It doesn’t take long when you meet Bea Paxson to realize she is full of life and ready to take on the world. With her direct gaze and easy smile, she puts people at ease. Then, when she opens up about her passions, and there are many, she becomes a renaissance woman with views and ideas on a wide range of subjects from music to sports and beyond.
Bea Youngs was born and raised in New Jersey and admits that at one time she wanted to be a hip hop artist and was always looking to go to New York. “It was a middle class upbringing. My daddy worked for American Airlines and my mom was a cosmetologist.”
The family moved to Florida when her father transferred there with the airline. Her mother, a native of South Korea, always wanted Bea to experience everything, and she wanted her daughter to do the best she could in everything. She said she was known as the ‘extra curricular girl’ because she was involved in cheerleading, track, softball, dance, music and more.
It was while she was in high school that she met and became friends with Tami Pickering-Adamson, of Dance Moms fame. The two went their separate ways with Bea going first to Florida State University and then eventually to the University of Florida. The two were on a professional dance team together for a single A baseball team in Florida.
One day, Pickering-Adamson invited Bea to come to her and her husband’s paintball store. Bea declined, saying she that if she wanted to do war games, she would enlist in the service.
“Then she took me to the field and I saw the inflatable bunkers, which went against the stereotype of bunkers in the woods that I had. I was intrigued.”
Bea worked in sales and marketing after graduating from the University of Florida and entered the corporate world. But she was always looking for what she called side hustles. These usually involved music of some sort and more and more, paintball.
“It was too expensive for me to do much so I had to figure out how to be able to afford it.”
This was Bea’s mode for almost any of her entertainment. She looked for something in that genre that she could earn some money on and then be able to enjoy her entertainment. She began writing about the sport of paintball in various blogs and built a bit of a reputation from that.
But music was still calling so Bea moved to California. Her dream was to sing back up for a big recording star. But she needed to make a living while chasing her dreams. She found a job with JT USA, the NIKE of paintball gear at that time, writing and working in the paintball field. She said it was a chance for her to expand her network. But she just like before, she really didn’t like the corporate world and decided to go off on her own.
“I just felt like I needed to be self-employed,” she said.
While she was competing, she met another paintballer, Mike Paxson. He actually gave her some paintball advice and she continued to seek him out for more advice. They kept in touch and began dating. Originally from California, he came back from Florida and continued his professional career from there. Bea, in the mean time, had found an ‘in’ into the music industry. She was living with this man who had connections and his family, and beginning to make inroads into the industry when she found out the fellow had been embezzling from the company. She immediately left the field.
Mike was her rock during this time and her career in paintball was taking off. She brought the entertainment factor to the games, being a DJ and playing music while doing play-by-play during the games.
“I took it to a whole new level,” she said.
Others were noticing this. She was on Junkyard Wars on the TLC channel, and did some cross marketing, promoting paintball in layman’s terms. She and Mike were writing articles and creating other opportunities in the paintball world.
But then her father became ill and she made the decision to move back to Florida and take care of him. During this time, Mike continued his professional career, and the two continued to write and put on clinics.
After marrying, Bea and Mike continued to spread the word about paintball through blogs, magazine articles, and clinics. They were back in California by this time and traveling the world playing paintball.
“I went to Australia eight times, seven times for paintball,” she said. Even though Mike was the professional, it was Bea who was recognized and chosen to go. “I took Mike as my mechanic because he knew things that I sure didn’t know about the sport.”
Bea and Mike welcomed a daughter, Bebe, in 2009 and then Diane came along in 2012. Bea said she started out parenting just like her mother, working with her daughter Bebe so she would excel in whatever she wanted to do.
But when Diane came along, she had to change her parenting methods. Diane was born with many challenges and had to have surgeries and extra care. “I think I was being told to slow down and enjoy the moments. It was destiny.”
A few years ago, she was asked to put together a group of female players to go overseas to the Millennium Series Nations Cup and compete internationally. Just like she felt after Diane’s birth, Bea felt this was destiny too. It was her chance to showcase what American female paintball athletes could do. She and Mike started Destiny Paintball. There are both women’s teams and co-ed teams.
“But I have to say it is kind of fun to have an all female team against a dude.”
They have created what she calls ‘a friendly monster.’ She describes this endeavor as a service for newer, younger athletes, both female and male. Along with technical information on how to execute plays and setting up the fields, they also offer advise on how to start a team, find ways to make the sport more affordable, and give players, women especially, longevity in the sport. Now, Destiny Paintball has over 150 plus players representing the brand. Bea’s plans are to make Destiny Paintball a little more structured with ideas in place so there is more of a uniformity in all of the teams.
These women come from all over the US and are top athletes. But, there is a growing number of Montana women who have discovered the sport. Bea said Montana is now on the paintball world’s map.
After moving to the Bitterroot in 2016, the couple was driving along Eastside Highway south of Corvallis and spotted a paintball course. She and Mike stopped, of course.
“It was something special, right here in ‘Smallville,’ Montana, here’s Mike Paxson, world renown pro player, playing on a small field. I think we shot 500 paintballs in two hours.”
That paintball group was put together by The Place Church. The church has since moved their course to up by Whitticar Rifle Range. However, since the pandemic hit, no one has had a chance to play on it.
Bea, who is a realtor for Berkshire Hathaway, and Mike, who is a fishing guide, make their home in Corvallis with their daughters and Mike’s parents, Catherine Lindbeck and her husband, George Lindbeck. Once the pandemic is over, look her up if you want to do some paint balling. It’s a great stress reliever.