Philip Schreier, Senior Curator for NRA's National Firearms Museum, was in Florida over the weekend for the 14th Annual Boy Scouts Sporting Clays Invitational at the South Florida Shooting Club — here's his report:
West Palm Beach, Florida - For the 14th year in a row, the Gulf Stream Council of the Boy Scouts of America hosted their invitational sporting clays event to raise money to benefit the programs of this south Florida scouting community.
The event was held at the spectacular facilities of the South Florida Shooting Club, a 25 million dollar shooting venue located on 650 acres just 45 minutes from West Palm Beach. This amazing shooting sports complex has 8 Trap fields, 3 fully automated Sporting Clays courses, 2 Skeet fields and a number of 5 Stand fields.
The event was attended by over 160 participants who were invited to a unique pre-event reception the evening prior to the Saturday 10 am start time. The evening reception was held in the spacious Club House of the SFSC and featured exhibits and sales tables from some of the world’s most renowned arms makers. For the first time in Florida history, factory representatives from Holland & Holland, Purdey, Westley Richards, Michael Lingard and Rigby were present and on hand to demonstrate their fine firearms and to speak directly to customers and potential customers.
The reception and gathering of gunmakers was the idea of event honorary chairman, Ronald Holden of Iowa, who was instrumental in encouraging the finest of the British arms makers to attend.
The weather was blustery and ominous early Saturday morning as the start time approached but the sun battled through the dark clouds and took over the remainder of the day even as strong winds made for a challenging morning and afternoon on the course. Squads of 4 shooters each made their way to their respective start posts and began a 100 round sporting clays challenge that ran from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.
A side “flurry” match was held with each participant paying $10 each to team up with three other shooters to try to break as many clay birds as they possibly could out of a total of 40 consecutively thrown targets. The winning squad broke 35 birds total out of 40 and each team member won $100.
James Tooker , chairman of the Palm Beach friends of NRA, was present to sign up new members of the NRA and was last seen doing land office business once event Co-Chair, Mark Simpson, encouraged everyone present to sign up more than once.
Doug Vine, a world class sporting clay shooter who designed the course and is the President of the SFSC also served as a member of the event committee and estimated that $150,000.00 was raised to benefit the Gulf Stream Council of the BSA, a council that currently services over 11,000 scouts in the South Florida area.
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Pictures from the 14th Annual Boy Scouts Sporting Clays Invitational at the South Florida Shooting Club, courtesy of National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Philip Schreier.