August 16th, 2018

Union Volunteers Help Construct Boy Scout Ranges in Oregon

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

This is a “feel-good” story about volunteers who helped build three modern ranges at the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Camp Meriwether facility in coastal Oregon.

For the shooting sports to survive and thrive, we need to train new shooters, particular young boys and girls. Many of us learned to shoot in the Boy Scouts. Now, through the efforts of Union volunteers, thousands of Scouts will enjoy quality marksmanship training at Camp Meriwether. Sixteen skilled volunteers have helped construct a 24-lane rifle range, a 24-lane archery range, and a 10-station shotgun range. An official dedication ceremony is planned later this summer.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers
Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

Union volunteers teamed with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance to help complete an ambitious shooting range-expansion project at the 790-acre Camp Meriwether in Oregon. Sixteen volunteers from the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers (RWAW) Local 49 and Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Locals 737 and 296 donated 260 hours of skilled labor to help complete the $800,000 project, which added three new ranges to the popular Boy Scout camp.

Archery and shooting sports (airgun, rifle, and shotgun) are among the Boy Scout’s most popular activities. Yet for years, Camp Meriwether’s facilities were limited to just eight rifle shooting stations, eight archery stations, and two shotgun stations.

In 2013, the BSA Cascade Pacific Council decided to expand Meriwether’s facilities with new 24-lane rifle range, 24-lane archery range, and 10-station shotgun range. After years of planning and site prep, the project’s final phase began in 2018. This spring and summer, union volunteers assisted in the framing, sheeting, and underlayment for the three new range structures, which triple the camp’s capacity to teach scouts marksmanship.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

“The involvement of skilled trade volunteers is so important when a BSA camp takes on a major project,” said Frank Reigelman, BSA’s team lead for outdoor programs and properties. “Kids from southern California to Washington get together here to learn about the outdoors and experience activities like archery, trapshooting, and riflery,” added USA project leader Travis Hopkins, of RWAW Local 49. “This teaches them pastimes they can enjoy for a lifetime.”

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance CEO Scott Vance added: “The Boy Scouts of America will use these new ranges to teach thousands of youths safe and responsible firearms and archery skills each season for years to come.”

About Camp Meriwether
Located in rugged wilderness along the Pacific coast near Cloverdale, Oregon, 790-acre Camp Meriwether, the flagship of the BSA’s Cascade Pacific Council, can accommodate more than 500 campers each day. Acquired in 1926, Camp Meriwether is one of the few Boy Scout camps fronting the ocean — it boasts two miles of private beach.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

Camp Meriwether includes Lake Chamberlain, a fresh-water lake for swimming and boating, a trading post, a .22 rifle range, a shotgun range, an archery range, a black powder range, scoutcraft, and an ecology study center. For experienced campers, Meriwether offers high adventure hikes and a rock climbing program on a 44′ tower.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

Click Video to see Camp’s Beaches, Facilities, and Adventure Programs:

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July 8th, 2018

NSSF Grants Help Support Boy Scouts Shooting Programs

Boy Scouts Merit Badge NSSF Grant Progrm

Comment: If we want the shooting sports to survive (and thrive), we need to bring young shooters into this sport. Many of our readers, as well as this Editor, got started in shooting through the Boy Scouts. I shot rimfire rifles at scout camps and earned my Marksmanship Merit Badge. AccurateShooter.com strongly supports the Scouts, and we commend the NSSF for providing grants to regional BSA Councils. This article explains how regional BSA Councils can apply for funding.

Boy Scouts Merit Badge NSSF Grant Progrm

BSA Boy Scouts Council Rifle Shooting Grants NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has kicked off its annual grant program for the Boy Scouts of America Councils. Through this partnership, BSA Councils can receive a portion of $100,000 in NSSF grant funds to develop or expand their troop activities in target shooting and marksmanship. Target shooting programs continue to rank among Scouting’s most popular activities, teaching firearms and range safety, teamwork building and fundraising skills.

2018 marks NSSF’s eighth year supporting the BSA Council Grant Program, underscoring the time-honored practices of firearms safety, marksmanship training and shooting sports participation with the Boy Scouts. Additionally, the BSA’s recent decision to allow young females to join its ranks, though controversial, does provide an entirely new audience for BSA marksmanship training.

“Safety and marksmanship training through the Boy Scouts is a time-honored introduction to the shooting sports. We’re looking forward to increased participation from Scouts pursuing [merit] badges in these activities and then taking those new skills afield for a lifetime of enjoyment”, said Zach Snow, NSSF Range Services Director.

How Scouting Groups Can Apply for Grants

BSA Councils should review the grant guidelines and application procedures on the NSSF Website. Councils awarded NSSF funds must use those grants to purchase shooting sports equipment/supplies from NSSF Member Retailers. Qualifying purchases include: ammunition, eye and ear protection, firearms, targets, and shooting vests.

BSA Councils should Download the Application PDF and Grant Worksheet (Details Below).

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May 5th, 2017

NSSF Offers Grants to Boy Scouts of America Councils

BSA Boy Scouts Council Rifle Shooting Grants NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is pleased to announce the launch of its annual grants partnership with the Boy Scouts of America Councils. Through this partnership, BSA Councils can receive a portion of $100,000 in NSSF-provided grant funds to develop or expand their troop activities in target shooting and marksmanship. Target shooting programs continue to rank among Scouting’s most popular activities, teaching firearms and range safety, teamwork building and fundraising skills.

“This seventh year of supporting the BSA Council Grant Program … brings with it a new level of excitement,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Range Services. “Safety and marksmanship training through the Boy Scouts is a time-honored introduction to the shooting sports. We’re looking forward to increased participation from Scouts pursuing [merit] badges in these activities and then taking those new skills afield for a lifetime of enjoyment.”

How Scouting Groups Can Apply for Grants
BSA Councils wishing to apply for grants should visit the grant guidelines and application procedures at nssf.org/bsagrant. Councils awarded funds through NSSF’s BSA Grant Program must use those grants to purchase of equipment and supplies for their shooting sports activities from an NSSF Member Retailer. The full list of these retailers is available at nssf.org/retailers/find. Examples of qualifying purchases are: ammunition, eye and ear protection, firearms, targets and shooting vests. For more information on this special program and qualifications, contact NSSF’s Zach Snow at zsnow@nssf.org or 203-426-1320 ext. 224.

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April 5th, 2016

Scouting on Target — The Marksmanship Merit Badge

Boy Scout Merit Badge American Rifleman

Last year 43,196 young Americans earned a very special marksmanship distinction. Can you guess what that was? Here’s a hint — the award helps a young person become an Eagle Scout. That’s right, last year 43,196 Boy Scouts earned the Marksmanship Merit Badge for rifle shooting. This is one of the toughest badges to earn, according to Scouting leaders, but it is still one of the most popular badges among Scouts — it fact it is the second most earned elective merit badge. Since 1910, over 350,000 Scouts have earn Rifle Shooting Merit Badges. Millions more have participated in Boy Scout Shooting programs. Merit badges are offered for both Rifle Shooting and Shotgun shooting.

Mark Keefe, editor of the American Rifleman explains: “According to Scouting magazine, the Rifle Shooting Merit badge was number two of the non-required badges earned by all Boy Scouts cross country last year with 43,196 Rifle Shooting merit badges sewn on sashes. Since 2009, again according to Scouting, nearly 350,000 Rifle Shooting merit badges have been earned. That’s a lot of merit badges — and a lot of .22 Long Rifle downrange.”

Boy Scout Merit Badge American Rifleman

The Marksmanship Merit Badge has been offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) since the first Boy Scout Handbook in 1910. Keefe explains: “Back in 1910 to earn the ‘Marksman’ Badge of Merit, you had to ‘Qualify as a marksman in accordance with the requirements of the National Rifle Association.’ And NRA and the BSA of have had a strong partnership for more than a century, and both organizations remain committed to teaching firearms safety and marksmanship.”

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September 8th, 2012

BSA National Foundation to Promote Shooting Sports Training

Boy Scouts Shooting SportsThe Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has created a new BSA National Foundation to promote firearms safety training and marksmanship instruction for Boy Scouts. An initial $500,000 donation by Larry and Brenda Potterfield will serve to kick-start the BSA Foundation’s operations. As long-time supporters of their local BSA council, the Potterfields wanted to help more Scouts across America gain experience, confidence and expertise when it came to firearm safety and the shooting sports.

“The BSA is the country’s greatest developer of leadership in youth and Brenda and I are strong supporters of programs whose objective is to help develop the leaders of tomorrow,” said MidwayUSA founder and CEO Larry Potterfield. “Shooting sports is one of the most popular activities in Scouting and this gift is designed to help more youth have that experience.”

With its initial $500,000 in funding, the BSA National Foundation hopes to award approximately 20 grants beginning in 2013. Grant funds may be used for, but are not limited to, the purchase of ammunition, firearms, targets, firearm cleaning supplies, eye and ear protection, awards, shooting facility fees and travel expenses for Scouts to attend approved shooting competitions. For more info visit www.BSAFoundation.org or call the BSA Foundation at (972) 580-2219.

BSA Shooting Manual Boy ScoutsCLICK HERE for BSA National Shooting Sports Manual.

Over 70,000 Scouts earn the Shotgun or Rifle Shooting Merit Badges each year, which requires safety education, various shooting sports experiences, and outstanding marksmanship.

Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) currently serves nearly three million youths annually with leadership training and character development programs.

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October 14th, 2009

NSSF Gives $100K to Boy Scouts of America

BSA scout shooting merit badgeFor the third straight year, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has provided $100,000 to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Shooting Sports Grant Program. “The future of shooting sports is bright in the Boy Scouts of America,” said Frank Reigelman, who oversees the grant program. “Shooting sports [are] among the most popular camp activities at all levels of the BSA and we are seeing an expansion of year-round programs. Today, many BSA councils offer weekend programs throughout the year. The BSA Shooting Sports Grant provides important funding to improve and expand opportunities to attract new members and retain the interest of our current Scouts.”

We applaud the NSSF in supporting Boy Scout marksmanship training. We need more programs that offer firearms handling and safety instruction to young people. Unfortunately, in some jurisdictions, gun-phobic politicians have sponsored legislation that would make it more difficult for Scout training programs to acquire ammunition or to conduct shooting clinics on public land. Hopefully, with the support of organizations such as the NSSF, we’ll continue to see young Scouts earning their Rifle Shooting Merit badges for many years to come.

CLICK HERE for Boy Scout Rifle Shooting Merit Badge Requirements

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