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It's no secret that the NRA and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have been working together for years to help train those in Scouting to become NRA Certified Intructors and Training Counselors. This weekend, a group of 14 BSA National Camp School Directors from all across the country have traveled to NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia for some additional training.

Already certified as NRA Training Counselors, the group is attending training to learn about how to implement shooting sports programs at their National Camp Schools, helping expose thousands of Scouts to the shooting sports and helping them earn Rifle and Shotgun Merit Badges. They already use their Training Counselor certification to create NRA Certified Instructors within the BSA network, helping to expand the number of adults who are qualified to help Scouts earn their shooting Merit Badges and learn firearms safety.

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Participants enjoy shooting at an NRA Women's event Ladies, are you looking to get away after a long winter? The NRA has just vacation you're looking for - the new NRA Women's Outdoor Adventure. After being cooped up inside all winter long, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and learn how to shoot in the company of other women. Scheduled for April 30 - May 7, 2012, the NRA Women's Outdoor Adventure will be held at Park Mammoth Resort's Rockcastle Shooting Center, located in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky.

This event has everything you're looking for: fun, excitement, adventure, and relaxation. By day you'll enjoy heading to the range for pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting, complete with instruction from some of the country's best shooters and instructors. You'll have the chance to try your hand at different types of competitive shooting as well; from sporting clays, to Cowboy Action shooting, and even tactical style 3-gun competition. When you're not on the range, a host of outdoor activities are on the agenda including horseback riding, a zip-line, canoeing, golf, and the chance to tour historic caves in the area.

In the evening, you'll be spending time with new friends during a wine and cheese social, watching a fashion show of hunting and outdoor apparel, listen to music froml local performers, and even enjoying a cowboy-style cookout.

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Free swag kit from Revision Revision Eyewear has been a supporter of NRA's Training Department for the past several years, and now they are offering a special holiday promotion through the Revision online store

When you place an order of $99 or more in the Revision online store, you’ll receive a free Revision Swag Kit that includes a Revision Velcro patch, Revision hat and two Revision bandanas.

There is a limit of one swag kit per order, and in addition to receiving the free swag kit, NRA Members can save 30% by entering the promo code NRAPROTECT at checkout. 

Everyone loves free swag, so go to the Revision online store to order your Revision eyewear and get some free swag of your own! But don't wait - this promotion is only good through the end of the day on Thursday, December 22.
 

With just a few shopping days left until Christmas, I've decided to put together my top ten picks (in no particular order) of great stocking stuffers for the shooting enthusiast in your life. If none of these options will work for those hard-to-buy-for shooters on your list, I suggest you trade them in for a new friend or family member who is less picky or has better taste. If you think I've left a "must have" off the list, leave a comment so I can see what I've missed! 

Kerrin's Top Ten Stocking Stuffers

1. Noveske Shooting Team 3-Gun Outlaw Instructional DVD

This is a great DVD for those who are new to 3-gun competition or looking to step up their game. Jansen Jones and Rob Romero from the Noveske Shooting Team take viewers through advanced techniques for 3-gunning including transitions, shooting positions, strategy, and more. It's not the same as attending a Noveske 3-Gun Training Class, but it's the next best thing to learn from two of the country's top competitors.

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We love hearing about success stories from the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program, and Paul J. Bartoszewicz of Smyrna, Georgia has a great story to share. After seeing a Winchester shirt adorned with qualification patches and rockers on the back of the program booklet, Paul decided that he wanted one just like it.

Selecting the Handgun qualification as his first discipline, Paul began his qualification process as the Wild West Traders Range in Marietta, Georgia this January. Shooting a Ruger Mark III .22 caliber pistol with CCI Mini-Mag 22 LR HP ammunition, Paul worked his way through the courses of fire and obtained his Distinguished Expert Rating on December 6th.

Paul Bartoszewicz poses with his Distinguished Expert shirt

"Thank You...My Pistol Qualification is NEXT IN 2012!!!", said Paul in an email to Qualification Program Coordinator Sheri Judd.

Congratulations on earning your Distinguished Expert rating, Paul! We look forward to seeing you add to that shirt in 2012!

Do you have a Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification story to share? Send us an email at goblog@nrahq.org. Visit the program website to learn how you can get started on your own qualification journey. With over 15 firearm disciplines to choose from, you can become an expert in just about anything!

NRA Training Counselor Logo on NRAblog Are you an NRA Certified Instructor looking to take your training credentials to the next level? Then consider attending an NRA Training Counselor Development Workshop (TCDW). Training Counselors play an important role in NRA's Training Department by training new NRA Certified Instructor Candidates.

Several new Training Counselor Development Workshops have been added to the 2012, including two for Boy Scout leaders who are already certified as NRA Instructors.

TCDWs are designed to provide experienced, active instructors and current training counselors with the skills necessary to train NRA Certified Instructors how to teach people to shoot according to NRA’s nationally recognized training standards.

Workshop attendees must be NRA Certified Instructors and current NRA Members with a minimum of two years' recent experience teaching NRA Basic Firearm Training Courses according to current NRA standards. They must also be intimately familiar with NRA instructional methods, training materials, and administrative procedures as a result of this experience. (Five NRA-approved courses and 25 students is the absolute minimum experience recommended for workshop attendance.

View the list of upcoming TCDWs online and learn how to apply. Questions? Send an email to trainingcounselor@nrahq.org.

History Channel's Top Shot runner-up Mike Hughes at NRA Headquarters A call from Steve Hoback, Senior Training Program Coordinator for NRA's Education & Training Department, and I was up on the sixth floor for a chance to chat with Michael Hughes, runner up for the History Channel's Top Shot — The Gauntlet. To paraphrase Dustin Ellermann (that season's Top Shot) from the show — Zombie Mike is back!

Mike is here at headquarters to discuss training opportunities, NextLevel Training (Hughes' company) and SIRT pistols/rifles.

SIRT stands for Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger. Boiled down the basics, that means it's a dry fire training gun (with lasers!) that helps improve shooting accuracy.

Now I haven't been able to pull Mike aside just yet, but Hoback promised to give me a ring when they're through with the business side of things. Then I'll do what I can to get the scoop on the show, how it was performing with the cameras rolling, coming back from the dead, what the heck was it like to deal with Jake and anything else I can think of.

Quite the interesting turn to what started off as a glum, dreary, rainy day. Guess I'll have to put a little something extra in Hoback's stocking this year.

NRA Coach Programs Last month, Assistant National Coach Trainer Samantha Olsen traveled to Colorado to for the 2011 Coaches Conference. While there, Olsen conducted National Coach Development Staff (NCDS) Training for three candidates who then went on to teach other Coach Schools, training eight more people to become NRA Certified Coaches. Here's a quick report from Olsen on the training:

The 2011 Coaches Conference was held November 12-20 in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Olympic Training Center. The week started off with the National Coach Development Staff (NCDS) training. After completion of the NCDS training, candidates went on to teach the Level 1 Shotgun, Pistol and Rifle Coach School. The National Rifle Association’s Coach Education Program would like to thank Delbert Richardson, the General Manager at Pikes Peak Gun Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado for allowing the Shotgun Level 1 Coach School to use their facility to conduct the practical range exercises.

For more information on the NRA Coach Education Program, check out their website or contact Samantha Olsen at solsen@nrahq.org. Many NRA Coach Schools are held each year, and one may be in your area!

A Springfield Armory 1911 pistol

When I pulled into the parking lot of NRA Headquarters yesterday, I noticed something out of the ordinary: numerous police cruisers. But fear not, no crime had been committed; no police tape had been hung. As I came to find out, the officers were there as part of one of NRA Law Enforcement Division’s Tuition-Free Armorer Schools.

“The course enables them to go back to their agency and troubleshoot and repair the agency’s firearms,” explained Tim Cole, one of NRA’s Law Enforcement Training Coordinators.

Beginning yesterday, 20 law enforcement officers and military personnel are participating in a three-day Armorer School for Springfield Armory firearms.

“Each day, the course focuses on a different firearm,” Cole explained. Day One had students learning how to work on Springfield 1911s (pictured), today focused on the Springfield XD and XDM, and tomorrow will turn to rifle work with the legendary Springfield M1A.

Free to law enforcement and military, NRA holds 10-12 Armorer and Shooting Schools each year at either NRA Headquarters here in Fairfax, Virginia or at the Fairfax County Police Firearms Training Facility in nearby Chantilly.

“We offer this training at no cost as a way to say ‘Thank You’ to police and military for their service,” said Cole.

Although the courses are free, attendees or their agencies must pay for travel costs, lodging, and meals. Classes are limited to approximately 20-30 students depending on the course and include training materials. Each course is taught by representatives of the specific firearms manufacturer.

Space in each course is limited, and due to popularity, attendees are chosen through a random drawing. For more information on upcoming schools and how to register, visit web page for Tuition-Free Armorer Schools or contact Tim Cole at tcole@nrahq.org or 703-267-1626.

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