Our 2011 Brownell's/NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors
are about to begin their term and NRAblog will be introducing you to each of these amazing young people. First up is Garrett Walters
, who you may remember as the second place winner
of the 2010 NRA Outstanding Achievement Youth Award
. As a resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center,
Garrett is making a name for himself as one of the top young trap shooters in the world. Read on to learn more about Garrett:
Hi, my name is Garrett Walters. I’ve been selected to represent the NRA as a 2010 Youth Ambassador. I’m an 18 year-old Michigan native who considers himself a small town boy at heart. I’ve grown up in the heart of farm country on the outskirts of the very rural community of Burr Oak, Michigan. I recently graduated from Colon High School in June of 2010.
Until graduation, I lived with my parents, Dave and Wendy, and my 14 year-old sister, Katie, on our family farm. I am the fourth generation of the Walters family to farm the land where we raise corn and soybeans. Someday, I’d like to take over the family business and pass it down to my children.
Growing up on my farm has allowed me to be very involved in the outdoors. I enjoy hunting whitetail deer, waterfowl, turkeys, and small game. I also fish a lot during the summer months for large and small mouth bass, bluegills and crappie. Some of my favorite memories are those of my dad, best friends, and I hunting and fishing in southern Michigan.
Throughout high school I was involved in many youth organizations including Future Farmers of America where I was the Treasurer for our local chapter, Placement Star Farmer, 4-H, National Honor Society, Key Club, Environmental Club, and Students Against Drunk Driving. I am active in our local National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and Pheasants Forever chapters. I also was a member of the National Rifle Association, Scholastic Clay Target Program, Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Skeet Shooting Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and St. Joseph County Conservation Club.
Competitive shooting has become a major focus of my life for the last six years. I began shooting competitively in the 4-H program at the age 12. Soon after, I joined the Scholastic Clay Target Program which gave me the opportunity to travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado to compete at Nationals, which was held on an international bunker. The first time I shot on an international bunker I fell in love with the international trap game! I really enjoyed the challenge! The following year I was accepted to be a member of the Junior Olympic Team where I remained for the past three years. Now I am currently on the U.S. National Development Team and the USA World Championship Team for international trap. In 2011 I will be representing the USA at World Cups in both the Open and MQS divisions. Without the help of my coach Bret Erickson and his family, my parents, friends, and fellow shooters I would not have made it to where I am today.
This summer I was presented the opportunity to live as a resident athlete in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center -let me tell you it was awesome! I met so many new friends and training there next to the mountains was amazing! I cannot wait to return in January as a full-time resident athlete to see my teammates and start training for the upcoming 2011 season!
After this year’s season was over I had another great opportunity to work at a hunting ranch where they offered elk, mule deer, and bird hunts. This was my first encounter with the style of hunting out west and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was able to guide a gentleman for his first mule deer and now have high hopes of harvesting my own trophy mule deer next season in Colorado!
Keep checking back, because we'll have more profiles on our 2011 Brownell's/NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors, as well as coverage of their upcoming trip to the 2011 SHOT Show in Las Vegas!