America’s (Future) Finest
October 13th, 2008
If you want to know where America’s future leaders and warriors are being trained, look to organizations like the Boy Scouts.
This year Front Sight opened the doors to a special group of Scouts for a Four Day Defensive Handgun Course.
Here is their story…
Dear Dr. Ignatius Piazza and Front Sight Staff –
I wish to share a special story with the Front Sight family.
On February 22-25th, Crew 568, sponsored by the Pajaro Valley Rod & Gun Club, was honored to be the first Boy Scout of America unit to take a course at Front Sight. Thirty-three Crew members and charter organizational guests, including 12 youth, participated and truly had the time of their lives. The Crew (short for Venture Scout Crew) chose to take the Four Day Defensive Hand Gun Course.
For those who may not know, Venturing is a BSA coed program for youth ages 14 through 20 who have completed eighth grade. It is short for High Adventure and is a program where the youth hold the key leadership positions and choose for themselves their own activities and focus; registered adult Crew members ages 21 and older act as advisers, facilitators, and chaperons.
The event was incredible! Not only did the Front Sight staff clearly take the Crew to new levels of enjoyment and proficiency with firearms, they also made the participants many times safer! I was joking beforehand with the main Crew Adviser, Joe, that we will be forced to rethink how the Crew operates after this event. This indeed proved true. With special thanks going to our Organizational Representative, John, the Crew is now shooting IPSC! This is an amazing accomplishment compared to the Bulls Eye Pistol Shooting we were limited to beforehand. The Crew, being led by Life Scout and Crew President, Andrew (17), is now seeking approval to use Front Sight’s Range Rules and Commands on our Crew’s home range.
Crew 568 is among the best of the best Scouting can produce; can you tell I am proud? Most members are or will soon be Eagle Scouts. Per BSA Standards, all have taken the NRA Handgun course. Crew 568 secured a BSA Nationally Approved Tour Permit with full verbal disclosure being given to the BSA National decision makers; special thanks to our local Council Scout Executives for their assistance! During this Super Activity, Crew leadership ensured that BSA standards were followed. In this particular case, the youth were strongly encouraged to take the course with their parents or guardians. Please read the Post Script below if you are interested in taking a Venturing unit to Front Sight.
The Crew members all have their own stories to tell. One outstanding member, Eagle Scout Nick (17), is about to begin training to become a Navy Submariner. Many at Front Sight recognized Nick for this outstanding career choice. Another Eagle Scout, Brian (18), will soon begin his training to join the FBI; Front Sight made such an impact that his parents gave Brian a Front Sight Life Time membership for his 18th birthday! Another Eagle Scout, Cody (20), currently has a position with the Monterey Juvenile System. After sharing his experiences in Scouting and at Front Sight including the membership he secured for himself, he was offered a job to train other officers! Cody gave a second membership to his brother, Tyler (16). This special gift was given at Tyler’s National Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor held on April 20th; Tyler earned his Eagle Scout rank in December, 2007.
At this ceremony, in front of Tyler’s friends and family, his Troop and Crew members, as well as a rather impressive representative group of Scouting and Civic leaders, Tyler shared that the Crew’s event at Front Sight was the highlight of his Scouting experience!
Another Crew member, Life Scout Alex (16), triumphed by passing the skills exam at the Distinguished Graduate level; he is lightning fast, safe and accurate, even with malfunctions! This easily places Alex in the upper half of the top one percent of the gun owning population. Besides currently seeking to compete in state and regional firearm competitions, Alex is seeking enrollment with the Air Force Academy to become a fighter pilot!
It was not all easy. The Crew had to do special fundraisers throughout the year to earn the funds to go to Front Sight, even with a Front Sight 40 Person Course certificate being privately donated that paid for all the tuition. Yes, the Crew’s Front Sight “Super Activity” event was as expensive as any large Crew event would be! Watching the Crew have the time of their lives while becoming safer through the process was priceless!!! And where many of these youth are headed, this high level quality training will serve them well, quite possibly saving lives! By the end of the four day course the Crew became truly competent and safe with firearms. It was an amazing bonding experience for all.
The staff delivered once again the high level of training I have come to love and respect! As one experienced and highly respected Crew adult leader shared with me, the Front Sight instructors are the best! Darren–kudos to you and David and to the rest of the staff at Front Sight for making this a safe and rewarding experience to be cherished for years! Also, we take our hats off to Dr. Piazza for investing his time and resources to take the Crew’s vision of a visit to Front Sight and turn it into reality!
Front Sight’s staff and programs create an atmosphere of respect and trust. The organization also has a family friendly focus that avoids a boot camp mentality. This makes Front Sight a unique experience appropriate for older responsible Scouts interested in developing firearm proficiency and competency.
Front Sight requires those who take a firearm course to be 16 or older. All minors are to be accompanied by a responsible adult 21 years or older. Front Sight should be notified in advance if any minors will be attending the course without a parent or legal guardian present. Front Sight requires an annual background check for all adults eighteen and older including those in the military or law enforcement. And, for one’s first course, a character witness statement and a statement of no criminal or mental illness history is required.
Please note that Front Sight refused the Crew’s request to duplicate Front Sight Defensive Handgun Dry Practice Manual. However, Dr. Piazza graciously donated this important manual to each Crew youth member going to Front Sight; thank you, Dr. Piazza!
Scouting purposefully develops leaders. Experiences like Crew 568’s Super Activity at Front Sight engrain the confidence and the rock solid values you simply do not find in many other organizations!
My hope is that our Crew’s experience will encourage others to start BSA Venturing units. Can anyone beat such a great combination as Scouting and Front Sight? Ask our Crew members!
This “Super Activity” truly is awesome!
The members of BSA Monterey Bay Area Council Crew 568 offer our deep heartfelt gratitude. Thank you!
BSA Crew 568 Associate Advisor
BSA MBAC Executive Board Member
Front Sight Diamond Elite First Family Member
Do you wish to start a BSA Crew? Contact your local BSA Council executives for more information on having your Firearm Club or business charter a BSA Venturing Crew unit. Visit the BSA National website at http://www.scouting.org for more information.
Thank you, Joe.
Front Sight and the Boy Scouts… seems like a great match!
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I post a different article on this blog each Monday so I look forward to your visit every week.
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See you next week.