New York State 4-H Shooting Sports Winter Instructor Training, February 20 – 22, 2015, at the 4-H Training & Education Center, Ballston Spa, NY.
The 110 plus participants, at the Winter 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Training, braved the unusually cold weather for their second day of training on Saturday, February 21. The day’s classes worked on First Shot Fundamentals. In First Shot, each discipline is expected to cover the basic safety facets of that discipline in 30-60 minutes. Range set up, bow or firearm safety of a specific make and model, range commands, and progressing through to the actual first shots of the class are covered. The reason for the 30-60 minute guideline is that 4-H is a learn by doing program. Training includes a combination of lectures, visual aids, and experiential learning integrated into classes to assure the program reaches the most common learning styles. However, there is nothing better than bringing these different teaching tools together in a hands-on activity.
Food was plentiful. For breakfast, our cooks prepared over 25 dozen eggs fresh from the Thomas Poultry Farm, in addition to a variety of other great morning foods. At lunch, there were trays of cold-cuts and cheeses as well as cold salads for sandwiches, pasta salad, salad bar fixings, fruit, jello, fresh baked goods and an assortment of homemade soups. We hear the clam chowder was excellent! The dinner buffet included linguine and clam sauce, lasagna, sausage, peppers and onions, vegetables and rolls. There was also a cheesecake taste testing for a local start-up company which was to die for!
The snow started up around 1:30 PM with Muzzleloading, Shotgun, and Rifle disciplines being conducted partially outside. Meanwhile Air Pistol was using the Crosman Portable Range System to operate their class over in the CCE Saratoga office auditorium. Coordinators discussed the finer points of risk management, county plans and also answered county or student specific questions. There was also a general presentation about the development of a trebuchet (catapult) by Sullivan County 4-H Shooting Sports. This eight foot machine uses a 425 counter weight to toss pumpkins as far as 100 yards!
As the snow continued into the evening, the day’s program was topped off by another successful auction that featured maple syrup, art, bow and arrows, several different types of hunting knives, ammunition, hunting and shooting supplies. This auction grossed over $2300 for the NYS 4-H Shooting Sports Program with the dollars raised going directly to help support the cost of housing our Instructors for this weekend event, so they can sleep warm and comfortable. This generous support is very much appreciated by both NYS4-HSS and by our attendees who used to have to bunk on the floor in the potting shed or natural resources room.
Check back tomorrow for some Cross Training action!