Author: Tom Davis

How To Introduce Someone To Shotgun Sports In A Positive Way

More often than not, young athletes take a sense of responsibility to enthusiastically introduce their peers to their favorite shooting sport. By sharing the skills, values, and passion instilled by their own coaches, mentors, and teammates, the next generation of shooting ambassadors begin to make their mark on the shooting sports community as a whole.

Guest blog written by SCTP athlete, Amy Cawley. Amy can be found on Her Shooting Journey Youtube channel, Instagram, and Facebook

As ambassadors for our sport, I believe it’s our job to continue to introduce others into the game as much as we can. Many of us remember when we were the ones being taken out for the first time and if that experience was a positive or negative one. My first experience was not the most positive which unfortunately led me away from the game for a few years.

Thankfully, a few years later I decided to try it again, I absolutely fell in love and want to help others bring people into the game the right way. Here are some ways we can make sure that we facilitate a positive first experience:

Shotgun instruction
  1. TALK THEM THROUGH SAFETY. Explain the top 3 rules to firearms safety: ALWAYS keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. This is also the time you should explain how the gun works to them. The more they understand and feel comfortable with the gun and safety, the more comfortable they will be out on the line
  2. FIND A GUN THAT FITS THEM. There are a lot of well-meaning individuals who want to take people out for the first time and automatically put a really light gun in their hands with the thought being that they will be able to handle it better. Anyone who has shot one of those guns knows that they will more often than not kick the snot out of you. I was definitely a “victim” of this when I first started shooting and we want to avoid that. Do some research, bring a variety of guns to the range, check how each of the different guns fits the person and talk them through the experience explaining how things should feel.
  3. SET THEM UP FOR SUCCESS. No one wants to shoot if they keep missing targets. Take the individual over to a target like low 7 on the skeet field for their first few shots. There is not a lot of gun movement, they don’t have to worry about lead and you can get them to break that target relatively easily and quickly. This will build up their confidence and start off their experience on a really positive note. Another option is to take them halfway to the trap house, lock the machine down to throw straight out and get them breaking targets there. Once they feel confident breaking targets there, you can ask if they want to try something more difficult.
  4. INCORPORATE BREAKS. Understand that if this person hasn’t shot before, their body is not used to using the muscles we use, and they feel recoil much more than you or I might. Encourage them to take breaks and ask questions so that they don’t hurt themselves and decide they don’t want to shoot again. Something we did while I was getting certified as an NRA Level 1 Shotgun Coach was shoot a round on our non dominant side. This allowed us all to understand again just how awkward things feel when you have never shot before. I highly recommend doing this or something similar before you take someone new out so that you have a better understanding of what they might be feeling.
  5. COMMUNICATE OPENLY. Understand how they are feeling before they start shooting, while they are shooting and after they finish. Offer constant encouragement and remind them of how awesome they are throughout the entire day.
Shotgun instruction

This is a fantastic sport and we want to make sure every time we take someone new out that it’s a positive experience! For more tips check out my Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts by searching “Her Shooting Journey”.

SCTP and SKB Shotguns Announce Continued Partnership

The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) is thrilled to announce its continued support from SKB Shotguns out of Omaha, Nebraska. SKB, known for its side by side, over/under, and single barrel competitive shotguns, will continue its support of the SCTP as a Gold level Sponsor in 2021. 

SKB realizes the importance of supporting youth programs like the SCTP,” said Rob Johansen, Owner and CEO of SKB Shotguns. “Attracting and retaining youth athletes is crucial to the future of this sport. We are very happy to support a program that understands this and works hard every day to ensure tomorrow’s shooting athletes have an opportunity to participate in this great sport!”

“Rob Johansen, along with the entire SKB team has been a strong supporter of the SCTP, our coaches, and athlete families for years,” said Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Director. “They offer quality competition shotguns at a great price for our youth shooters. Their historic support of our program has grown beyond a sponsor. In fact, we are honored to consider them a valuable partner in our mission of youth development through shooting sports! We appreciate their support throughout the years and trust in making the SCTP the number one youth shooting organization in the world!”

Rob and the SKB team will be at SCTP Regional, State, and National Championship events during the 2021 shooting year. Athletes at the SCTP National Championships will be able to try a suite of SKB offerings in the grandstands area for no charge. 

Bob Allen Company Renews Sponsorship Of SCTP

Continuing their support to youth clay target sports, the Bob Allen Company has renewed their Brass-level Sponsorship of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP).

“Bob Allen recognizes the important role that SCTP plays in the support, development and stewardship of our youth in scholastic shooting sports,” said Director of Brand Development, Jeff Johnson. “We are proud to sponsor SCTP  in their efforts to promote growth and education to young athletes who will become future ambassadors of the shooting sports.”

Known for its shooting gloves, vests, shooting shirts, and more, the Bob Allen Company offers deals and promotions to our SCTP registered teams and families. As part of the Boyt Harness Company, Bob Allen brand products can be found on their website, as well as part of sponsored gear carried in the SCTP/SASP online store. Bob Allen items and other program sponsor products are stocked by the SCTP to provide athletes trusted equipment and apparel from sponsors enthusiastic to support youth shooting sports.

“Sponsors renewing their commitment to supporting and growing youth shooting sports really energizes us as a program,” exclaimed SCTP National Director, Tom Wondrash. “Bob Allen is well known in the industry and has deep roots in the US clay target community, dating back before World War II. Their excellent products are priced at a point that allows affordability to a wider array of young athletes and their families. We are humbled by their renewed support of the youth shooting sports!”

SCTP Team Volunteers, Helps Raise Over $84K For Ronald McDonald House Charities

Our community is capable of incredible things. 453 volunteer hours were donated to the Kids & Clays Charity event in Brainard, NE on October 16-18. There to selflessly support the sporting clays charity event was the Concordia University Nebraska (CUNE) Trap & Skeet Team. With their help, the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha raised $84,600 for the families staying at the House! $11,000 was raised in side games alone, more than any year previously!

Guest blog by Coach Moniot, Concordia Bulldog Shooting Sports:

“As a team, we look forward to volunteering our time to help with the RMHC Kids & Clays each year at Oak Creek Sporting Club in Brainard, NE.  This event always takes place in the midst of our fall season…and we could make the choice to attend a collegiate event…but we don’t.  The reason is that our Shooting Sports program is not just about shooting, but about character development and learning to serve others in tangible ways.  The Kids & Clays event is the main fundraising opportunity for the Omaha/Lincoln RMHC, and to know we get to have a hand in helping fund the NE Ronald McDonald Houses is pretty special.  Is it hard work and a couple of long days…absolutely…but knowing that the funds we help raise will go to help families who are facing a huge life crises helps to put some perspective on life, and the daily choices that can be made if we are willing to think of others and the circumstances they face. Our athletes served as the S/C referees as well as the side game and Concordia University challenge staff.  Our athletes also cleaned up the 15 station course at the end of each day, that is always a big task.

Last year our team had 482 volunteer hours in helping RMHC Kids & Clays raise more than $87,000.00 during their Kids & Clays event at Oak Creek.  This year with all the Covid-19 fear and caution the number of teams that attended were down considerably, but a truly inspiring thing happened! The teams that were able to participate dug deep and gave more of their financial resources to make it a big success.  When the dust settled from all the side games and broken clays the CUNE Shooting Sports team recorded 453 volunteer hours and the RMHC raised over $84,000.00 to help hurting families….truly a win-win in my book.”

2020 Bunker 300 At New International Competition Venue

Emanuel Butdorf, Gold Medal Winner & Junior Runner Up

Over the weekend of October 16-18th, Bunker Trap athletes of all demographics traveled to the Cardinal Shooting Center for the 2020 Bunker 300. This open event became the 2nd competition to utilize the newly built International Skeet and Bunker Trap facilities at the popular competition venue in Marengo, Ohio. Earlier in 2020, teams from the Cardinal Shooting Center, Promatic, and the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) worked to install these facilities for first use by the SCTP National Championships in July.

In an initiative to further increase awareness and participation in the international disciplines of shotgun shooting sports, the SCTP hosted the Bunker 300 with event partner and program Red Diamond Sponsor, Winchester.

The competition kicked off on a Friday, with a 100 target prelim event, with awards for 1-3 in junior and open categories. Through the weekend, competitors shot the 200 match target event, followed by the open final on Sunday to determine awards for HOA, 2nd, and 3rd award honors.

Tristan Schroder took the honor of High Junior at the Bunker 300 and was a winner in the Random Team Race. Tristan is an SCTP athlete and International Team Member.

Winchester, the official ammunition of the SCTP and SCTP International Teams was there in full force, providing AA International Trap ammunition, Winchester SX3 shotguns, and other swag for door prizes and winners.

“I think the first “open” International Trap event held on the new Cardinal Shooting Center bunkers went extremely well,” beamed SCTP International Team Head Coach, Terri DeWitt. “We could not have done it so successfully without the resources of Cardinal Center, SCTP, Winchester Ammunition, Nick Sage with Promatic, and especially all of our volunteers! I look forward to growing the international trap program in Ohio and running more of these open competitions next year.”

In addition to the main event, the Random Team Race gave cash prizes to the first and second place teams based on scores from Day 1 and 2 of the Bunker 300. SCTP International Trap Team Members, Taylor Dale and Tristan Schroeder took the win with a combined score of 321.

Taylor Dale, SCTP athlete and International Team Member. At the Bunker 300, Taylor was awarded 3rd place junior and was a winner in the Random Team Race.

“The SCTP Winchester 300 was a great match, as we grow our International Style shooting presence at Cardinal Center,” said Chet Tuinstra, SCTP Eastern Director of Development. “This relaxed, relatively low key open shoot allowed student athletes from the Scholastic Clay Target Program and others outside youth shooting sports to compete and hone their skills at this fantastic new facility! We look forward to growing this type of competition at Cardinal Center in the future.”



SCTP Fall Fundraising Opportunities

Fall is here and with that brings new fundraising opportunities for all teams in the SCTP and SASP. We are excited to highlight two new resources to help give athletes the continued opportunity of competing and growing in shooting sports!

In 2016 the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation launched a  campaign entitled, “VISION 20/20” with the goal to grow national youth participation in the Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Action Shooting Program to over 20,000 student-athletes annually by the year 2020. With that goal easily being met and surpassed, we are relaunching this fundraising opportunity as Reload For 2021!

Tax-deductible contributions to the Reload For 2021 campaign benefits local shooting teams by providing immediate cash needs for next season and future support via MidwayUSA Foundation team endowment account growth. In partnership with industry partners, civic organizations, member teams, and DONORS the SSSF will provide the opportunity and funding for more students to join existing shooting teams and create new teams where none exist today.

All teams participating in the Reload For 2021 campaign will have the opportunity to win BONUS team endowment funds!

See more Reload For 2021 details here

The National office in conjunction with Florida Indian River Groves have put together the ultimate fundraising opportunity for you and your teams! Who doesn’t want fresh fruit especially when they can help your team raise much needed funds for this upcoming season?!

This opportunity is a no contact, no face to face, no door knocking way to help and support your team by just emailing friends, family and neighbors! 10% of all sales will come back directly to your team in the form of a check after the December 1st deadline for Christmas delivery.

The SCTP and SASP will furnish a list of prizes and places very shortly, so take the time now to register your team at the link below and we will handle the rest! Once your team is registered, it will take approximately 48-72 hours and you will be on your way to forwarding the link and website for supporters to place orders and help your team with funding!

Coaches, once you have registered your team, you will be able to set up your athletes and track their progress and total sales volume related to each athlete (salesperson)…..you can put up individual prizes and contests for your athletes as well!

See more SSSF Fruit Fundraiser details here

Ducks Unlimited Supports Youth Shooting Sports Through Sponsorship Of SCTP

Understanding the parallels between shotgun shooting sports and waterfowl hunting, Ducks Unlimited has signed on as a Bronze-Level Sponsor of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP).

“A large segment of our adult volunteers, families, and even youth athletes enjoy participating in hunting activities,” said SCTP National Director, Tom Wondrash. “Being partial to shotguns, we see a large number of our members enthusiastically throw on the waders for waterfowl season. We are confident that this partnership promotes both youth shooting sports and participation in hunting/conservation. Clay targets were originally designed for hunters to hone their skills in the hunting off-season and we welcome any young hunters involved with Ducks Unlimited to come give our team-based shotgun sports a try.”

“It is a privilege to begin this partnership with the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) for the upcoming season,” said Mark Horobetz, Manager of Youth & Education programs for Ducks Unlimited. “Ducks Unlimited is committed to preserving the natural resources we cherish and use daily for a variety of outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and shooting sports. Our goal is to provide assistance across the country for youth shooters and their coaches using a multi-facet approach.”  

“Ducks Unlimited understands the importance of youth shooting sports to the future of conservation, and the investment parents and teams make to participate,” said Justin Aycock, Region 7 Youth & Education Coordinator for Ducks Unlimited. “As part of our multi-facet approach to youth shooting sports, Ducks Unlimited launched the Team Resource Assistance Program (T.R.A.P.) this fall to provide youth shooing teams with fundraising opportunities.  This program provides teams with DU’s expertise in fundraising, marketing, and buying power to efficiently fundraise for the upcoming season.”

Makayla Scott brings SCTP to West Virginia Youth

Makayla Scott’s incredible achievements on the field include Team CZ-USA Shotgun Ambassador and Guinness World Record Holder…. but her introduction as a Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) athlete came from a simple desire. To go to college.

Makayla had tried every sport imaginable growing up but never found the right fit. Like any parent, Telford Scott found it difficult to watch his adopted daughter not find success. The list of activities that Makayla tried did not provide what she needed to grow as a person and athlete. That list grew long. “Makayla had it rough growing up and unfortunately didn’t get to come into my life until she was nine,” sighed Mr. Scott. “I couldn’t find anything to get her out of her shell.”

It is a common theme in the “ball sports” to see young participants fall victim to favoritism, parent-coach politics, and even neglected athletes viewing most of the season from the cold, uncomfortable bench. This is not something that young shooting sports athletes encounter in the SCTP and SASP, where there is no such thing as being benched.

Makayla’s life was about to take an incredible turn, in an unlikely sport. Her father took her to shoot clays and everything changed.

The young home schooler from West Virginia was introduced to shotgun shooting sports as a simple family outing. Taking to it like a moth to a flame, Makayla’s father knew something special was happening for her. At the age of 12, he helped her sign up for the local 4-H league and she quickly excelled both on and off the field. The more clays she broke, the more self-confidence she gained. The more social interaction with fellow teammates and competitors she experienced, the more outgoing she became.

Makayla and her father, Telford Scott

The young shooting sports athlete discovered the SCTP three years later, after qualifying for the Junior Olympics. Fellow competitors praised the program and described the many opportunities provided, such as college recruitment and being the official feeder program to USA Shooting. “This program was basically everything I wanted for my future,” reflected Makayla. “The closest SCTP team I could find was the North Carolina Clays, which was hours away, but completely worth it.”

Continuing to thrive, Makayla found the attention and support from SCTP sponsors along her journey such as CZ-USA. “The gun I started off with didn’t fit right and was beating me up,” said Makayla. “David Miller from CZ introduced himself and took me out to the range with a demo gun. I shot 25 straight in trap the first time I picked up that gun and it taught me a lot about proper gun fitment!”

Makayla’s growth in the sport and as a person was evident to all of those around her, but especially so by her father. “We tried every sport you could think of but for Makayla, the shotgun changed her life. The change in her and her outlook on life has been incredible to watch. When she started 4-H shooting sports at 12 years old, she couldn’t spell her name at registration and now she is a writer for Women’s Outdoor News! In 2019, she was the Ladies Doubles Skeet Champion at SCTP Nationals, where she also qualified for participating in the Guinness Record attempt of a team of five breaking the most clays in 12 hours,” beamed Mr. Scott. When asked about the record, Makayla said, “I had never been more nervous about anything in my entire life. It was a huge, huge honor. It took twelve hours of shooting and yes, we took breaks every 45 minutes.” Over 14,167 clays were broken in those 12 hours by the team consisting of Makayla, Jessica Strasser, Levi Henrichs, Weston Zolck and David Miller.

Currently only a year into her SCTP journey, Makayla wants to give back to the community. Knowing what they know now, the daughter-father duo have created the first West Virginia SCTP team, the Mountaineer Clay Crushers. Teaming up with supporters like MEC, the Mountaineer Clay Crushers have built the “Field Of Dreams”, a practice skeet and trap field for the new SCTP team in the state. “Everywhere we went, she’s the only kid from West Virginia,” said Mr. Scott. “We are trying to give the kids in West Virginia a chance to try this sport and see what it can do for them. There’s so many more opportunities in the SCTP than other programs. If young shotgun shooting athletes have hopes of going to college and getting scholarships, this is where the need to be.”

“What I love about SCTP is solely focused about the youth,” said Makayla. “The SCTP is focused on kids reaching their dreams and setting them up for a good future. That’s what they did for me and they’re doing that for every other kid like me that have big dreams.  The team aspect is a plus and it’s on a nation-wide level. I want to use my success as my stage to reach others. I want to show kids, and even adults, in my shoes or worse, that you do not have to let your past define you. You can break the chains holding you back and be the best you’ll ever be. Sharing the youth shooting sports is something that is extremely, extremely important because it made a huge impact on my life.”

The Scott family is an example of what incredible things can be accomplished in the world of youth shooting sports. Within their first year in the SCTP, the Scott family built their dream field, started a team, and brought home six individual medals back from Nationals. Not long after being interviewed, Makayla Scott took another step forward by signing as a founding member of Montreat College’s Clay Target Shooting Team.

SCTP Names Newest Members Of International Team

The SCTP ran the coveted National Championships in July at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio with a new twist: the International National Championships were included. Normally an eight-day event, the SCTP National Championships became a ten-day event with the addition and start of the International disciplines of International Skeet and Bunker Trap. Overall, 220 athletes took part in the newest addition of competition to the Cardinal Center.

“This has been a dream and project of mine personally for about 3-4 years,” said Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Director. “We have worked very hard with Cardinal Center staff to come up with a plan, with Promatic and Larry & Brenda Potterfield to assist us with the funding and support and had even raised funds ourselves to help with the purchase of 4 Bunker Fields and equipment! Having a facility that can house all our needs was essential and the savings to families and teams of less travel and time off work will make a huge impact going forward. We can’t thank everyone enough including Winchester, the official ammunition of the SCTP/SCTP International Team for their support and making the dream come true!”

As the Official Ammo of the SCTP, Winchester has gone above and beyond with SCTP-branded packaging on shelves near you soon! We love seeing our sponsors so passionately support our program and spread awareness to the masses!

Since the completion of the newest international range in the country, the Cardinal Center has announced that they will also be adding an additional bunker trap field to be completed by the 2021 SCTP National Championships, bringing the total fields on site to five.

“We couldn’t be prouder to add this opportunity to the Cardinal Centers shooting venue,” said Luke Spengler, Cardinal Centers Trap manager. “We feel that this will greatly strengthen the International Shooting sports as a whole and are very excited to support the SCTP’s mission and dedication to the shooting sports. Creating these opportunities is what this is all about, we commend Tom and his staff & supporters for the hard work they have put into making this happen!”

The 4-day International portion of the National Championships is in the books and 15 new athletes have been named to the 2020/2021 SCTP International Team! These athletes come from 8 states and over half of those athletes coming from Arizona and Wisconsin (4 each).

“These athletes worked hard,” said Terri DeWitt, SCTP International Team Head Coach, and former Olympian. “Many of them had very little to no training due to the pandemic and had to travel a long way just to participate. What an awesome opportunity for these athletes, I look forward to the many years of competitions and camps we will host here, and calling the Cardinal Center “home” of the SCTP International Team is just a bonus! We could not have gotten through the long competition days without the generous support and effort of all of our volunteers. This was truly a team effort and it showed in the tremendous amount of success we had in the execution of this inaugural International Championships!” 

The SCTP would like to congratulate the following athletes for their performance last month and for making the 2020/2021 SCTP International Team!

Pictured: Top 3 Women from the Bunker Trap Finals 

SCTP International Team, Bunker Trap Women:
Aiko Coloso – Florida
Taylor Dale – Wisconsin
Sydney Krieger – Arizona
Loretta Christian – Arizona

Pictured: Top 3 Men from the Bunker Trap Finals

SCTP International Team, Bunker Trap Men:
Logan Samson – Alaska
Tristan Schroeder – Michigan
Matthew Killeen – Arizona

Pictured: Top 3 Women from the International Skeet Finals with SCTP International Team Head Coach, Terri DeWitt

SCTP International Team, Skeet Women:
Erin Lokke – Minnesota
Sarah Schwacher – Wisconsin
Phoebe Smith – Tennessee
Madeline Corbin – Wisconsin

Pictured: Top 3 Men from the International Skeet Finals

SCTP International Team, Skeet Men:
Zachary Maggard – Tennessee
Josh Corbin – Wisconsin
Preston Bailey – Missouri
Jordan Sapp – Arizona

Each year the SCTP crowns a new International Team based on finishes at its International National Championships. Next year, those dates will be July 8-11. Competition year for the team runs from September 1st – August 31st and includes several camps and competitions lead by Head Coach DeWitt. Make sure you and your team are registered with the SCTP to take advantage of this incredible opportunity of a lifetime!

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