Pennsylvania Junior Small Bore Rifle Camp
By David Cramer, Camp Director
Butler, PA –-(Ammoland.com)- The Intermediate Junior Small bore Rifle shooting camp has been a summer activity in Pennsylvania for the past 30 years.
This years camp was held 15-19 June, 2010, at Indiana, PA. NRA Foundation grants help to support this endeavor and assist in keeping the cost of attending as low as possible.
Sixteen adults, junior program coordinators, coaches, and energetic volunteers, assisted the camp with various activities. Twenty juniors, ages 11 through 16 years of age, were the camp participants. All were state residents, with the majority of them from western and central Pennsylvania. The camp also is conducted with the assistance of the National Rifle Association and the NRA Day Camp program.
The camp begins on the afternoon of the check-in day, and juniors get right into shooting with a short record course of fire. The purpose of this match is to get everyone involved from the start and to get the coaches interacting with the shooters. Also we get our scoring and records group up to speed, and most importantly, we can determine the experience/ability level of our junior shooters.
After a dinner meal at the local Ciccies Pizza, everyone returned to the Clymer rifle range for the first of the evening fun matches. The first nightes fun match was a club rifle match. For this match teams were randomly selected, and both coaches and juniors firing for the team. It was a short 10 shot prone match, each shooter firing one target. Eight shooters comprised four different teams. Two or three coaches fired on each team. Most of those present had not shot a club rifle for a few years, and some had not ever fired a club gun.
The rifles used were Remington 513T rifles, with a lot of variation in stock size, sight apertures, trigger pull, etc. Everyone came away from the experience with a greater appreciation of the problems encountered by the beginning shooter who often starts their shooting experience with guns usually provided by local clubs. All the junior kids were more than ready to get back to their match rifles for the remainder of the camp.
Bob Kinges team, some say a \ringer team., was the winning team. Members were Mary Sloan, Trent Thomas, Steve Hutta, Morgan Duerr, Chris Duerr, Bob King, Gene Lechmanick, and Tom Benedict. An appropriate awards ceremony was held immediately following their win, and each team member enjoyed a Hershey candy bar for their fine efforts.
The second day is devoted to the three shooting positions. There are two relays of juniors, ten each relay. Ten juniors shoot on the indoor range, while the others have short classroom lessons. The relays take turns moving from classroom to range and back to classroom. A lot of time is devoted to prone, standing, and kneeling positions, both on the firing line, and in the classrooms. Each shooteres positions are analyzed and corrected as necessary while they are shooting. In the classroom the instructors cover the position fundamentals, and various other subjects related to making each one a better shooter. One of the teaching points of this and every dayes instruction was to have shooters become very aware of their natural point of aim. This tends to be one of the fundamentals that beginning shooters need ongoing reminders about. The evening fun match was the Bonus Prone Match.. The rules are a little different, and shooters are allowed to refire shots that are not tens. Appropriate awards were distributed at the conclusion.
The third day was supervised training time on the range. Shooters were given an opportunity to shoot each position and get additional help from coaches. This was a low key training day, enabling shooters to polish up their skills. There was a One Shot Special Target match during the day. The evening fun match was a One shot Elimination Match. Shooting from the standing position, shooters fired one shot, awaited scoring, and were eliminated by the better shot from their competitors. This exercise stressed the one shot at a time, theme of camp. The result is the best shooter is left standing. Sometimes it is not the best shooter in camp, but the luckiest! Awards were presented to the winners.
The final day saw shooters firing a half-course 3-position record match under typical match conditions. Competition was spirited–this is like the final exam. The evening match was a continuation of the dayes record firing with a 10-shot standing Olympic finals. Scores of the finals were added to the dayes half course to produce the grand aggregate.
A number of fine awards were donated as prizes for the camp. Wolf Performance Ammunition donated T-shirts, .22 ammunition, back-packs and other Wolf logo items. Eley Ammunition donated .22 ammunition, T-shirts, and Eley hats. Anschutz donated three very nice back-packs. The Army National Guard donated neat back-packs and duffle bags. Various local vendors donated rifle cleaning supplies and gun products. NRA Collegiate shooting donated beautiful ball-point pens, and NRA Sports donated NRA T-shirts. The awards were presented on Saturday. Every junior was able to pick several items from the awards table.
Camp is already planned for the coming year. 2011 will follow a similar schedule, probably at the same locations. IUP has re-done their dormitory rooms and they are more expensive than in the past. Camp cost will likely be a bit more for the coming year. This yeares camp was one of our most enjoyable. The smiling faces in the photos are a pretty good indicator that the kids had a great time and also learned something that should be useful for their future shooting competitions.
2011 Camp announcements and registration will be available in February.
Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association: Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Article I, Section 21, “The right of the citi-zens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.” We uphold, promote and support the right to keep and bear arms. Visit: www.pennarifleandpistol.org