Nope, not Johnny, but at least as ‘all American’…
A couple of weekends ago (I can’t download pics at the cabin, so I’m a bit behind :), my biggest guys went to a Project Appleseed weekend. Project Appleseed is a patriotic rifle marksmanship program:
Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills. Our volunteer instructors travel across the country teaching those who attend about the difficult choices, the heroic actions, and the sacrifices that the Founders made on behalf of modern Americans, all of whom are their “progeny.”
Our heritage program vividly portrays the Battles of Lexington and Concord with the kind of care and immediacy that is absent from most formal schooling. Modern listeners are confronted with the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19th, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the nation we now enjoy. (from their website)
The guys have been wanting to attend a 2 day course for quite some time, and it worked out that there was one just an hour from home.
Since it was their first program, they read up about it online, set up their ARs for the weekend (changing out ‘uppers’ to have open sights), and packed their range bags. According to the website info, they would run about 150 rounds through their guns while learning traditional American marksmanship skills and they would hear a couple of unique history lessons.
Being history buffs (especially Greg!), they really enjoyed the history lessons at lunch each day, and sprinkled through the shooting – it wasn’t your traditional, dry history overview, the instructors each had a lesson that entailed just a very brief part of the Revolutionary War, but was very detailed. They found it quite interesting (I know because I got to hear each lesson from each of my guys after they were home! The guys learned some new and interesting shooting techniques, and Vaughn qualified for his ‘Rifleman’ patch by shooting a certain score.
Since there was a small crowd, the guys got to shoot a lot more than if they were attending a larger course. The other attendees brought .22s, mine took their regular AR15s, and instead of 150 shells, they each shot over 700… yeah, they could have bought new AR22s, with boxes and boxes of ammo, and it would have been cheaper than just the ammo that they went through that weekend (that’s how Vaughn and Greg are justifying new AR22s before the next program – Eli already has one). The fact that they each had enough ammo to get through the weekend (just that one kind…), already on hand, gives you a little glimpse into how much they enjoy the sport.
They made some new friends at Project Appleseed, and while this was probably the last Appleseed weekend around here this fall due to the weather (tho there is a special winter program, and the patch you can earn shows ice cycles hanging off the patch), the guys are planning on finding a few where ever we are during our travels this winter.
They can’t wait!