Several weeks ago, Daisy and I were invited to participate in an Appleseed Project event, by a super awesome guy named Dave. If you’re like I was before I got that invitation, you have absolutely no idea what the Appleseed Project is. But I’m about to tell you, and you guys, it’s really really cool.
Dave’s initial email to us described the Appleseed Project as an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Rifleman in America. And what that means from a practical perspective is that for two days, you get trained on firearm safety and marksmanship, AND you get to hear cool stories about American history – specifically the history of April 19th, 1775, and why marksmanship was so important to winning the Revolutionary War.
I thought it sounded totally fabulous, and told Dave that Mr. Mock and I would love to attend. Daisy, as you know, is all pregnant and pregnified and pregnosticated, and apparently women who are in that sort of state are not generally advised to be around firearms, so she didn’t go. But I have a feeling that she’ll not only go to a future event, she’ll probably be bringing Chicklet too, and both of them will probably shoot in stilettos.
Anyway, Mr. Mock and I got up at 5am to make the 2.5 hour journey north to the firing range. Now, I have shot a rifle exactly ONCE in my whole life prior to today. But even that one time, I was kind of awesome. I’m not trying to brag, because if you ask me what sort of a marksman I am, I will tell you that I’m not one at all, and in fact have absolutely no idea how I manage to shoot stuff well. But I DO shoot stuff well, in spite of myself.
The day started off kind of rough, because almost the moment we got there, our host Dave slipped on an icy patch of ground, and hit his head. After a hospital check, he returned to the range with a slight concussion, but we didn’t get to spend much time with him which was a shame, because he and his wife were PRECIOUS.
Anyway, the instructors were all terrific. They really stress the importance of safety, and provide one on one instruction to anyone who needs help. They teach you how to shoot accurately, how to correctly adjust your sights, and how to read your target so that you know why your shots went where they did. And you learn to shoot prone, sitting, and standing – and how to transition properly in and out of those positions.
And even though that’s super cool, what’s even cooler is that mixed in with all of the instruction is story telling about the American Revolution. It’s like history class, only taught by cool dudes who let you shoot at stuff DURING CLASS. The only thing missing from today was toasted marshmallows.
Even though it’s a two-day event, and we were only able to participate today, I would recommend the program to ANYONE who has an interest in learning proper rifle handling and likes a little history thrown in. They do these all over the country, and in fact have had over 20,000 people attend an Appleseed in the past three years!
The bummer about today (aside from Dave getting hurt) is that my stupid bum wrist started acting up and the strap on my rifle started to prevent me from being quite as awesome towards the end of the day at shooting my targets as I was at the very beginning of the day, when I was pain-free. And that’s kind of the opposite of what’s supposed to happen – seeing as how you spend the day learning how to be a good marksman. Still – I know Mr. Mock got a lot of out of it, and you could definitely see how much better he got after implementing the techniques he learned.
It was really fun, you guys. If you’re looking for a really cool family event, you should totally do it!