By Kerrin Brinkman | February 25 2012 10:28
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It's no secret that the NRA and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have been working together for years to help train those in Scouting to become NRA Certified Intructors and Training Counselors. This weekend, a group of 14 BSA National Camp School Directors from all across the country have traveled to NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia for some additional training.

Already certified as NRA Training Counselors, the group is attending training to learn about how to implement shooting sports programs at their National Camp Schools, helping expose thousands of Scouts to the shooting sports and helping them earn Rifle and Shotgun Merit Badges. They already use their Training Counselor certification to create NRA Certified Instructors within the BSA network, helping to expand the number of adults who are qualified to help Scouts earn their shooting Merit Badges and learn firearms safety.

Although the class was taught by NRA Youth Programs Manager Larry Quandahl and Program Coordinator Mark Belli, some of those at NRA who are responsible for our Training programs stopped by to address the group.

"I'll tell you why I'm so committed to this," said Bill Poole, Director of NRA's Education & Training Division. "It's not only because of my own involvement in BSA, it's because like NRA, Scouting is dedicated to youth development."

Poole continued to stress the importance of the partnership, aimed at helping to develop safe, responsible Scouts.

"NRA and BSA have to continue to work together as two pillars in this country that hold up the standards of youth firearms training," Poole added.

Colonel Charles H. Mitchell (USA, Ret.), Manager of NRA's Training Department, also spoke to the group to thank them for being committed to not only Scouting, but to promoting the shooting sports within the organization.

"We're delighted to have you help us help the Boy Scouts accept a standard of training for their shooting sports program," Mitchell said.

Looking to get firearms training for your Scout Troop? Contact your BSA Council, or send an email to Mark Belli at Are you involved with another youth organization that would like to incorporate the shooting sports into their cadre of programs? Contact our Youth Programs Department at

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