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Post subject: Thank You For Supporting Youth Firearms Education
Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:54 pm
I would like to say thank you to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation for providing support to further the education of youth in the shooting sports.

I spent this past weekend at a camp that has been providing youth education and instruction in the shooting sports since the 1960's. The program is called Coonskin Cap Brigade, and I have been involved with the program both as a participant and then an instructor for the past 25 years. It is a 3-day/2-night camp sponsored by the League of Ohio Sportsman through the Ohio Wildlife Federation. Participants, ages 11-17, are introduced to conservation topics, provided advanced training in hunter education (primarily focusing on marksmanship training), orienteering (with maps, compasses and GPS), and of course provided with hands-on training in a wide array of firearms and archery equipment.

The program is structured so that as campers progress through each year, they are introduced to more advanced topics and training. The program culminates in the fourth year with a traditional rendezvous-style woods walk competition where the campers apply the skills that have been taught over the course of their time at the camp. There are shooting challenges requiring top marksmanship to score points, primitive living tasks (hawk/knife throwing and flint/steel fire-starting), and orienteering. Each year a winner is crowned and receives a muzzleloader as their reward.

The centerpieces of the camp, of course, are the shooting ranges (archery, shotgun and rifle ranges). For the past four years, I have been the head instructor at the rifle range. Like my predecessors before me, I have attempted to improve the variety of firearms to which students are exposed. We have in the past provided hands-on training in black powder shooting (percussion cap, flintlock, and in-line), handguns (revolvers and semi-automatic) in calibers from .22LR to .45ACP and the venerable .44 mag., and of course rifles of various types including the AR-15, M1 Garand and assorted hunting-style rifles. Unfortunately, like all programs that rely on volunteers and donations, ours has suffered from the down-turned economy in which we live. The lack of funding threatened to limit the variety of firearms we would be able to use this year to your basic .22cal rifle. A fine trainer, indeed, but falls short of the expectation of the campers who look forward to the variety that we have offered in the past. A phone call to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation from a dedicated volunteer, who was made aware of the situation, resulted in full funding of our program, much to the delight of our instructors and benefit to our campers.

Because of the funding we received from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, we were able to provide our students with the training that they deserved. I am extremely grateful for organizations such as the BFF for their support and recognition of the importance of educating youth on the positive aspects of all shooting sports and types of firearms. With the onslaught of negative media to which many of the youth of today are exposed, it is organizations like the BFF and activities like Coonskin that are going to be our only tool for dispelling the myth that firearms are inherently evil.

Thank you Buckeye Firearms and I look forward to working with you in the future.
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Post subject: Re: Thank You For Supporting Youth Firearms Education
Post Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:22 pm
sounds like a perfect application of BFF funds! a great course w/ diversity of important content for youth!

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