This is how you keep a sport alive
When I was a kid, there were lots of ways to participate in the shooting sports in school. In elementary school, there were Cub Scout and Boy Scout units affiliated with the campus and both types offered marksmanship badges in various disciplines at camps. Later, as an adult and certified instructor, I pitched back in on this same program to pay it forward. Besides Scouts, there was 4-H, regular hunter’s education classes (which I also teach now for the same reason), and lots of chances to go hunting with classmates. Then in high school, there was JROTC, where we shot Remington 40X .22s in class every Friday (on campus!) while we used M1903A3 drill rifles to learn the manual of arms.
Sadly, a lot of those opportunities are not around for today’s kids. Which is why I thought this piece of news was exciting.
In The Show Me State in 2013, the Missouri Youth Sport Shooting Alliance established the Student Air Rifle program, which uses school-aligned units with standardized equipment and training to introduce youth to target shooting. In short, the program supplies the air rifles, pellets, targets, et al to teachers interested in establishing a program at their school then certifies said educator as a Basic Air Riflery Instructor through a workshop and supports them in their efforts.
The popular National Archery in the Schools Program, which has instructed around 3 million youth in archery since 2002, has a similar format.
The SAR program has expanded to Iowa and now to Pennsylvania.
More in my column at Guns.com