July 31st, 2010

Teens Train at the NRA’s Camp Perry Smallbore Camp

By Danielle Sturgis, The NRA Blog
72 young shooters have spent every waking moment since the past week at Camp Perry’s CMP Smallbore Rifle Range. “We have kids here from 17 different states, from California to New Jersey and from Washington state to Florida,” Administrative Officer Vickie Evans told the NRA blog. To participate in the program, shooters must be older than 12 and younger than 20. The “campers,” as Vickie calls them, are in rotating groups of four. One coach is matched to each group based on a variety of factors, including skill level and age. “We’ve got some folks learning the basics, while others are ready to compete for next year’s National Championship,” volunteer rifle coach Bob Beard explained.

Vickie Evans and her husband, Russell, have led this event for 23 years. The Hubbard, Ohio couple say it’s their way of giving back. “Our son started shooting at a local club,” Russell explains. “In 1986 we brought him to the junior camp here at Perry, and found out you could volunteer to help.”

Russell was quick to point out the help the camp receives from the NRA, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), and the Ohio National Guard. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” he said. Guardsmen also serve as medics for the camp.


Youth Camp Trains Future Winners
“This is truly one of the most prestigious programs at Camp Perry,” declared NRA Match Director H.Q. Moody, who added: “These kids are our future”. Many of the “campers” attend the NRA camp more than one season. According to Russell Evans: “One third of our shooters will come back for a second or third year of camp, until they’re confident to compete on the big line”. Does Evans think any of these young people have a shot at bringing home the national championship? “All 72 of ‘em”, Russell replied.
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