This is the time of year kids go off to college. All too often that means leaving hunting and shooting opportunities behind. Though it was a while ago, I remember packing my parents' station wagon with everything we figured I’d need for my first year at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The last items I carried out of the house were my bow and my shotgun, and I laid them carefully atop of the pile.
Mom stopped mid-stride on her way to give me that big, freshman going-away hug and said, “What are those for?” Somehow, I guess, she thought I might not need them? Silly, Mom!
I calmly said, “If they don’t go, I don’t go.”
The tears came back to her eyes and she completed the hug and goodbye. Then Dad and I climbed in and rolled out the driveway. I’m sure Mom would have liked to come, too, but the Plymouth was too jammed full of stuff for more than the two of us to squeeze in.
What puts me in mind of all this is a press release from the National Shooting Sports Foundation offering assistance to college-bound shooters in establishing shooting clubs and teams at their schools. This is a great idea because not only does it keep avid, often highly skilled shooters connected to their passions, but it’s also a great opportunity for positive promotion of firearms ownership and the shooting sports in a world which greatly needs both.
College is all about expanding horizons and having new experiences. As an established shooter, you are well equipped to help your friends, classmates and even the school’s faculty learn about target shooting, firearm safety and hunting. Just as other students and faculty members have done, you can help start a shooting club at your college.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation provides resources through its Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative. NSSF offers $300,000 in grants, expertise and contacts with coaches and others in the collegiate target shooting community.
Many schools now have shooting clubs. With your help, your college can, too.
Learn more by downloading NSSF's "Establishing A Collegiate Shooting Sports Program."
Too often the world only hears about the tragedies of criminals and the mentally unstable who wreak havoc with illegally obtained firearms. Building a shooting club or shooting team at your school is a great opportunity to put the positive aspects of firearms on public display. It’s up to you.