Do you have an aspiring child or young adult in the family who loves to shoot? While their friends are having fun roasting smores and telling scary stories around the campfire next summer, consider sending your child somewhere more invigorating instead.
National Junior Shooting Camp is an excellent way for your child to get involved with hands-on training and sports activities that will not only create lasting memories but instill a sense of gun awareness and safety into their lives.
Gun Safety First
Part of any junior shooting camp involves teaching and sharing accurate and basic gun safety. This starts with learning the basics of how to shoot. Programs like the NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge works with junior hunters age 12 to 21 in simulated hunting exercises along with gun responsibility events at their camp. Fellow outdoorsmen will work with each child by showing them to:
- Treat all firearms like they are loaded
- Always wear ear and eye protection when shooting
- Understand basic gun instruction and methodology
- Point and shoot safely and in the right direction
- Keep the trigger finger outside of the guard until ready to shoot
- Analyze the target, line of fire and what is beyond the main target
Shooting and Hunting Fundamentals
Whether it’s a daily event or a week away at a hunting retreat with a parent, attending camp teaches the basics of operating a gun. This includes an emphasis on using firearms and promoting range and target safety.
Teachers and mentors at these camps have an educational background in gun use, which is instrumental in teaching your child how to shoot properly. Marksmanship is also highlighted. This includes target shooting and age-specific games and fun contests.
Most junior shooting camps offer more than just getting out to the range and learning how to shoot. For kids that want to take their target practice to the next level, competitions are a big part of camp life. These are age-appropriate and kids can compete with each other using a variety of gun types. This teaches them skill-oriented gun control and gives kids the confidence to compete as they grow up or even to pursue a career in the military or law enforcement.
Scholarships, Awards and Contests
Having your child attend a junior shooting camp allows them to compete and stand out within their group among their peers. Some camps highlight youth that display outstanding sportsmanship within their communities. The NRA Foundation and the NRA Civil Rights Fund are just a couple of the organizations that offer scholarships to individuals who win awards in certain categories and contests.
For the Younger Crowd
If your child is too young for a camp situation, there are still ways to instill gun safety in them. The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program teaches younger children what exactly to do if they come across a gun or bullets. This is a unique opportunity to share these tips with younger kids who may be at home and not coming to camp. Keeping guns out of the hands of youngsters who are not yet old enough to shoot is a vital safety concern.
Owning a gun is our right, and it’s important to teach and share those rights with the next generation. A great way to allow your child to fit in and explore with their peers who also love guns is through camp time. It’s a personal bonding experience for them that will last a lifetime.
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