SPECIAL REPORT: College and Airsoft DO MIX…Clemson Airsoft!

UPDATE BELOW:  More AMAZING INFO on this ALL-STAR Airsoft INNOVATION SQUAD!

Ah, the joys of college life are just around the corner once again.  A time when young men’s and women’s fancy turns once again to the rigors of education, enlightenment and entertainment.  Collegiate sports, for example.  But, what may you wonder, does any of THAT have to do with AIRSOFT?

If you’re school’s mascot is a TIGER, the answer is PLENTY! And to prove Thumpy’s point, we humbly submit for-your-approval the good ‘lads and ‘lasses of the Clemson Airsoft Team…South Carolina’s FINEST ambassadors of our noble game!

As the Clemson Airsoft Team’s newest recruiting video demonstrates, they are SERIOUS about Airsoft AND about their education.  “We are a recognized Student Organization and Club Sport at Clemson University dedicated to the sport of airsoft. We function as the Clemson University team for intercollegiate airsoft in the NCAL (ED:National Collegiate Airsoft League) and regional play in the SCAA (South Carolina Airsoft Association) as well as operating the only public airsoft games and operations in the Clemson Experimental Forest.” That’s right, the University has actually SANCTIONED Airsoft as a team activity, and allowed these extremely conscientious students to run Airsoft ops ON UNIVERSITY PROPERTY. Currently the team numbers just 6 members, according to  James ‘Omnipius’ Mathieson, Graduate Coach of CAT. ” The recession, graduations, and apathy have taken a toll on numbers this past year. However, we routinely get interest levels of 40+ at recruiting events so our numbers should replenish in August.”

But, small numbers have not stopped CAT from building that trust and confidence with Clemson’s bureaucracy, although it has not come easily.  As described in a 2008 article in the “Tiger Town Observer,” the CAT team had to fight university policy that would not have allowed them to store their gear or Airsoft guns on campus, although other teams including the Clemson Air Gun team could store higher-power pellet guns in a University hall where they ALSO operate an indoor firing range.

(LINK: Tiger Town Observer Article)

Mathieson says the battle has been won! “As for the storage issue, we actually won that fight and are now allowed to have a central storage location on campus. In the process, we won the same concessions for the paintball team and shotgun club. You can see the details of the current regulation HERE: http://clemson.orgsync.com/org/airsoft/prospective4

“We have also looked into holding on-campus games but so far it has been agreed that there is no location on campus that would be safe and adding safety netting would be cost-prohibitive without a sizable donation. We may actually get to do a staged demonstration on campus this year if our plan to remove the hop-ups and inner barrels of the weapons is approved.”

Thumpy’s path has crossed that of the CATS at the annual Operation: Fulda Gap events at Command Decisions Wargames Center, where hundreds of Airsoft enthusiasts gather each October for the oldest “Big Game” event in the Carolinas, and one of the biggest in the Southeast.  We’ve found them tactically-strong, with an outstanding esprit and a friendly, easy-going and helpful manner.  And, they are winners,on and off the field-of-battle!

And, to prove that point, check out their DO’s AND DON’T for College Airsofters, courtesy of the Clemson Airsoft Team and NCAirsoft.org:

It’s that time of year again. Orientation has come and gone, the dorm room shopping has begun, and the freshmen-to-be ask themselves: “How do I continue playing airsoft in college?”

This age-old question seems baffling at first. There are parties, football, 4am Xbox, the opposite gender, and even those things called classes to contend with. How in this frenzied whirlwind of activity and low-cash environment can one be expected to maintain a sport as time consuming and costly as airsoft?

The answers which freshmen airsofters arrive at all too often are both tragic in their own way. Indeed it is a sad sight when such an activity combining the great outdoors, leadership, adrenaline, and camaraderie is replaced with booze, football, and video games. It is also equally tragic when an avid freshman airsofter brings their sport into the the dorm with them. It always ends poorly.

However, take heart, because a middle ground can be found through the same values of tenacity and hard work which are found every weekend on the airsoft field. To this end, I have provided here a list of DO’s and DON’Ts of being an airsofter in college.

DON’T:
Bring your airsoft guns to your dorm.
Give up airsoft for video games.
Mix airsoft and alcohol.
Skip major home sports events for weekend airsoft.
Only do airsoft (I rode horses & was an officer for Phi Sigma Pi as well)
Study to the exclusion of other activities. (a couple hours of airsoft is an excellent study break)
Blame airsoft for your bad grades, parting and laziness are the real cause.
Assume you have no money when you really do. (or did before you went drinking)
Assume that the girls won’t want to play. (act like gentlemen you’ll be surprised)
Start power struggles with other college airsofters
Wear the same unifrom around campus as your school’s ROTC unless you’re in it.
Wear surplus MARPAT. (Marines are really touchy about their emblem)

DO:
Continue playing airsoft (you need the exercise).
Learn the details of your school’s policies and state laws regarding airsoft.
Get to know other airsofters at your school. (especially ones that live off-campus)
Join your school’s airsoft team or start one, there is strength (and savings) in numbers.
Get written permission from the school for anything involving airsoft & campus.
Promote airsoft at your school.
Skip low-end sports events for big airsoft games (Do you really need to watch a 48-0 blowout?)
Keep your weapons off-campus or in a school-approved location.
Encourage others to remove their weapons from the dorms, report those that do not.
Offer to take your friends to a game
Keep your grades up and your record clean. (Scholarships mean more money left over for airsoft)
Forge a good relationship with ROTC or join it.
Offer to help in military appreciation events, or come up with one of your own.

And there you have it. The short list of everything a college-bound airsofter needs to know. Also, if you’re part of this group and your destination is Clemson, I highly encourage you to check out the Clemson Airsoft Team at our website on Clemson’s new OrgSync system: http://Clemson.orgsync.com/org/airsoft/

SO DOES THUMPY! To find our more about the CLEMSON AIRSOFT TEAM, no one says it better than THEY DO, Right HERE: LINK http://clemson.orgsync.com/org/airsoft/prospective

Just contact their officers for a look-see…or help in forming your OWN Collegiate team

Current Officers-2010:
Commanding Officer – Greg ‘Ninja’ Canty
Executive Officer – Recently vacated…will be elected at start of semester
Logistics Officer – Joshua ‘Money’ Curtis
Training Officer – Henry ‘Boba Fett’ Young
Quartermaster – Daniel ‘Edrahil’ Thompson
Coach – James ‘Omnipius’ Mathieson

UPDATE: THE CATS Passed on some other amazing info that makes Thumpy that much MORE PROUD to know these guys! WHO KNEW? You do!

“Thought of a few other little tidbits that you might want to edit into the report or have for future knowledge:
– Our adviser is MSG Richard Hundley, Senior Military Instructor, Clemson Army ROTC – Fighting Tiger Battalion.
Two former members of the Clemson Airsoft Team have gone on to join the Navy SEALS.
– The majority of the team are in difficult Engineering, Science, and Technology majors.
Every team member that has graduated while part of the team has either been immediately employed in their field or gone on to graduate school with an assistantship or fellowship, with the majority working towards a PhD.
– The team was founded in 2007.
– The student government can fund us up to 185% of what we raise on our own through dues, fundraisers, and donations.
– Our highest allotment of student government funding to date has been over $5000, mostly earmarked for equipment purchases.
– The team has sufficient arms and gear to equip 10 players with the necessities of play, so new recruits do not need to already be airsofters.
– We conduct marksmanship training on the Clemson Army ROTC’s EST 2000 virtual firing range. This is the same system used by the US Marine Corps at Parris Island and San Diego.
The team has a signature maneuver that has been dubbed the “Clemson Flank”. This involves maneuvering to the enemy’s rear through terrain which would normally be considered impassable or impractically time consuming. Notable applications have included instances of mountain climbing, repelling, swimming, and mile-long sprints.

Thanks again for helping spread the word!
-James

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