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Appleseed: From Coast to Coast

March 29, 2012 3 comments

 

Earlier this month I was asked to write about my experience traveling (literally) from coast to coast teaching at Project Appleseed events in one year. Though this is mostly about my time back east, I also taught at several events in Washington and Idaho. Thanks go to Gwen for proofreading this!

                                                                                      
 
Appleseed: From Coast to Coast
By Western Rose (age: 19)
Volunteer RWVA Instructor and Administrator
 
 

During the summer of 2011, I was given an adventure like none other—traveling from one side of the United States to the other, teaching fundamental rifle marksmanship and the role it has played in our heritage as a nation.

This story really begins in 2006 when I was 13 and my dad asked me if I wanted to go to a Project Appleseed event. I said yes, and since then, I have gone to 50 of the thousands of Project Appleseed events, either as a junior shooter or (more often) as a junior instructor. I have never looked back.

It was in early 2011 that my cross-country adventure really kicked off. I was invited by the Richardsons, an Appleseed family, to come spend seven weeks with them in the summer. Julia James, a woman who has become one of my adopted “Appleseed Mom,” was going to take us Junior Instructors all over the eastern side of the country.

During my time back east, we planned to teach at six Project Appleseed events in the midwest and northeast. We taught in Ohio, Maryland, New York, Michigan, and Indiana, and visited West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Kentucky. I had the honor and privilege of working with and/or meeting 90 other Project Appleseed instructors.

Most of what I observed during the Appleseed weekends back east is the same as what you find out west. The events were pretty much the same: instructors working as a team; people learning marksmanship, patience, determination, focus, persistence, attention to detail, and, most importantly, safety; families enjoying the weekend and learning about their heritage together.

At the same time, several things were quite different, maybe not for others, but definitely for me. I was in a totally different part of the US than I had ever been before. I was with people I didn’t know well. Basically, I was completely out of my comfort zone. I tend to be quiet. I like to watch, listen, and learn more than talk. For me to step out of that shell has always been profoundly difficult. Public speaking is a challenge, and it was even more of a challenge back east—mostly because I was surrounded by a bunch of folks I’d just met who were wondering “how it’s done out west,” and I was the one who had to tell them. But don’t get me wrong. Everyone  made me feel super welcome and I enjoyed working with them very much. I learned that even though I wasn’t in my comfort zone, I could still have a really fun time. I discovered that I don’t have to know folks for a long time before I can call them my friends. I came to feel at home and accepted.

Some of my favorite memories from my coast-to-coast Appleseed experience are of meeting the instructors whom I had only worked with online; of watching hard-earned hats go to my good friends; listening to the story of our heritage told by someone new; of visiting with a child who needed to take a hydration break; of seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter from attendees and instructors alike throughout the weekend; of watching an 18-year-old amputee instructor teaching her friend, also an amputee, how to shoot; of shooting a cricket and being told that I finally found a rifle “your size!”; of the stories shared during the long hours of travel; of a professional photographer handing me his camera and telling me to use it.

Then there were the historical sites. We toured Boston, Lexington, Concord, and Acton. There are no words to describe how I felt or what went through my head as I viewed the history that was all around me. But I can say that had I never been to an Appleseed and taught my heritage to others first, these monuments, graves, and battlefields would have held little meaning for me.

The entire trip was a fantastic experience. I am thankful for all that both instructors and attendees have taught me, for the ways they have encouraged and inspired me, and how much they have helped me grow as a junior instructor and a person. The trail has been hard, but full of fun and joy. I cannot wait to see where it takes me next! I have the incredible opportunity to pass on what I have learned from them to others, and there is nothing else like it in the world.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

March 25, 2012 3 comments

All from the Old North Church in Boston, MA.

Faith and Belief

March 23, 2012 3 comments

 

One good analogy of the difference between the “belief” and “faith” that someone recently told me was this:
Pretend you are on top of a four story building. Across the street below, is another four story building. Between the two stretches a rope. You need to get to the other side. On your side, there is a person with a wheelbarrow. If this person walked across the rope pushing the wheelbarrow and then came back, you would believe that he could do it. But, to have faith in something is to be willing to get into the wheelbarrow and let him push you across without having seen him do it. Belief was after you were shown. Faith is before you were shown.

 

Random Happenings

March 23, 2012 2 comments

In the past couple of weeks, things have been pretty crazy around here.

For the weekend of March 10-11, we had 19 folks (including my family) in our home. This was a time for Project Appleseed Instructors to get together and talk history. It was a blast and we all learned a lot!

Almost everyone all together.

The Indiana Instructor who has been adopted into the Northwest Region.

Yup, we’ll keep him. 🙂

After the weekend it was time to play catch up, especially on school. Thankfully nothing got turned in late and I am finally caught up. I even had a bit of time to write a few things and go out to take some pictures!

Happy First Day of Spring!!!

 

And Happy Second Day of Spring!

‘Tater’s way too cute for her own good and she knows it. She’s super smart and loves to please.

 Yesterday was a charcoal drawing sort of day…

And lastly, here’s a photography quote for you:

“Photography is so violent:
First you shoot people,
Then you take them into a dark room and blow them up,
And finally you take them out in Public and hang them…”

Thank you, RoundsandRoses!

March 22, 2012 1 comment

I would like to take a moment to thank Cathi from RoundsandRoses as she has encouraged me as a new blogger, fellow shooter, and Junior Instructor for Project Appleseed. Cathi took time out of her busy life to do an interview with me which she posted here.

Cathi has been to a couple of Project Appleseed events now. After one of them, she posted this awesome story of Prudence Cummings Wright. You should definitely check it out!

Press Release

March 22, 2012 4 comments

I have been rather busy lately. Catching up and then keeping up with homework has consumed most of my time. Along with my homework, I was asked to write a Project Appleseed Press Release. I’m not much of a writer, but I am learning. This is the Press Release in it’s entirety.

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Project Appleseed Wakes Up America!
 
March 20, 2012, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – Families and individuals who want to learn traditional rifle marksmanship skills and the role it played in our Country’s founding in an enjoyable, safe setting will want to register for an upcoming Project Appleseed event, available for the duration of the year throughout Idaho. Project Appleseed is dedicated to bringing Americans closer to their heritage and passing on the tradition of safe rifle marksmanship.
 
Project Appleseed events offer family-friendly, safe, enjoyable, low-cost, hands-on activities that require no special rifles or equipment. Youth learn safe firearm handling and the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship, while adults improve and refine their marksmanship skills. The whole family can participate in, learn and enjoy target shooting and discover the important people and events that occurred on the first day of the Revolutionary War. The event ends in what seems to be only minutes but the memories made last for years.
 
Participants will learn the Four Safety Rules, the Six Steps of Firing the Shot, Steady Hold Factors, how to obtain “Natural Point of Aim”, and other proven marksmanship techniques. Attendees also learn about the historical events of April 19, 1775, including Paul Revere’s ride and his capture by British Redcoats, which side fired the first shots at Lexington Green, the tragic events that occurred at Concord’s North Bridge, the obscure location where the War for Independence actually began, along with the courage of men such as Dr. Samuel Prescott, John Parker, and Isaac Davis who acted not knowing what the future would actually hold for them, and many of the reasons why we modern Americans owe these men an immense debt.
 
Project Appleseed welcomes attendance by all individuals regardless of experience level, political affiliation, gender, or religion. Instructors have received specific training through an Adaptive Appleseed program to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Project Appleseed events are already underway for 2012 and offered within driving distance of every Idahoan.
 
The next Project Appleseed event in the Coeur d’Alene / Spokane area will be held at Fernan Rod and Gun Club on 11600 East Fernan Lake Road, Kootenai County, Idaho and is scheduled for April 14-15, 2012.
 
Pre-Registration fees are very affordable: FREE for Active Duty Military, Guard, and Reserve; FREE for peace officers, elected officials and individuals with disabilities; $5.00 for youth (under 21); $10.00 for women; and $70.00 for all others.
Participants supply their own rifles and ammunition.
 
About Project Appleseed:
Project Appleseed is the nationwide activity of the Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA), a 501(c)3 all volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit organization.
 
For more information:
Email: ID@appleseedinfo.org
National Website: http://appleseedusa.org.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NorthwestRegionProjectAppleseed
 

The CdA Press printed it, as I’ve heard, on the first page of the outdoor section. This version was posted online: http://www.cdapress.com/news/outdoors/article_ba9c7bcd-a21a-5795-bf82-44b3f6c218d6.html

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

March 19, 2012 Leave a comment

A brother willing to have his sister cut his hair for him… and it wasn’t a buzz…