Headline: Camp Perry is loaded with shooters of all ages
The Willoughby News-Herald has published an excellent story updating readers on the ongoing 101st running of the National Matches, which are being held at Camp Perry, a sprawling 640-acre Ohio National Guard base along Lake Erie in Ottawa County.
From the story:
Fifteen-year-old Claudia Duksa hopes to earn a college scholarship by being right on target. The Bristol, Conn., teenager was a participant in the National Rifle and Pistol Matches, three-position small-arms competition. The contest is one of many segments that make up the National Matches, which began July 7 and conclude Aug. 13.
...Among the repeat shooters is Duksa who is competing in her fourth National Match. "I really enjoy the experience; competing with the top shooters," she said.
Smallbore rifle shooting is actually an NCAA-sanctioned activity with youths competing to earn a berth at a college. "I want to go to college shooting and I'm hoping to get a scholarship," Duksa said.
Shooters at Camp Perry compete for a variety of reasons. Some want to refine and test their shooting skills while a few talented marksmen can collect from a total purse of $200,000.
Those who do compete do so with military-style high-power rifles, air guns, pistols and wildly eccentric-looking .22-caliber rimfire rifles.
The National Matches are co-produced by the NRA and the Civilian Marksmanship Program. More than 6,000 shooters will participate before the final shot is fired.
Again, from the story:
"The National Matches are the world series of competitive shooting as far as the conventional shooting community is concerned," said John C. Sigler, President of the NRA.
The event is important for non-competitive NRA members and shooters, too, added Sigler who counts himself as a competitive high-power shooter and plans to participating in various Nation Match events.
"The National Matches are important because they display the importance of the competitive shooting discipline in the way that builds citizenship, especially in young shooters," Sigler said.
"It teaches self-reliance and self discipline in an adult activity and provides a foundation for the rest of their lives because it provides an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of adulthood."
And also because they're just downright fun, says NRA spokesman Daniel Feldbusch.
"Shooters like the fellowship, and you see people who take a week of vacation just to come here and shoot. It's a like a camping trip," Feldbusch said.
"This is something that cannot be duplicated anywhere else."
...The Camp Perry complex and the National Matches have a number of offerings that assist visitors in having an enjoyable time.
The base has a well-maintained public swimming beach open to anyone while a string of vendors supplying product to the shooters line Commercial Row.
The CMP runs a store where visitors can look over racks of surplus Garand and M1 carbine rifles and .22-caliber rifles for sale to qualifying and eligible potential buyers.
...The NRA is maintaining a daily, on-going blog devoted to the National Matches. This blog is available at NRAblog.com and includes features and human interest stories along with other material related to the National Matches.
Ohio is home to America's "World Series of Shooting Sports"