You may have heard that on the Tutorial calendar is a trip to Wisconsin for an epic Airsoft adventure. And you therefore may be wondering how Airsoft figures into Riverside’s educational vision.
It may surprise you that this battle game falls under not one, but two tenets of the Riverside Code: Rough It! and Build the Brotherhood. (With this year’s Tutorial theme of survival you have a nice trifecta of purpose for Airsoft.)
Besides nature walks and hiking, one of the most beloved outdoor adventure activities at Tutorial is playing Airsoft, which (for those who don’t know) amounts to a mock battle with guns that shoot plastic BBs.
There is something in boys that longs for the thrill of battle. It is not the desire to kill or maim, but the inner drive of each man to use his strength to survive in dangerous situations and to protect his fellow comrades in the midst of great struggle.
Anyone who has studied war, knows how it tests the mettle of every man. If you speak to soldiers who have gone through boot camp, a common opinion is how the intensity of the experience bonded them with their fellow soldiers. There is nothing like danger and the experience of extreme struggle that binds men together.
At Riverside we do not glorify war because it not only tears apart societies, but it also can destroy those who have experienced it. However, one must recognize that in this world there are malefactors, and at times men must bind together to defend their homeland or their family. When we play Airsoft with the apprentices we know that it is in effect a practice in wargames. The communication and trust among small troupes is vital for the success of any army. Therefore, we take seriously the aspect of airsoft that helps the boys learn how to communicate, trust one another, and protect each other as they go to battle in the woods and fields of Riverside.