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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



13 December 2018

A glorious sunny day and a fresh bacon bap or hot dog welcomed the families of the staff of ATU (NI) to Ballykinler in early Autumn where Pathways had set up a range of activities to suit all ages of kids, including some very big kids!

Races on the bouncy castle assault course for the totes caused raucous laughter as they scrambled up, over and through a maze of obstacles before reappearing at the finish line and making a bee line for the start point to do it all over again.

Nerf Wars were devised to have two teams, armed and ready before dispersing around obstacles to go on the attack. Sound fire and movement was used but defections to the other team resulted in the 2IC ending up a bit worse for wear. 

The bungee run provided some great challenges between individuals vying to beat each other down the runway and placing the sticky pad on the furthest location to be deemed the winner. The backlash from the bungee always gave the greatest laughs as the view of a head above the parapet of the runway soon changed to feet!

The outdoor airsoft range had to be the most popular with all the kids, and quite a few adults, blasting their way through targets. The challenge set of shredding the red bull from the centre of the target was surprisingly hard to achieve, with some adults feeling the pain of a few of the eagle eyed kids, clearly playing too much Fortnite, beating them to it.

Indoors, there was also what was described as “a games console on steroids” where a simulator sent you to woods, forests, or the plains of Africa to name a few to shoot all sorts of targets to gain the highest score. The scoring method of a multiplier for consistent accuracy was picked up on rather quickly by younger minds, subsequently the top three places all going to under 14s.

The day finished off perfectly with everyone gathered in the ATU (NI) mess for an exquisite bar-b-que spread. Friendships made on the nerf wars battle ground reminisced on how they got the baddies and good banter over who got the best score echoed around the mess. 

The Commanding Officer would like to thank all the parent units of staff for supporting this event as well as RFCA NI and Pathways for their assistance. Special thanks goes to Sgt Houston, the sole chef, for providing such a wonderful end to the day.