WOODLAND PARK, NJ --Members of the Hasbrouck Heights Boy Scout Troop 17 and Cub Scout Pack 17 attended the annual Youth Shoot Match hosted by West Hudson Detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League Shooting Team on Sunday, December 16. The event is held once a year to promote safety and the sport.
The function started in 2013 at the Union County Sheriffs Range with five attendees. This year's match was held at the Woodland Park Range and attended by 20 boys and girls ranging in age from 10 to 16. The borough’s Scouts have been attending since the inaugural event. 11 Scouts were represented, others were family members associated with the Marine Corps League.
“I hope the participants learn to respect firearms and do so in a safe and fun atmosphere,” said Scoutmaster Adam Tegge, who is also a former Marine. “There is no reason they should be afraid of a rifle, and understand they are not toys as portrayed in a video game.”
The participants were placed into three groups: freshmen (ages 10 to 12), juniors (ages 13 to 14) and seniors (ages 15 to 16.)
All attendees are required to complete a safety briefing before entering the range, which includes the purpose of the event, range layout, gun safety rules, and firing line commands. The attendees shoot a course of fire consisting of 10 rounds at 10 yards (practice), 10 at 15 yards (scored) and 10 at 25 yards (scored.) Each attendee also had one-on-one coaching while shooting. The coach reviewed range safety and basic marksmanship with each participant. While the other attendees are shooting, the remaining participants spend classroom time reviewing the parts of a rifle, ammo and shooting basics.
Each coach is either a certified NRA Range Safety Officer or member of the Marine Corps League Shooting Team, both with years of experience in the sport, explained Tegge.
Each participant received a Certificate of Participation from the Marine Corps League and the top three shooters in each group received a medal. Seven Scouts earned medals on the day:
1st place Dean Asplund
3rd place Lucas Hahn
1st place Jack Gaige
2nd place Brian Gaffney
3rd place Brian Godfrey
1st place Aiden Desics
3rd place Ray Pizzo
"It was a fun experience even though it was a competition," said Dean Asplund, a Cub Scout Webolos II. "The Marines taught us about the parts of a gun as well as gun safety. I was proud to win first place in my age group."
Sponsors of the event included the Jersey City Police Civic which paid for the awards and Woodland Park Range which donated three hours of prime range time on a Sunday morning.
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