By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins
It has been shown that the lessons learned in our youth remain with us for our entire lives. For many of us, we can remember, and cherish, the time spent with a senior member of the family learning about guns, how to shoot and the safety issues surrounding those guns. And we have a healthy respect for the safe operation of those guns as a result of that experience as a young person.
In consideration of that experience, Saddle River Range has launched another summer of Youth Firearm Safety courses.
We could tell you about the course; but let’s hear what the instructors have to say…
Jonathan Wyatt and Joshua Moore are the instructors and when we sat down with them to learn about the course; here’s what they had to say.
SRR: How would you describe the Summer Youth Firearm Safety class?
The course is a basic firearm safety class providing basic fundamentals of firearm safety and operation. It incorporates a modification to focus on a younger participant, even someone that has never handled a firearm – allowing them to get their “feet wet” so to speak in a safe and comfortable environment.
SRR: When is the course offered?
There are several classes on the calendar each month during the summer. Check out the calendar for the next class here.
SRR: Is each class the same, or do they vary based on attendees?
The core of the program is standard. We want to be able to bring a participant’s skill level to a recognized fundamental level within the time frame of the class; and for some attendees we are starting from the very beginning. Depending on the size and skill level of the attendees, we sometimes are able to add to the program to introduce some competition for bragging rights. This become interesting when siblings are attending together.
SRR: How did the program get it’s start?
Interestingly, it was requested by parents and grandparents. They remember learning firearm safety as a youth and want their children/grandchildren learn the safe operation of a firearm as opposed to learning from Hollywood or a video game.
SRR: For whom is this program best suited?
It is designed for 10 to 15 year olds. However, many of the adults sitting in on the class with their child learn a thing or two as well.
SRR: Why would a parent or grandparent want their child/grandchild to attend the program?
Today’s youth are exposed to guns in a negative light, more so now than ever before, through bias news media, movies, games, and other social media. This course provides some practical “real life” experience for them in regards to shooting, but more importantly, it discusses the aspects of proper firearm safety and use. All under the watchful eyes of an NRA Certified Instructor and range safety officer, kids can experience what it is like to shoot a firearm under safe, controlled conditions, while taking away any worries and concerns that parents, grandparents, or other adults might have if they took them out to shoot their first shots somewhere else.
SRR: Can parents or grandparents attend the class?
Absolutely. The encouragement of a parent or grandparent helps to promote the importance of the class, and gives them topics to discuss on the ride home as well as instilling a common interest for years to come. We’ve also had some parents return for a fundamental class of their own; as they picked up points they hadn’t learned. And you know you can’t have your child “school” you when you visit the range together.
SRR: What should a participant expect from attending one of these classes?
We will spend about 40-45 minutes talking about firearm safety, storage, types of ammunition, nomenclature of both a pistol and rifle, and the fundamentals of shooting properly. Following that, we’ll take a quick break and then everyone will head to the range. The instructors will demonstrate and perform how to unload and load both a rifle and pistol, as well as load magazines. They will get individual coaching to ensure they are performing the tasks properly. Once everyone gets that one-on-one, the attendees are then able go back and forth between shooting the pistol and rifle, shooting on their own, right under the watchful eyes of the Instructor and Range Safety Officer. This is certainly the best part according to past participants!
SRR: What would you tell a reader if they are thinking about signing up a couple of their children or grandkids for the course?
I would say look at our website or come in to Saddle River Range today to book a slot in the next course! Not only will the kids receive the fundamentals of shooting and begin to establish safe handling skills, they’ll have a great time on the range and will think that you’re the greatest grandparent in the world!! Plus, it will give you and them a common interest in which to discuss and experience together for life.
SRR: Thank you for an interesting discussion on an interesting program. I am sure our readers will be calling to get their child in the next class.
For more information on the Summer Youth Firearm Safety program, contact the training department at 936-271-2620 or via email at email@example.com.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe,
© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch
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