It's been an exciting season for Megan and her Centershots team. Prior to going to the NRA camp in June she competed in the MN State Junior Championships and took first place in both the Standing and Aggregate categories.
She's been practicing a lot and it seems to have paid off. This win along with several other high standings in regional matches allowed her to qualify for the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) national matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.
After Megan returned from the Whittington Center in July she left almost immediately for the CMP National Championships match at Camp Perry in Ohio. Camp Perry has been hosting NRA sponsored National Rifle Matches since 1907.
This wasn't Megan's first trip to Camp Perry as she'd been there for other matches and some training for youth shooters. But it was, to date, her most successful trip. After several competitions in Air Rifle earlier in the week she competed in the CMP 3 Position 50 Meter Outdoor Smallbore Iron Sight National match and won first place in both the Junior and Open Classes.
Megan sent the club a handwritten note thanking the members for sponsoring her trip to the Whittington Center. In her note she said:
Dear Gun Club Members,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go to the NRA Whittington Center Camp. I had a lot of fun and made a lot of friendships that will last a long time. I especially liked the variety of different things we did there including camp out which was very fun. Without your help I would not have been able to have this experience.
Our club has always supported youth programs like Firearms Safety and Youth Shoots in an effort to share our love of the sport with the next generation. Financial support for local high school trap teams is where we've invested in programs that are really popular and need help. But there is more we can do, as a club and as individuals. And the Whittington Center sponsorship is perhaps the finest example of helping youngsters experience the joy of precision shooting sports.
Megan's story is just one example, but it highlights a need for more opportunities for youth who want to compete in rifle and pistol shooting. There are very few teams in Minnesota, particularly in Dakota County, who focus on small bore and air rifle competition. 4H and other programs are shifting towards shotgun competitions, so where do kids go that want to shoot but with precision air and small bore rifles?
If you are interested in helping develop youth rifle competition in our area, or you know of a team or program that could use some volunteers please consider posting to our members Forum on Competition Shooting. You can also reach out to me, Mark Skweres, at our website or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll pool our knowledge and resources to work on expanding these opportunities.
Let's see what we can do to give that next young shooter the chance to experience the sport that many of us have enjoyed for a lifetime.