Youth Take Aim at Camp Shooting Opportunities - Fun, Mentorship and Outdoor Traditions
Kevin Reese, an outdoor writer out of Texas and a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), sent us the following on youth shooting camps.
Who could forget Allan Sherman’s masterpiece Hello Mother, Hello Father (A Letter from Camp)
, the satirical look at life at Camp Granada! Face it, the food is typically choke-worthy and at least a few walk away with poison ivy, yet for those who attend, youth camps are as much a fabric of our culture as hunting shooting. So, what could be better than instilling ethical, responsible hunting and shooting in your youth with a rustic campground as your backdrop?
activities were a hallmark of many youth camps throughout the 20th century
and the trend continues in our 21st century. Many of today’s youth camps
continue to share our outdoor heritage throughout the nation.
exist in virtually every state that include some sort of traditional shooting
activity whether with a rifle, shotgun air gun or archery equipment and some
even impart invaluable hunting lessons. While our modern world seems to
struggle with its moral compass, at least traditional shooting and hunting
activities continue to draw youth into our great outdoors.
Rifle Association (NRA) has a phenomenal Camp Adventure (CA)
youth program. CA attendees are immersed in 12 days of shooting, hunting and
outdoor lessons under the certified supervision of NRA instructors and
volunteers. Camp activities include firearm safety, fundamental shooting
techniques and trigger time with rifles, pistols, shotguns, black powder rifles
and even high power rifles at targets up to 1,000 yards away. Participants even
get a chance to visit a deserted mining town. The fee for this camp is $950 per
person and generally occurs twice during summer months at Camp Whittington, in
Annoni’s Two Million Bullets (2MB) fundraising program seeks $1
donations from two million supporters, then of course, continue from there.
Funds currently support Camp Compass, an Allentown, Pennsylvania program
founded by Annoni, but the goal of 2MB is to eventually provide grants to other
mentor-styled hunting and academic camp programs. “We’re interested in reaching
and supporting longitudinal youth camp programs focused on mentoring youth
academically as well as through shooting, hunting and outdoor platforms.”
is no fee for CC other than $10 for the uniform t-shirt. CC’s formula for
success includes five distinct levels of learning and experience:
- Exposure – This initial step can be as simple as a trip to an outdoor retailer like Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops or Gander Mountain.
- Exploration – Learning various fundamental lessons about shooting, hunting and outdoor recreation.
- Extension – This is the longest step and includes academic mentoring and a deeper look at explorative topics. Extension activities also include shooting simulation, firearm safety and lessons in fundamental shooting techniques. Participation averages three years before progressing to the next phase.
- Application – During this phase, youth put learned lessons to practice in live shooting, hunting trips and other hands-on adventures.
- Mentoring – Successful youth get the chance to pay their life-change forward by mentoring new Camp Compass enrollees.
Family Adventure Camp (FAC) takes youth camp a little further by
offering families an opportunity to learn outdoor skills… as a family. Based in
Sulphur, Oklahoma, FAC occurs every September. During FAC, pro staff hunters,
volunteers and even the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife are on-hand to impart
invaluable shooting instruction. Participants learn and improve on rifle,
pistol, shotgun, muzzleloader and archery shooting while also attending
hunting, fishing, shooting and firearm safety seminars. CrossTimbers is also
planning to add other family and youth weekend trips throughout the year that
include shooting and hunting lessons. Fees range from $50 for individuals to
$170 for a family and include all seminars and meals.
nationwide programs such as the Boy Scouts of America Shooting Program, NRA
Youth Programs and the National Wild Turkey Federation Jakes Program
offer day and overnight camping activities themed in hunting and shooting.
truth is youth camps with shooting opportunities are so widespread that
internet search engines like Google and calls to the local Boy Scouts,
shooting ranges and even church organizations are often your best way to get
informed. Most camps are held during summer months; exceptions include
mentoring type youth programs like CC that occur year round.
for youth camp means the sooner the better. Space is often limited and
depending on your budget, grants and sponsorship may be available through your
local resources if you take the time to look around; the early bird gets the
interested in the programs highlighted above? More information and complete
details are available through the contact information and links below:
Family Adventure Camp
Becky Cox at 405-816-7444
Scouts of America Shooting Program
Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild Turkey Federation Jakes Program
Events – http://www.nwtf.org/jakes/events.html
Million Bullets – http://www.twomillionbullets.org
Compass – http://www.campcompass.org
Rifle Association – http://home.nra.org/#/home
Adventure – http://www.nrawc.org/adventure
Family Adventure Camp – http://www.ctokc.org
Scouts of America Shooting Program – http://www.scouting.org/home/outdoorprogram/sh
Youth Programs – http://youth.nra.org
Wild Turkey Federation Jakes – http://www.nwtf.org/jakes
Scouts – http://www.scouting.org
courtesy of www.CampCompass.org, www.TwoMillionBullets.org and the NRA.