By Kyle Jillson | August 31 2012 08:32

Smith & Wesson shooter shares her time at the National Y.E.S.

California's Molly Smith joins the group of this year's Youth Education Summit attendees who wanted to share how much they enjoyed their time learning about their Second Amendment rights

Team Smith & Wesson member and Youth Education Summit participant Molly Smith

The National Rifle Association has as one of it foremost goals the protection of firearm-related rights.

In this respect, it is the leader when it comes to programs related to gun safety, wildlife conservation, women’s and junior programs, philanthropy and education (not just gun related either). Programs such as Eddie Eagle (aimed for youngsters) and women’s firearm clinics are well known.

Another program, a remarkable one that I was thrilled to attend, is the Youth Education Summit ( Y.E.S.). Designed to educate the youth of today to be better prepared for tomorrow on topics such as the workings of government, legislature and the Second Amendment, as well as history, Y.E.S. is an all-expense paid, week-long experience in Washington, D.C., for 46 high school sophomores and juniors.

I will be forever grateful to the NRA, the Friends of National Rifle Association (FNRA) and those who wrote letters on my behalf so that I could attend.

With action-packed days full of variety – from tours of museums and the Marine Corps Base at Quantico to shooting on the NRA range (a major highlight, personally) and visiting memorials, it was clearly a week of lasting memories, like-minded friends and valuable lessons. The students that attended the summit were also fortunate to be in D.C. during a very historical time, which only added to the impact.

During that week in D.C., shooting sports gained a new depth for me, an awareness that there was more, beyond moving tombstone targets and loading magazines and moonclips. I had known of battles regarding the Second Amendment, like my Mock Trial experience, but it’s entirely different to be standing at the epicenter of power and authority. Sitting at Capitol Hill and listening to Congressmen, the importance and reality of problems our country is currently facing and will be facing becomes more evident.

Read the rest of Molly's experience as a part of the Youth Education Summit on Women's Outdoor News here.

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