The local rod and gun club put on an excellent introduction to outdoor sports day for the local kids. The event drew a crowd and had a great sampling of shooting sports as well as a lunch for kids and parents. Youth shooting day was all free and consisted of six hands-on stations that encouraged active learning in a highly supervised (often 1 on 1) and fun manner.
- The small bore station was held at the club’s indoor range with bolt action .22 rifles. Although some of the participants had experience with firearms, the course assumed that they were starting without a base of knowledge. The shooting stations had side boards for separating shooters and the rifles were equipped with 4 power scopes. The setup was great for consistent accurate results.
- The laser hunt station allowed the kids to go on a wing shoot grouse hunt without the normal complications. The station was fun, however there was only one video game per group of 16 kids so it was a bit slower pace than the live action stations. The flushing birds did provide the proper tension and excitement however.
- Black Powder shooting was a HIT with the kids and parents alike. The black powder club had their members come and put on a great show. The short range, low charge venue worked great and each station had an instructor for each participant. There were steel gong targets, balloons and playing cards. Participants that drilled the playing cards got to keep them. Very cool! Not sure who had more fun, the instructors or the kids.
- Archery is always fun and the local archers came through with a fun 10 yard range. There were 3d animals representing every continent and balloons as well as a “dollar challenge shot.” The archery shoot was a little less structured although very safe, allowing for some fun and interaction. The youth model Mathews Genesis bows provided by the ODFW were consistent shooters and there were some other bows floating around for variety. I shot the instructors PSE Dream Season and was IMPRESSED, which is hard to do since I’m quite in love with my Mathews!
- The shotgun shooting session was fun with two electric throwers. The shotgun instructors were trap focused and shared a little more about the sport which added variety to the experience orientated shoot day. I personally would have liked to see each kid get to burn through a box or two of shells as an introduction, however the presentation and 10 or so shots was a good introduction.
Overall the program was a booming success. I heard several of the less outdoor orientated parents wondering out loud if there was going to be a sales pitch for the rod and gun club. Ha, ha, not so! It was all about the kids and getting them a taste of the shooting sports in a safe, fun environment. Props to the club for rounding up so many enthusiastic volunteers as well as the archery, black powder and shotgun clubs for putting on a fun event. A lot of work went into the production and quite a few kids got their first try at hunting or exposure to new shooting sports.