only one location I visited actually had a store that was very well stocked with current inventory. The down side, they really knew it. I felt pretty dumb that day when I told them who I was and what I was doing. The two guys leaning on the counter just looked at me and said nothing. Pretty amazing...
Pentagon Paintball was developed based on everything I learned on that trip. I don't know how many stores and fields my wife and I have visited over the last decade but I can tell you no two are alike and no one is like Pentagon Paintball, Inc. Pentagon Paintball doesn't have the biggest fields in the country nor do we have the biggest store but we do have the best total value without the attitude and I'm good with that.