Raise a Warrior Princess – Mini Sure Shots
Where in the world can you find a shooting course specifically for girls ages 5-12 where they train all day like adults on pistols, rifles and shotguns?
Here. That’s where. This is 2017.
There weren’t quite so many in 2013.
When I first asked that question four years ago, the answer was…nowhere I knew of. That’s why I developed the Sure Shots Youth Training Day for Girls. In late 2012 I’d noticed that many of the ladies of Sure Shots (the women’s gun club I founded back in 2010) were starting to bring their little girls to practice, and it was awesome. These girls actually wanted to shoot; they’d seen their moms’ interest and their curiosity was piqued.
Here’s one thing I learned about teaching girls to shoot: young girls are excellent students. They’re methodical. They listen. They’re sponges who absorb information and want to do things right.
The prerequisites for shooting with Sure Shots were simple:
• Each girl has to truly want to learn to shoot (as opposed to a parent pushing her into it).
• Each girl has to know—and truly understand—the four rules of gun safety, and adhere to them at all times.
• Each girl had to demonstrate safe gun handling and an ability to focus.
That’s it. We set no age minimum, because each kiddo is different. As long as they met the other requirements, whatever age they are is fine with us.
Training company BSG Security Services stepped up to the plate from the very beginning and offered the training course to the girls. I wrote the course outline, which is adjusted each year and tailored to the skill levels of the participants. We thought it was important for this course to be offered at no cost to the students (they just covered a small range fee the first few years until the host range, Best of the West, generously waived the range fee). We did this because we didn’t want any of the girls to miss out on excellent training and a unique experience because it was cost-prohibitive.
The first year, 2013, was during one of our “Sure Shots Media Blitzes”—ABC News’ Nightline had previously done a story on Sure Shots, and they wanted to do a follow-up story on our youth training course, so they came out to film. The day went off without a hitch, the girls were very impressive, and the story that ran was just as positive as the one they’d done before.
We knew we were on to a great thing.
The next years were equally impressive; amazing groups of girls, tons of fun, and excellent shooting.
When it came to this year’s Sure Shots Youth Training Day, there were so many girls wanting to participate we had to have a standby list. The final count for the day was twelve girls between the ages of five and twelve—and four of those girls were the five-year-olds!
Because Sure Shots has a rapidly growing number of young competitive shooters (most of whom are sponsored!), we split the group into three sections:
• Brand-Newbies, aka the five-year-olds, who all showed up in wackadoo outfits and bonded immediately, forming a little girl-gang
• Intermediate Shooters, girls who’d attended our course before and needed a little bit of a challenge and some fine-tuning, and
• Competitive Shooters, coached by our 15-year-old Sure Shot and competitive shooter Kyleigh Hayworth, who has attended our course every year since she was 11!
This year, a handful of great companies got together to make sure the girls’ experience was really over the top. Federal provided all the .22 ammo, Silynx Communications provided lunch, Triumph Systems provided Pop Packs (fun exploding paint targets) and Froglube, and Tandemkross, Silynx and 5.11 sent some great swag. With all that, in addition to the course certificates they earned, the girls got to take home some great products.
Of all the years of Sure Shots and all the things we’ve done as a labor of love (we are is a free club), including the courses we’ve given and taken, ladies’ hunting trips, rifle builds and charity events, my favorite part of all is our Mini Sure Shots Training Day, and I don’t think that will ever change.
Niki Jones is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sure Shots Magazine.
You can find the original Austin Sure Shots on Facebook at /AustinSureShots/.
*All photos and videos courtesy of Sure Shots Magazine
Brought to you today by SureFire (/SureFire/). A member of JTF Awesome.
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