Troop takes aim at shooting badge
Most of the American Heritage Girls from troop WV0356 who were working on earning their shooting badge have fired a gun before, but that didn’t dampen their excitement about being at the range.
About a dozen girls from the troop showed up at 340 Defense, located at 459 Berryville Pike in Summit Point to receive instruction and try their hand at 15-yard target shooting using .22 rifles.
340 Defense manager, Larry Quandahl was on hand to give participants and parents a tour of the facility and shooting areas, which start at 15 yards and go all the way up to 300 yards. Quandahl was careful to go over rules of the range and some basic National Rifle Association safety rules before any of the kids fired their first shots.
Prior to coming to the range, the troop learned all about gun safety and then practiced using BB guns, said one of the troop leaders, Veronica Culley.
“We want them (the girls) all to have the ability to defend themselves,” said Culley. “It’s important for them to be able to learn this skill and be independent. I never learned how to shoot a gun until I was an adult, and if they learn it now when they’re young, it helps dispel some of the fear surrounding guns if you are taught how to do it properly.”
Melinda Gerbich, one of the parents who was present at the range said, “I think this is great. I love it. It’s beneficial for her (daughter Meaghan) to feel comfortable, understand and learn how to be safe around guns and learn the importance of that safety.”
Participant Hailey Kautz has shot a rifle before but had a good time shooting. “I like it. If you follow the rules, it’s not really that scary. It’s fun to come out here and do this and I hope I can do it again some time.”
American Heritage Girls began with one troop in 1995 as a faith-based scouting program that was an alternative to Girl Scouts, and has grown to have a presence in all 50 states and over 43 thousand members. For more information on AHG, visit online at americanheritagegirls.org.
For range times and prices, visit 340 Defense online at 340Defense.com.