We shoot quite often and it’s always fun to share shooting with others. I became a shooting instructor because I wanted to properly teach safety, respect and to see the glow on a new shooters face. This summer we had a very special guest and his family come for a visit. He has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and we were happy to be a part of granting a wish for him. They came from San Diego so he could go white water rafting for the first time. When we had some down-time we decided to share something else he and his brother and sisters had never done.
Their mother is always in awe at my obsession with shooting and the outdoors. I wanted to share a tiny bit of it with her and the family. Due to the amount of time, our special guest’s physical challenges and the number of shooters; we decided the crossbow would be the way to go. We pulled out the TenPoint Crossbow for our special guest and his siblings to shoot. At first sight the kids said, “Wow! Cool!”
Hank taught the kids about safety, how to cock it and then how to shoot. A couple of the kids were nervous about shooting, while others jockeyed to be first. The Little Gal thought it was neat that they were anxious for their turns.
After very little discussion, our special guest got to be first at the bench. Hank and the Little Gal helped him sight in as he raised and lowered his chair to get lined up. The trigger pull was a little hard for him, so the Little Gal worked as his finger. He put his finger on top of hers. The two talked and when he was ready, they inserted their trigger fingers into the trigger guard. She felt, and as he applied pressure, so did she. Together they fired his first crossbow bolt. His face lit up as the bolt zinged toward the target and hit with a “THWAPP!”
The youngest boy was begging to shoot and now he and eldest girl are “addicted.” They hope to look for a range or shooting class when they return to San Diego. They want to learn more about shooting. They wondered how the Little Gal knew so much about it and were intrigued when she told them about the summer camp she had gone to at the Whittington Center. She learned a lot about shooting there, and now she was learning about teaching.
With a giant smile on her face, Little Gal said, “It was great to see their excitement about shooting.” She also thought it was fun to see how our special guest didn’t mind her help. She got to see first-hand what team work is about.
Me? I am extremely happy that the Little Gal got to experience helping new shooters. Sometimes we take things like this for granted. We shoot so often, and it is such a part of our lives that we may forget what a privilege it is. It is great that the Little Gal will be passing shooting, safety and respect on to others and get to see the glow on their faces as they pull the trigger for the first time.
Read more of Mia and The Little Gal’s adventures at My Many Outdoor Adventures