As I mentioned earlier, Chris and I spent this weekend working an Appleseed in Charlotte. This was our first Appleseed as orange hats. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but we both had a blast. We did get put on the spot, not knowing what we would be asked to go over ahead of time. I know I would have done a bit better with even a few minutes notice, but Chris did an excellent job (then again, he did have a few minutes to think because I went first!). Anyway, I went over the safety rules and steps to make a rifle safe as well as demonstrating steady hold factors on Day One. Chris demonstrated sitting/kneeling positions on Day One. Also on Saturday, we both were RSOs on the line. Beyond that, we just basically instructed the shooters individually.
Sunday, I went over steady hold factors with Chris demonstrating, and then he reviewed the six steps of firing a shot. He did a fantastic job! I might be biased, but two students came up to him afterwards and said the same thing, so it's not just me.
On the history side, we just listened, but we got some good ideas on effective ways to share the Three Strikes. Unfortunately, we had to leave early on Sunday and missed the Sunday stories. I'm particularly sad about this as Lawrence was at this shoot and I was hoping to hear him tell a story. He told the First Strike at our first Appleseed and it really was mind-blowing for me. I'd always thought of history as really boring... until I heard Lawrence. He made everything come alive. I hope I can do as well when I start telling the stories (which should be soon!). We thought about offering to tell a story Sunday, but had to decide against it given our need to leave at lunchtime.
On the instructional side, I think this was Chris' first time really instructing in a shooting context. He found it to be a very rewarding experience - of course, I agree! I did a lot of encouragement with my shooters. Most of them were returning shooters who just needed some time to put their skills together and lock things in, while avoiding mental traps. I did have one new shooter who I worked with. She was very happy to see her groups tighten up over the course of the day and seemed excited to continue shooting and maybe even buy her own rifle.
Additionally, we also had the opportunity to do some shooting. Chris shot a bit at the end of Saturday, and under strict order from Lawrence we both shot on Sunday morning. Chris had some trouble with malfunctions but still shot better than he's ever shot with irons. I had a scope and re-qualified as Rifleman - even though I pulled several shots that I shouldn't have pulled. We are our own worst critics, though, I suppose!
I want to give a shout-out to all of the students on the line for being incredibly safe and very receptive to instruction. You made our job so easy! When I saw how many kids were on the line I was nervous, but the kids were, without exception, smart, determined, and safe. Another shout-out to the instructors, some of whom I'd met before, others who were new to me. You all did a fantastic job, and I learned so much from listening to you!
You know what else I learned... I learned that I want a new stock for my Ruger. Lawrence said so! I want this.
Christmas is coming!