This weekend April 17, 2011, I participated in a Project Appleseed Rifle event. My son Michael (17), Annie (16), and me the mom (58). Why we went? It was a chance to study about American heritage and the skills that brought the country to where it is today and to learn about marksmanship. The marksmanship training was mixed with educational teachings about the people, events, and ideas that lead to the start of the American Revolution. What they teach is real rifle marksmanship (the best I’ve seen) and safety (big-time on the safety). Not to get into minute detail, however, we learned how to use the GI sling the right way (it’s not just for carrying the gun with!) and how to shoot properly while standing, kneeling/sitting, and prone. My kids complained they could hardly walk the next day. They had fun telling their friends why they were so stiff. The guys really teach you how to shoot. I was smart enough to start taking ibuprofen before I started my day. http://youtu.be/ts18GYUmsX4 Watch this video
I learned that, and I quote the first paragraph here, “Through Project Appleseed, the Revolutionary War Veterans Association is committed to teaching two things: rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage. We do this for one simple reason, the skill, and knowledge of what our founding fathers left to us is eroding in modern America and without deliberate action, they will be lost to ignorance and apathy.” I highly suggest you go there and read this statement in its entirety along with the report entitled The American Revolution. Who Cares? which is available via a link. The test and report are the work of an outfit independent of the RWVA (that’s the Revolutionary War Veterans Association by the way), the American Revolution Center (ARC), a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization. The results are utterly shocking; no wonder we’re in the shape we are as a nation and a people.
The RWVA Appleseed Project’s motto is (or at least I believe it is) “April 19th, 1775 When Marksmanship Met History and the Heritage Began”. That sounds great, even better if you know the importance of April the 19th 1775, do you? I do, well; at least I do now thanks to these folks.
The real reason I initially attended an event. An event is what they call a shoot or gathering (it is NOT a match as you only compete with yourself). I went because they claimed to be able to greatly improve my rifle marksmanship skills in just two days on the firing line and at a very little cost. First, I am a pretty darned good shot but who can’t use a tune-up, and second, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money at a gun range. So I signed up for a one day shoot. Saturday was a lot more intense and is good for someone who has never shot a rifle. I was only able to attend the second day and I am really glad I did. They are “marksman” they were right on when they said that I would improve my shot. They proved it and it was not only a fantastic history lesson it was a lesson on becoming an excellent rifleman. I cannot recommend these people enough to let me tell you.
http://www.appleseedinfo.org/pdf/Swat_the_Appleseed_Project_Feb_2008.pdf You must attend an Appleseed Project. The whole family will love the history and learning the history that goes with “April 19th, 1775 When Marksmanship Met History and the Heritage Began”.
Welcome to Project Appleseed
What the RWVA (Revolutionary War Veterans Association) is all about:
History and Heritage
Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills. Our volunteer instructors travel across the country teaching those who attend about the difficult choices, the heroic actions, and the sacrifices that the Founders made on behalf of modern Americans, all of whom are their “progeny.”
Our heritage program vividly portrays the Battles of Lexington and Concord with the kind of care and immediacy that is absent from most formal schooling. Modern listeners are confronted with the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19th, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the nation we now enjoy.
Our rifle marksmanship program complements our history and heritage. We teach traditional American marksmanship skills. There are, however, several aspects of our marksmanship program that deserve special mention. We are particularly proud of our younger attendees. Under applicable local laws, young people with sufficient maturity are welcome to the Appleseed line and can, with parental permission, join the cadre. The RWVA recognizes the importance of introducing a wide cross-section of Americans to their marksmanship heritage. To encourage participation, we offer our program of instruction at a greatly reduced price to both women, and responsible persons under 21; Finally, an important aspect of our marksmanship program is called “Adaptive Appleseed.” Project Appleseed is serious about bringing our heritage and marksmanship instruction to everyone so we’ve committed ourselves to adapt Appleseed to the special needs of those who have certain physical challenges.
Why teach marksmanship? Because good shooting requires learning positive traits such as patience, determination, focus, attention to detail, and persistence. Since these skills are likewise key elements of mature participation in civic activities, we urge our students to take what they have learned about themselves as marksmen and apply it to their participation in their communities and in the wider American society under their own choices about how Americans should govern themselves.
Some feel that America’s future is grim, that is, that America has lost something special and it can never be regained. And in their consternation, they mutter about “dark choices” and the like. Appleseed has a message for them. Just over two hundred years ago our ancestors genuinely faced a tough choice. They could submit to those they felt were depriving them of their rights as Englishmen or they could fight. Because they chose as they did, we may never have to face their dilemma because we have a third alternative.
So what must you do with your third choice? Well, you must roll out of the recliner, cut off the computer, turn down the TV, and get involved. That’s it. Talk to family, talk to friends, interact with neighbors, take part in local community decisions, and become active in whatever political party best fits your idea of how America should be governed. Write to your elected representative, attend town halls, correspond with newspaper editors, and wholeheartedly enter the discussion in both online and traditional forums.
Read! Think! Debate! Vote! And finally, we’d really like your help in shaping America’s bright future by participating in this program as a student, as an instructor, or as a volunteer in other support roles. But even if you never pick up a rifle again, know that you are everything that Project Appleseed works for. You are an involved, committed American making responsible use of the liberties gifted to us so long ago. The future is what we make — YOU make — of it.