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RyanRosier

Shooting Sports in Scouting’s Program

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Having acquired the Rifle Shooting badge when I was a very young scout, along with growing up in Arkansas I have always been taught the proper way to handle firearms and the importance of them to our country, history and how it intertwines in the lifestyle surrounding scouts and the wilderness. I used a .22 cal rifle for completion of my badge. Did anyone else use something different than this? Along with this, do you think with recent controversy about firearms we should be allowing our children to partake in such activities? Why or why not? What are the benefits or downfalls of such exposure? I'd love to see everyones responses to this topic!

Edited by John-in-KC

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Let me put some resources in your hand

https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/420-907-Rifle-open-shoot.pdf

This is for Scouts BSA:  This guide is intended to provide units, districts and councils with an overview of the requirements for running the shooting program ensuring all BSA Policies are followed under NRA Certified Rifle Instructor and Range Safety Officer (RSO). In this publication, you will find youth requirements, training requirements for adults who are providing the program for camp and weekend program venues.

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/outdoor program/shooting sports/BSA_30_min_Rifle.ppt

This is the current introductory class  for Scours BSA

https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/shooting-sports/

This is the BSA shooting sports program top page.

You will note  BSA mandates current NRA certifications.

 

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Moderator Note

Moved to Open Discussion, Program with the proviso this is about methods and techniques for the approved BSA program.  Matters involving the rightness or error of teaching field sports to youth will be moved to I&P. 

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5 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Let me put some resources in your hand

https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/420-907-Rifle-open-shoot.pdf

This is for Scouts BSA:  This guide is intended to provide units, districts and councils with an overview of the requirements for running the shooting program ensuring all BSA Policies are followed under NRA Certified Rifle Instructor and Range Safety Officer (RSO). In this publication, you will find youth requirements, training requirements for adults who are providing the program for camp and weekend program venues.

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/outdoor program/shooting sports/BSA_30_min_Rifle.ppt

This is the current introductory class  for Scours BSA

https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/shooting-sports/

This is the BSA shooting sports program top page.

You will note  BSA mandates current NRA certifications.

 

Good information to have. I appreciate the time you took to supply me with such. Now I want it to be clear I do not see an issue with this program being implemented in the Scouting program just was curious about the input from others on the subject. If children aren't taught proper handling I believe it opens doors for future issues.

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I had reason, in the Army, in peacetime, to have ammunition in the field. I knew some “cowboys” who carried chambered. I figured I’d have at least some time to chamber, I kept my .45 in my holster, and my magazines in my LBE. 

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3 hours ago, John-in-KC said:

I had reason, in the Army, in peacetime, to have ammunition in the field. I knew some “cowboys” who carried chambered. I figured I’d have at least some time to chamber, I kept my .45 in my holster, and my magazines in my LBE. 

Historically, cowboys  who carried revolvers left the hammer on an empty chamber to prevent misfire. Not an issue with modern revolvers. With semi's, we are trained to carry/draw with a round in the chamber.  Would you have time or a hand available to rack the slide?  Maybe, maybe not. 

Back to OP,   we used .22's (even during ammo shortage a few years back) for Rifle Shooting merit badge.  Firearms are tools  and as such require training for their safe use . Safe is the gotcha - proper eye and ear protection  is not cheap . Lead cleaning  hand soap is often over-looked.  Secure firearm storage and cleaning are musts. 

An interesting question to pose, say you are in a public area and you see a handgun lying there, unattended in full view what do you do?

1. Call 911 and leave area, tell others to stay away. Guns are dangerous and we don't want to disturb existing fingerprints.

2. Call 911 and make the firearm safe - point in a safe direction and unload it.

3. Call 911 and  listen to  dispatch instructions.

4. Something else or does the answer depend who you are and your firearm experience.

My $0.02

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It's a big country. As a result, shooting sports training for scouts is strictly optional, albeit very popular.

It's a good policy. We aren't obliged to teach our kids firearms use, but if you're in a community who feels that their kids should learn firearm safety and skills, BSA offers a good pathway for it.

As for teaching our kids. I did not keep firearms in the house. I did emphasize that before you buy a gun, buy the safe to keep it in. (Which might be a little hypocritical since growing up I kept my .22 in my closet and my ammo in my sock drawer.)

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In the San Francisco Bay Area, the councils are very active in giving scouts the opportunity to work towards their shooting sports badge(s).  As a certified CA Hunter Safety Instructor, a BSA Merit Badge Counselor for rifle, shotgun and pistol (Venture), I have been developing a two day Hunter Safety Course for scouts that will allow them to be signed off on the Rifle Merit Badge and receive partial for Fish and Wildlife Management.  My local council was initially not very receptive to the idea but there may be some appreciation for it developing. 

Scotty

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I think we should always continue teaching our youth about gun safety.  At our local cub scout day camp we started doing so since the mid 70s.  We felt that exposing the cubs and webelos at an early age to a BB gun was extremely important.  They needed to see adults treat the guns with respect and see that an unloaded gun by itself is not dangerous.  It is what the handler intends to do with it that can be the dangerous part.  We did not have shooting issues in the schools at that time period but it was more of an issue of a child finding a gun for the first time and the curiosity it can bring.  We wanted our campers to know what they should do if they found one and how to use one in a safe manner under safe conditions.  

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1 hour ago, Summitdog said:

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the councils are very active in giving scouts the opportunity to work towards their shooting sports badge(s).  As a certified CA Hunter Safety Instructor, a BSA Merit Badge Counselor for rifle, shotgun and pistol (Venture), I have been developing a two day Hunter Safety Course for scouts that will allow them to be signed off on the Rifle Merit Badge and receive partial for Fish and Wildlife Management.  My local council was initially not very receptive to the idea but there may be some appreciation for it developing. 

Scotty

I will encourage you to keep up the push for your course.  As I stated in my post, our council had adults who saw the importance of gun education in the 70s and proved that it could be a great benefit to the youth if we'll done.  It was only at my first National Camping School in the early 80s that I saw National bring out the first demo of a gun range and how to teach it to the youth.  At the same school one of the school instructors 👍pulled me to the side after the demo and asked me how our leaders were doing with the program.  Based on what I saw they had used our successful program to teach others.   There always has to be one to lead the way. 

Edited by IndyScouter
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I want my kids to learn how to handle guns safely and responsibly.  We live where hunting is common and shooting skills are still basic life skills to me.  

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Due to personal belief and history, we will not have fire arms in our household. That said, I favored the knowledge of safe use and respect of firearms and so I insisted Scoutson earn the Rifle and Shotgun Merit Badges when they were available.  He easily earned them.  Surprisingly, he had a "natural eye",  came close to being invited to join the Skeet team at the local Isaac Walton Club.

I am a RSO for archery here abouts.

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