Participants in Destination Imagination (DI), an organization that focuses on critical thinking skills, teamwork and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), want to use the Musquash conservation area for an Airsoft “war” fundraiser, and approached the Conservation Commission with their plans.
“DI taught me how to be a creative problem solver in my everyday life,” Megan Maher, 13, told the Conservation Commission at its Tuesday, Feb. 25 meeting. “DI’s main goal is to create tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.”
She said her group has chosen a project called “Aiming For A Cure” to “raise money for cancer awareness.” The group wants to use the Musquash on April 12 and invite people to participate in the Airsoft war. They plan to charge $5 to play and will rent eye protection and Airsoft guns.
Trevor Melanson, 14, said the pellets used in the game are BB sized and are biodegradable, although he said he did not know what they are made of. He said that after the event, the group would police the area for any trash. They hope to use an area the size of the Musquash Landing.
“We think 30 to 50 people will show up so we only need a small area, and the area will marked off by tape so people will know the Airsoft war is happening,” Maher said. The event is expected to last about two hours.
Commissioner Paul Nickerson asked what age group would be participating and Maher said it would be open to ages 12 and up.
Melanson said the area behind the schools was suggested but because the event involves air guns, he did not think school property would be an option.
Commissioner Marge Badois asked long it takes for the pellets to break down. Melanson said he would research that and get back to her.
Commissioner Eugene Harrington noted that there is more than one access point to the Musquash and those would have to be monitored so people wouldn’t stray into the “war” area.
He suggested using the Town Forest instead, saying it is less open- ended than the Musquash and much easier to control. “The Town Forest is much more delineated and much easier to control where your warriors, if you want to call them that, stay within where you want to confine the game, so you don’t get innocent bystanders wandering in,” he said.
Harrington also noted there would be more parking at the Town Forest as compared to the Musquash.
Commissioner Mike Speltz asked about liability. “If somebody gets hurt, how do you avoid being liable, and if it’s on town land, how do we avoid liability? You may have to check with town staff,” Speltz said.
Maher said they were planning on putting out fliers noting trip hazards in the woods.
Harrington said the Town Forest was a much more logical place for the event.
“You might want to go over and check it out yourselves first to see what you think, and there’s fewer residents to get concerned about seeing the guns,” Harrington said.
Harrington also suggested the group check with the police to let them know what was going on.