Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and NRA have had a long-standing relationship, dating back to the 1960’s when the NRA helped design what is now called the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge and the Shotgun Shooting Merit Badge. The BSA also utilizes the discipline specific NRA Instructor Training for its volunteer instructors. Strengthening the BSA and NRA relationship is their tie to The NRA Foundation, and the Foundation’s Friends of NRA program. Both The NRA Foundation and BSA programs support each other in their fundraising efforts.
The NRA Foundation and Friends of NRA have allowed youth groups, such as Boy Scouts of America, to have a resource for adult leader training, supplies, and safety equipment. The Northeast Iowa Council of BSA is headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, and serves more than 1,200 youth through more than 600 adult volunteer leaders in both Iowa and Illinois.
“The Northeast Iowa Council of BSA has received multiple grants from The NRA Foundation over the years. In 2019, we received mini bows which made teaching archery to younger Scouts much easier,” said Anna Hudak, Scout Executive for the group. “As we know, it is our job to create a safe environment where a Scout can succeed. Having the right tools helps a Scout to succeed and feel good about shooting sports.”
“Our council’s main BSA camp is Camp C.S. Klaus located just north of Colesburg Iowa,” noted Anna. “Our summer camp programs serve more than 600 youth (boys and girls) ranging from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Scouts participate in a variety of activities at summer camp, including shooting sports. Age appropriate shooting sports activities start with B.B. guns, archery, and slingshots, and older Scouts graduate to rifle and shotgun shooting.”
The council’s most recent grant was in 2020 totaling over $1,500 in grant merchandise for their summer camp. The Foundation grant was funded through monies raised at Friends of NRA events, such as the U.S. Grant Friends of NRA committee chaired by Bob Schlichting. “Northeast Iowa Council Shooting Sports Committee volunteers attend and support U.S. Grant Friends of NRA’s annual event, and we’re looking forward to attending this year’s event scheduled in October. We are grateful for Bob and the support of The NRA Foundation.”
The Northeast Iowa Council is currently planning to make additional enhancements to the Shooting Sports area at Camp C.S. Klaus. “We would like to add Cowboy Action Shooting as an older youth program in 2022, along with tomahawk throwing, and making some enhancements to our Archery range to better accommodate the age ranges and abilities of youth participating in that program,” said Anna. “We are grateful to The NRA Foundation and the Friends of NRA for their continuous support. It is because of programs like these that Scouting can give thousands of young people in Iowa and Illinois the opportunity to learn how to shoot safely, earn Rifle Shooting and Shotgun Shooting Merit Badges, enhance their marksmanship skills, and perhaps create a lifelong hobby or career.”