This past weekend Eric and I went on an adventure to Balston Spa, NY to the 4H Shooting Sports Workshop, a first for both of us. The purpose was for Eric to be trained as a 4H air rifle instructor and for me to be an air pistol instructor so that, starting in October 2018 we can then start scheduling classes for these two disciplines allowing us to teach air rifle/pistol to kids from 9-19 and be the first Monroe County 4H Shooting Sports facility.
We arrived Friday a bit early, at 5:15 or so. Dinner started at 6 and then we had our first couple of training items that were non-shooting topics but necessary for our training. Each group then met briefly to go over the agenda for the next couple of days, so we had Archery, Shotgun, Muzzle Loader, Rifle (air and center/rim fire), air pistol, hunting and coordinators (think organizers). We ended at 9, went to the hotel and went right to sleep. The next morning we were back at their facility at 7:30 or so and broke into our groups at 8.
The air pistol group met indoors in another facility and started setting up our indoor air pistol range using the Crosman "tents" to set up a corridor with 2 walls and a backstop of ballistic fabric. With this out of the way the three instructors then set about going over the curriculum that we would eventually be teaching to the kids. Some of us had a chance to then shoot the pistols using the 4H method, in our makeshift "range". This took us to noon at which point we went back to the main facility for lunch.
An hour later we were back at it allowing everyone else to shoot using the 4H method. A bit later we were then being told that we need to break down the content so that each person (13 in total) has a portion of the content to speak to in front of our "kids" the next morning. The great thing about 4H is that they have an awesome curriculum that is tried and true. Essentially every course lesson has the intent of 30 minutes of learning/teaching followed then doing what you just learned about. So kids aren't bored and are quickly doing what they are here to do instead of being bored having to sit through hours of talking.
So we separated out parts and did a dry run and our instructors were impressed because we were one of the few groups to do this in under 30 minutes, which apparently is rare. This finished the instruction for the day, so we went back to the facility for dinner at 5:30. We then had a couple more hours of instruction on risk assessment and something else (it's a blur at this point) and then they held and auction. Each participant was encouraged to bring an item to auction off to help defray some of the costs of the workshops. All in all there were 97 items I believe. Crosman was AMAZING and provided us with two spring piston rifles and I brought a 40" rifle case that I couldn't use. Once again everything finished at 9pm and we were back at the hotel and sleeping.
The next morning we again met and then went to our facility to run through our instruction again and to take a quick "assessment". We then worked with the coordinator, who taught us what they learned, and we then taught the coordinators what we learned. We cleaned up and went back to the facility for lunch at noon followed by the awarding of certificates. We said our good-byes and headed back to Rochester with a lot of information in our heads.