Back in November, we encouraged young pistol shooters to register for the 4th Annual NRA Bullseye Pistol Competition Junior Shooting Camp. Here’s a report on the event courtesy of Jim Hagearty, Coach of the Illinois Junior Precision Shooters. This event was also registered as an NRA Day event through the Youth Programs Department:

Shooters and coaches from the 4th Annual NRA Bullseye Pistol Competition Junior Shooting Camp

Streator, Illinois - SFC Eric Daniels, United States Army (Ret.), a former member of the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Pistol team, was the lead instructor for the 4th Annual NRA Bullseye Pistol Competition Junior Shooting Camp, sponsored by the Illinois Junior Precision Shooters - Precision Pistol and hosted by the Sandy Ford Sportsman’s Club in Streator from December 27th through the 29th.

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Celebrate NRA Day on NRAblog The NRA Day Program has had another banner year, with 146 held events in 2010. More than 20,000 people attended NRA Day events across the country this year with the help of more than 5,000 volunteers.

Designed to introduce people to the shooting sports, the NRA Day Program encourages clubs and ranges across the country to invite people in the community to their facility to get them involved in the NRA programs that the range offers. From firearms safety, to competitive shooting, to events for women or children, NRA Day has a theme to for everyone. We provide you with materials and promotional items including t-shirts and pins for your attendees. We can even help you apply for state grant funds through the NRA Foundation to help fund your event.

Are you a member of a club or range who could hold an NRA Day event at your facility? Contact our Youth Programs Department at youth@nrahq.org for more information and to find out how you can host a NRA Day event in 2011!

NRA Board of Directors member Professor David Coy has been running a successful NRA Day program with the Lenawee County Conservation League for the past nine years. Held in Adrian, Michigan, the event has introduced hundreds of people to the shooting sports, providing introductory firearms education. In May 2010, nearly 350 people took part in the event, learning to shoot BB guns, muzzleloaders, pistols, shotguns, and .22 caliber rifles.

"What we have found is that there are clearly multiple benefits to the NRA Day Program. Our goal is always to be very safety oriented and make it comfortable for first time shooters. We strive to provide a first class enjoyable experience and get people to the firing line with one-on-one instruction and to make it fun," Coy said. "If you can make it an enjoyable experience, the local club stands to gain new members, but more importantly it dispels the mythology that guns are bad. People leave with a positive experience involving firearms."

Coy's event is currently the first NRA Day registered for 2011 and your event could be next. Don't wait to send in your application to conduct an NRA Day event. The Youth Programs Department is looking for a record-breaking number of NRA Day events in 2011; encourage your local shooting club or range to host an NRA Day.

Getting started couldn't be easier - learn more about NRA Day or contact our NRA Day Program Coordinator at 703-267-1591 or youth@nrahq.org for more information. You can even request your planning guide and application online.

NRA Training Counselor Kevin Cummins reports:

The Greater St. Louis Area Council of the BSA hosted the first-ever National Venturing Event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America on September 24-26th, 2010 at Beaumont Scout Reservation. This event was held during the 35th year of the Fall Fun Rally.

While there were numerous events and activities for youth to choose from, shooting sports was a key event in the program for the Venturers and Explorers. With over 1,500 youth and adults in attendance, training in the safe handling of firearms and the opportunity to shoot pistol, rifle and shotgun was the highlight for many.

The event was pleased to have Mark Belli, NRA Youth Programs Coordinator, together with Connie Elliott at this event to provide information as to the exciting changes that have taken place within the BSA Shooting Sports program and opportunities that are available. Meeting with many leaders, instructors and training counselors, they were able to answer questions as well as provide assistance where needed.

46 NRA Certified Instructors and Range Safety Officers, under the supervision of Kevin Cummins, NRA Training Counselor, helped to staff the three ranges as well as provided the safety briefings while adults were informed of various disciplines of the NRA Certified Instructor program and Range Safety Officer training which is held regularly at Beaumont Reservation.

This well-planned event provided a safe environment for the Scouts to learn the basics of safe shooting from experienced NRA instructors. For many of the Venturers and Explorers attending, this was their first time shooting a firearm and having the opportunity to shoot rifle, shotgun and pistol added to their enjoyment. After shooting at the range, the Venturers and Explorers were presented an NSSF Junior USA Shooting Team emblem.

With Mark Belli and Amanda Millward of the NRA Youth Programs Department providing support for the event, as well as NSSF’s Dianne Vrablic, this event was considered a huge success.

Thanks, Kevin! Read his other pieces here.

Wisconsin NRA DayEvent Services Coordinator Amber Niblock-Shorter found the picture at right in her inbox and couldn't help but share it with NRAblog.

"This photo accompanies an article by Paul Mayer, Founder and Chair of the Dodge County Friends of NRA," Niblock-Shorter told NRAblog. "Look for it in our upcoming Traditions magazine."

An excerpt of Mayer's article:

As buses filled with fourth- and fifth-grade students rolled into the Dodge County Fairgrounds, anticipation was building for the young ladies and men about to embark on day of outdoor activities.

The Wisconsin Outdoor Education Expo, the biggest NRA Shooting Sports Camp to date, attracted 3,500 students, teachers and chaperones this year, according to Dan Gunderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Outdoors Alliance Foundation. It was the fifth year for the event, which has reached more than 20,000 students in the past five years. In today’s fast-paced society, these outdoor experiences might be lost forever if not for programs like these and the volunteers and sponsors who help support them.

“The goal of this event is to get the kids active in the outdoors,” Gunderson said. “They get a chance to experience a little of everything at this event. The students are having fun and, at the same time, learning things – and they don’t even know it!”

For the rest of this fabulous story, you'll have to wait for your copy of Traditions magazine!

An NRA Day event in Wisconsin was recently featured in the Columbus Journal. Sponsored by the Dodge County Friends of NRA, the event allowed area families to try their hand and the shooting sports and enjoy a day of family fun.

Sportsman's association holds family day

NRA Family Day was held July 31 at the Columbus Sportsman's Association (CSA), sponsored by Dodge County Friends of the NRA.

After a safety briefing, families were given hands-on instruction for shooting shotguns, single action shooting (cowboy), pistol and rifle by volunteer instructors associated with the Dodge County Friends of the NRA and CSA members.

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The summer season is coming to an end, but there's no need to be upset! There are still opportunities for fun with a few NRA Day events going on in the next several weeks:

  • September 18: Fairfax Rod and Gun Club will host the Old Dominion District NRA Day in Manassas, Virginia from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.. This event is for 1st grade and up, with a $15 entrance fee. All equipment will be provided as well as refreshments and meals. For more information contact Greg Surrena at (571) 337-7207.
  • September 19: NRA Day Camp and Family Open House hosted by Old Colony Sportsmen’s Association in Pembroke, Massachusetts from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. There is no cost for this event, equipment will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own hearing and eye protection. The first 75 young attendees will receive an NRA T-shirt and FREE lunch! For more information on this event contact George Wilson at (781) 871-0003.
  • September 25: Leominster Sportsmen’s Association will host the Leominster Sportsmen’s NRA Day in Leominster, Massachusetts from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. All ages are able to attend with a $5 fee for event. All equipment will be provided as well as refreshments and meals. For more information contact Art O’Leary at (978) 537-2642, oleary5150@comcast.net.
  • October 9: Pike County Bird Hunter’s Club will host The 5th Annual NRA Youth Day in Petersburg, Indiana from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Ages 8-18 are able to attend this free event! All equipment will be provided as well as a breakfast and lunch. For more information contact Chris Kinman at (812) 789-3125.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming NRA Days! For more information on the NRA Day events, contact Amanda Millward, NRA Day Coordinator, at (703) 267-1591 or amillward@nrahq.org.

Seminole County Gun and Archery Association

Amanda Millward from NRA Youth Programs wants us to highlight the actions of a very special firearms club in Florida. "They're holding NRA Day events the first weekend of every month," she said. Read on:

Seminole County Gun and Archery Association - NRA Day participantsThe Seminole County Gun and Archery Association in Geneva, Florida, hosted a NRA Youth Rifle Program on Sunday, July 4th, 2010, during their monthly scheduled Public Day activities.

The event had thirteen youth, ages 6 to 16, come out for safety training and to shoot rifles, along with many family members showing up to watch and show support. The kids were given rifle safety training, as outlined by the NRA, along with demonstrations of various types of rifles. The kids shot at paper plates from 33 and 50 feet and at silhouette targets at 75 feet.

As a final shoot of the morning, the kids also shot at color-show targets from 50 feet. Since the kids had much practice prior to these targets, the kids were guaranteed of doing well and having something to show and brag about to all of their friends.

For more information on this club's NRA Day events, contact Kent Arblaster at rkenta@netzero.net.

Mark Belli, NRA Youth Co-op Group Program Coordinator, brings the following report: 

The Boy Scouts of America offer National Camping School on an annual basis to prepare and train leaders for their summer camp program. One area of training offered at the school is the shooting sports section. This program includes NRA Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol, Range Safety Officer and Muzzle loading Rifle instruction as well as archery. With the minimal number of Muzzle loading Rifles available at the camps, the National Rifle Association agreed to help provide Muzzle loading rifles to the Boy Scouts for their National Camping Schools.

Larry Quandahl, Manager of the NRA Youth Programs Department, contacted Craig Cushman,  Thompson Center’s Director of Marketing, to inquire if they would be interested in donating Muzzle loading rifles to the Boy Scouts of America. With Thompson Center’s generous donation of 16 Muzzle loading rifles, National Camping schools across all four regions now have the opportunity to run a more efficient training program.

A section director from a recent Northeast Region’s Camping School commented: “I'dlike to express my deep and most sincere appreciation to Thompson Center for the donation of the four 50 caliber Muzzle loading rifles. We had the opportunity to use them at the Adirondack National Camping School to train our shooting sports directors. Undeniably, quality equipment makes a major difference in allowing us to provide the best possibly training…”

Jeff Stout, Outdoor Program Coordinator for the Boy Scouts of America said, "The donation of the sixteen 50 caliber Muzzle loading rifles from Thompson Center has truly enhanced the Shooting Sports instruction at the 20 plus National Camp Schools held across the country. A sincere thank you to Thompson Center and the NRA for making this happen. Quality equipment and quality training equal a quality safe and exciting program for youth."

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