Fairfax, Virginia -
While upstairs this afternoon in NRA's Competitive Shooting Division, I stopped by Jessie McClain's office to catch up on the latest in the Air Gun Department. When I inquired as to what was new, she asked if I'd seen her Rhino.
How it arrived on her desk was an intriguing story.
For a number of years, a Junior Air Gun team from America has competed in a postal match against a Junior Air Gun team in South Africa. (A pin memorializing the relationship can be seen at the base of the rhino.) This year, however, the South Africans sent a team to compete in their first ever "shoulder to shoulder" match at Camp Perry. Taking place during the National Junior Air Gun Championships, the team fared well enough to win the Sporter Team match with a score of 4392.
As a thank you for all of her hard work in helping to organize the travel and competition, the presented McClain with above carving of an African Rhino. The plaque, just below the pin mentioned above, reads: "With Thanks - South African School - Camp Perry USA 2011"
"I was very moved by the gesture," said McClain. "We work hard here at the NRA, putting together competitions and overseeing their operation. Recognition on any level is always appreciated. And to have those kids, those great bunch of kids hand me this beautiful sculpture ... I was very, very moved."