NRA assisting "Year-Round" Boy Scouts shooting programs
Fairfax, Virginia - As Director of the NRA Education and Training Department, Bill Poole is a busy man. There's courses to review, instructors to recruit, materials to order and much much more. But when there's an opportunity to put something together with a quality organization like the Boy Scouts of America, there's always time to spare. That's where the "Memorandum of Mutual Support" comes into play.
Occurring almost to the day of Scouting's 102th Anniversary (founded on February 8, 1910), the memo helps solidifies the relationship between the two groups. Among other things, it recognizes the Boy Scouts as "the national leader in youth development ..." and acknowledges that "the National Rifle Association as the nation's leader in providing firearms safety and marksmanship training." Additional mentions include the importance of marksmanship, the need to improve training and value of NRA Certified Instructors.
"After a 100 years of mutual cooperation between the Boys Scouts of America and the National Rifle Association, we have now actually put it down in writing," said Poole. "Hopefully it will lead to another hundred years of mutual support."
Throughout their history, the Boy Scouts of America have seen more than 100 million Americans benefit from ventures into the great outdoors. With an estimated 2.7 million youths currently enrolled, they are often the first place any adolescent goes to learn about knot tying, making a fire, using a map, etc... It's where I learned all those skills and more.
As a former Boy Scout and a member of the NRA, I felt a sense of pride when learning that these two great organization formally announce their dedication to each other's success. To get another perspective, we reached out to former Eagle Scout and current American Rifleman Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe.
"This is extremely important beause the way that many of the youth in america are safely and responsibly introduced to the shooting sports is through the Boy Scouts of America. For more than a century, the Boy Scouts and the National Rifle Association have worked together to ensure that young people know how to shoot safely and well. This memo shows that the partnership between the two will continue to flourish.
"From BB Guns for Cub Scouts to .22 rifles for Boy Scouts as well as high-power rifles and handguns for those who graduate into Venturing, as a scout's maturity and skill level increase, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Rifle Association will make sure there are opportunities to shoot."