Since the beginning of this Millennium Shooting Sports enthusiasts in the Northeast Illinois Council of the Boy Scouts of America[especially the staff at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation (MSR)] have been striving for the need of ayear-roundshooting sports program. The idea of incorporating the necessary shooting sports facilities upgradesat all NEIC properties has started to become a reality.Recently a long term strategywas developed to improve the Shooting Sports facilities and their educational program offerings to meet both Scouts and Scouters requests of the last decade. The full vision includes promoting the Shooting Sports Program through facility re-development and basic programmatic safety improvements.To summarize the overall vision MSR is to be the ultimate range facility to accommodate all aspects of the BSA Shooting Sports ProgramANDto accommodateall ages and talent levels for the entire council. The definition of 'all aspects' means having the opportunities of the usual Rifle Shooting Shotgun Trap Shooting and Target Archery - but to incorporate newer programs like Field Archery (or Action Archery) Skeet Shooting Pistols Sporting Clays and even a winter Shooting Sports program involving the Biathlon.The NEIC properties closer to home Camp Sol R. Crown and Camp Oakarro to start are to be upgraded with better facilities to house more training opportunities before heading up to MSR. Otheropportunities the shooting sports committeehave looking into are partnerships with nearby shooting sports facilities and municipal police stations to host scout troops so they can be better prepared before coming up to MSR.Below arethe proposed plan details for each camp:Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation (MSR)To be able to facilitate all aspects and all ages for shooting sports the MSR rangeshas beenin need of majorupgrading since 2000. TheShooting Sports Program's ability at to serve Scouts at MSR has became limited as the facility's maximum capacity was met. Scouts waiting to participate in merit badge programs were stopped due to facility limitations including safety shelter and security as shown through multi-year data sources. With this limited overall program space the MSR staff continues a tradition of continuously helping the Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation achieve a AAA program rating.Camp OakarroKeeping the Cub Scouting program in mind we would like to expand the BBs and Archery programs at Camp Oakarro. Plans have been developed to build multi-use shelters to house these programs so the Cub Scouts can learn the basics of firing a BB gun or Archery Bow - and not have to travel all the way up to MSR. Putting holes in paper and cansis the cool thing to do!Camp Sol R. CrownAlthough Camp Crown does not currently have any existing shooting sports facilities what it does have is a lot of sand! With this sand fill we are able to mold a more appropriate shooting facility to house Rifle BBs along with Target Archery to start. Shotgun Shooting may be a little difficult here due to the proximity to our neighbors. With Rifle and Archery programs added scouts are able to either come to the range during non-summer camp periods to complete all training necessary or even finish the shooting requirement after coming back from summer camp.The NEIC SS Committee has also expanded their efforts to have a formal partnership with the Bristol Shooting Range near the Wisconsin / Illinois border. We hope to expand the opportunities for the scouts to complete merit badge shooting requirements and master these lifelong skills of firearm safety and use.
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