Thanks to Rob Beckman for passing along the following report and photo from a Training Counselor Workshop in Kansas.
Kansas City, Kansas - No one could had planned for nicer weather on the last weekend of winter. It was under those sunny skies and 80 degree weather that NRA's Education and Training Department conducted a Training Counselor Development Workshop (TCDW) at the Theodore Naish Scout Reservation in Kansas City, Kansas.
The TCDW was organized by Training Counselor John Forsyth from Heartland of America Council and conducted by Mark Richardson from the NRA Education and Training Department and Mark Belli from NRA Youth Programs. Holding the TCDW at a Boy Scout camp expands the base of TC's associated with the BSA and future NRA Instructors. NRA Range Safety Officer Certification is necessary for operation of all BSA ranges as well as instructor specific certification for each type of firearm they train the scouts on.
All of the participants are long time BSA volunteers, NRA members, and instructors in the rifle, shotgun, and pistol BSA programs. Instructors came from California, Kansas, Utah, Ohio, Iowa, and Nebraska to learn from the NRA and share information on how their shooting sports committees work in their neighborhood. This practice allows them every opportunity to take their shooting sports program to a new level. Ideas included how to apply for grants from the Friends of the NRA, their state’s Department of Natural Resources, US Shooting Sports Foundation, and various organizations. There were also discussions about how to attract and train volunteers to their committees.
Being indoors when it’s sunny and in the 80’s is tough for scouts to handle, but everyone recognized the benefits of training for them and their local council in the quest to deliver the best possible firearm instructions to the youth. After three full days of intense training, exercises, and evaluations, all sixteen candidates received recommendations for appoint as NRA Training Counselors.
As an organization, the Boy Scouts of America is the largest youth organization in America and more than 100 years old. Their target audience are youth from the age of 6 through 20 separated into the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, and Venturing programs. The Boy Scouts of America reaches across all demographics lines. Many of these youths see firearms for the first time and learn how to handle them safely because of the Scouts. Developing qualified instructors who can pass on the knowledge, skills, and attitude because of their NRA training allows them to earn the Boy Scout merit badge and further cements the long standing relationship between the Boy Scouts and the NRA.
Instructors and Training Counselors who are interested in helping out with their local Boy Scouting program should contact their local council or check out www.BeAScout.org for units in their area.