[updated June 2022]
The Junior Program takes kids ranging from 10 years old to 20. We have taken kids as young as 8 who show an interest/ability. It’s a two part program- the general program and a travelling competition team that visits other clubs in the state. We came in first place in the state this year, undefeated for the 5th year in a row, and 2 shooters placed for the state (both also went to the nationals).
The younger/newer kids shoot generally one position, prone, until they gain more experience. The team kids have all been shooting for 3+ years, some as many as 10+, and range from 14-20 years old. They shoot three positions- prone, kneeling and offhand (standing). Most of the kids are from Cumberland or nearby towns. Six are on the team at present. As they age up and gain experience, program participants can qualify for the team.
You don’t need to be a club member to shoot in the Junior Rifle program or our Junior Air Rifle Programy program. Rifle has a $5 per week charge to cover the cost of upkeep, ammunition and targets, plus a once-annual $5 fee to be a Junior Member of the club. Do that for 5 years in a row and they bypass most of the entry requirements to be a club member at age 21. The Air Rifle Program is $10/per month.
The general program starts at 6pm on Friday nights on a rotating schedule and goes until 7:00pm. The team meets immediately following the general program at 7:00ish. Competitive matches are on Sunday mornings from 9am-1pm (Oct-Apr) or Friday evenings (postals). Generally, I text everyone the schedule weekly by Friday morning. Please provide a cell phone number or let me know if you don’t text and I can email as well. We currently have a rotating schedule of 19 shooters.
As for equipment, we have pretty much everything to start the basics and have built up our more advanced equipment. Basics: rifles, ammunition, targets, shooting mats, rifle rests (for prone), hearing (earmuffs or earplugs) and eye protection. All kids need to provide their own earmuffs and safety glasses. Ear plugs will still be available as they are throwaways. The more advanced items include coats, gloves, kneeling rolls, stands, slings, hand stops, palm rests and weights. We also just got a left-handed high-end target rifle for any team lefties.
We only shoot .22LR ammunition, in bolt action, single shot target rifles. The club has 8 indoor shooting bays, and have at least 2 coaches in the range. If you or a guest wish to come into the range, you’re welcome, but you’ll need to wear eye and ear protection as well. We usually shoot 2 strings (3 if time permits) (10 targets per page= one string). First-timers usually get a bigger target to ease into target shooting. Depending on how many kids are there, it can take some time. Parents are encouraged to stay and watch or help either in the range or with reloading ammunition blocks.
For the team and possibly more advanced program shooters, we have upgraded to Electronic Scoring Targets for 6 bays at present using the Athena system from Orion/Scopos Shooting Systems. At this time, the Beagle Club is the only facility in the state that has Electronic Targets.
We teach them responsibility, which includes cleaning up at the end of the night (last shift gets this job, as a rule). We don’t allow running in the range or electronic use in the range unless it’s a timer or camera for team members. The outer room has cable TV and a DVD player. He/she can bring electronics or play some board games or card games with the other kids. Or homework. 🙂
Come by pretty much any Friday evening (Sept- early June) to observe if you can (call/text/email first). We run a full safety brief including range commands at 5:30 or 6:30 whenever we get new shooters (by appointment). Then we get them situated on the sights and operation of the target rifles before we go into the range. -Tim 401/481-7308 cell/text
We are also running the Air Rifle Program on Mondays and Thursdays at 7pm. Many of the same kids will shoot both. The air rifles are not your average Daisy/Crosman rifles. They are pre-charged pneumatic air guns that are designed for 10-meter competition. Please contact me for more information.