Last weekend Ben and I traveled to Fort Benning, in Columbus GA, so that he could attend the Army Marksmanships Units first ever Junior Camp. The AMU has some of our sport's finest shooters and they graciously accepted 43 junior applicants this year. The kids were divided into 4 groups of roughly 11. Ben's group pictured below were the best shooters there. Max Michel was that group's primary instructor. Max is an incredible shooter having won national championships at an early age, and he is a great instructor and in general nice guy.The kids did a lot of shooting and thanks to Remington ammo didn't cost them a cent. I should also mention that MGM Targets were the primary sponsor. The Gibsons who own MGM made a tremendous donation of time and money and they cannot be thanked enough. Without them this camp could not have happened. Other sponsors included Glock, Rob Leatham, DPMS rifles, USPSA, Center of mass holsters, Warne scope mounts, Danner boots, Chris Patty shooting supplies, Speed Shooter Specialties, Kaltron outdoors, Sheep dog ammo, and Hodgdon powders. All of them donated money and/or products that the made the clinic possible or were given to the kids.
Friday and Saturday the kids would begin the day with their primary instructor and then would spend the morning with one or more of the instructors, eat lunch, then spend the afternoon with another instructor. Over the first two days thay worked on several skills with all of the different members of the AMU action pistol team. All of them are impressive. Max Michel is kind of the old guy at 25, then there is Travis Thomasie, Lee Dimaculangun, KC Eusebio, Daniel Horner, and the new guy, fellow Pennsylvanian, Brad Balsley. They were such a nice group of hosts and teachers that I cannot properly put it into words. At night, there was often homework to be done.On Friday to keep the parents occupied DPMS sent down one of their representatives with 5 DPMS rifles, and Remington donated 5000 rounds of ammo. It was like Christmas in October for me! All the ammo I could shoot and someone elses rifles to burn up. It doesn't get any better than that!
On Saturday Rob Leatham, yeah that Rob Leatham, came by to spend the day teaching the parents. He said that kids are OK, but the parents are the ones who buy the ammo, and own the guns. Parents deserve something too. And boy did we get it! I've been shooting USPSA for 17 years, and I thought I knew just about everything, but I really learned a lot from Rob. His perspective on many things is different, and he explains things so well, and so simply that he makes perfect sense. He's an incredible speaker and he's a 22 time National champion, and a down to earth nice guy, but I had no idea he'd be such a great teacher. Rob also did a 2 hour seminar for the kids Saturday night.
Sunday am the kids had a little 4 stage match. Ben was incredible! Even the AMU guys and the kids who are on the World Shoot Team were impressed. He even beat one of the World Shoot Team members. I was one proud dad. The drive home however, that was tough. But, I'd do it all over in a heartbeat.