Plan Scout Level Shooting Programs

2022 Year-Round

“Our Shooting Sport Committee is currently reviewing and restructuring the Year-Round scheduling process with goals of providing units flexible options plus pre-staffed event days on the range. At this time, we are temporarily unable to accept Fall 2022 program reservations for unit shooting activities. “

Be sure to gain parental consent BEFORE going to any range. Not only a BSA camp range but for ALL firearm programs. You need this document: “SHOOTING SPORT: INFORMED CONSENT” for a range operated under the ONSC operating procedures. A National BSA form is available if the range has other ownership.

Activity Budget

The latest Rate Chart published for Shooting Sports. About our cost structure, we are a recovery operation and pass near actual expense through to our units shooting. Both bulk-national buying and youth-supporting manufacturer’s access buys, allow us to keep cost below retail rates.

Planner’s Guide to Shooting Sports

1        Shooting Range Programs (Overall)

1.1      Where do we start? I want to plan a weekend with a shooting program for our unit.

First off, get the facility reservation form into the office with the Registrar of Events. (#1) The basic details of dates, camping plans and program request on the one form.  No pre-payment of facility fee needed. (You can follow this link to Black Pug: Camp Cherokee reservation site)

The Rangemaster Coordinator will take your program preferences and start building a volunteer team of shooting instructors for your event.  Early date establishment is favorable to setup a Rangemaster Team that will match the schedule.  Saturday is the most common shooting day with either a morning session or afternoon session.

Additionally, circulate the shooting sports “Consent” document for parental signature and bring those signed documents to camp for each participant. (#2) This is a GO or NO-GO parameter to being on any range for Shooting Sports programs in BSA.

1.2     Are there age limits or age minimum for shooting at CSR?

Participating Scouts BSA must meet the registration requirements for Scout, Venture or Sea Scout programs. Typically, a Scout is 11 years of age when attending a year-round program.  Resident Camp programs may limit capacity utilizing age as a factor.  See the rifle and shotgun sections for our considerations of age needed to obtain a positive range experience. 

1.3      We have 2 scouts attending that crossed over two weeks ago and are 10 years old.  Are they allowed to participate with the broader group?

Are they registered as Scout?  Then yes.  Our regulations read that firearm programs are available to Scouts. We have to rely on the unit leadership to validate appropriate registration status of each Scout shooter.

Cherokee Firearm Range programs are not appropriate for Cub/Webelos registrants.  The Cub/Webelos program is only available when scheduled as a District or Council event [1]. “Shooting for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts are not to be done at the pack level or den level.”

[1] National Shooting Sports Manual; Chp9,pg73

1.4      What would be the estimated cost for a range event, etc?

We can provide several programs based on time or consumable supplies.  A few examples are included in each programs section.  Our core focus is on Safety and a Positive Firearm experience for the young shooters attending a range event. Review a few typical programs

1.5     We have not paid for the campsite or planned rounds of ammunition/scout yet. Do I pay when I check in on Friday night?

The Rangemaster weekend lead will submit a post-range report after all shooters and ammunition consumed has been tallied.  The report will be routed to the Service Center Office where the Unit can arrange payment for all facility usage the week after an event at camp.

1.6      Please advise as to the time you’d like to start the rifle/shotgun shoot.

Your assigned Rangemaster Lead for the event will contact you in the weeks prior to an event.  Typical half-day shooting events start at 9AM or 1PM on a Saturday while you are at camp. 

1.7      Can we shoot BB and Archery at Cherokee?

BB or Archery is only offered at CSR during a Council/District sponsored Cub-Webelos event.  Several Council events are planned each year, but since this request is from a Troop, they cannot participate in that Cub focused event.  This is not a program units can request during year-round shooting sports.  Equipment and range configuration at Cherokee Scout Reservation is geared to Scout appropriate firearm or archery programs.

1.8      What do we bring to camp/range before the shoot?

You will want to circulate the consent document ( “SHOOTING SPORT: INFORMED CONSENT” ) to the parents and BRING this to the range for our Rangemasters.  Parents may access the Shooting Sport Consent document from the ONSC website. (Get IT Here)

1.9     Can we bring unit or personal firearms and ammunition?

NO firearms or ammunition should be brought to camp.  All supplies for the range will be provided from camp resources.  One exemption is personal ear and hearing protection equipment, if a participant already owns this gear.  There is no need to buy this gear for participation.

Our camp range SOP dictates use of council ammo in the range firearms.  The office makes the annual purchase through a National BSA bulk buying program and we pass that savings through to the scout programs at cost.

1.10      Would there be room for adult leaders to shoot if they desire?

We do our best to accommodate the Unit Leadership alongside their Scouts. It is a reality that many father and son/daughter combos attend our programs.  That being said, we ask that the adults acknowledge this a Scout led program of Scouting experiences in controlled environments, therefore the Scouts have priority.  Please understand our Rangemasters will provide the safest possible program with a positive firearm experience focused on our Scout client, with range access by the adult leadership as time allows.  

1.11      Can our Adults help on the range?

Yes, there are basic contributions Rangemasters can assign to the willing leaders.  Core Safety and Range Operational positions are exempt, so please consult with the Range Safety Officer in charge of the range that day if you would like to provide assistant. 

We do like to see at least ONE unit adult on the range with your group.  You know your Scouts much better that our Rangemasters.  Every range operational guideline requires at least TWO trained firearm instructors with a focus on safety operations.  While this meets the Two-Deep leadership requirement, our focus is geared to on-range activity with limited oversight of Scouts in a staging or waiting area of the range.

1.12      We have a Scouter in our unit that has trained with and used firearms in a professional capacity for many years. (IE: LEO, MIL)  Can they take our unit to camp and use the range?

Over 10 years ago the National Office of the Boy Scout of America changed the rules for becoming a merit badge (MB) counselor for shooting sports merit badges.  Since that change anyone wanting to become a counselor for Rifle or Shotgun shooting MB must be an NRA Instructor for the respective shooting sport.  There are no exceptions to the rule.  In fact, even if a unit just wants to take a group of Scouts on a fun rifle* shoot, one must:   1. Utilize an approved range.  2. Have one NRA Certified Rifle Instructor and one NRA Certified Range Safety Officer per every 8 shooters.

(* – Supervision to Shooter ratios are determined by the program. This example only applies to rifle events.)


2        Rifle Range Programs

2.1      Age Considerations for Rifle Programs

Rifle target shooting a very versatile and accommodating to the young Scout.  We utilize the benchrest position where the rifle weight is supported be a shooting bench and adjustable fill bags.  A young Scout is not required to hold weight for long duration and only needs to aim and squeeze the trigger.  Reasonable finger pressure and dexterity is required to load the box magazine. 

2.2      Can we have a merit badge weekend with shooting sports?

Rangemasters are certified firearm instructors and also co-registered as merit badge counselors.  We are limited in the delivery time frame for completing the requirements of any shooting badge. 

The training curriculum is 10 hours in length. This is a long day for Scouts and highly compacts the range time available for qualification shooting.  One alternative plan includes classroom; course work delivery before the scheduled camping weekend.  This method will maximize the time available at camp for range qualification.

2.3      Do you typically see 20, 40 or 60 rounds for each scout?

Ammunition is typically budgeted in blocks of 20 rounds, but any amount can be requested by the unit planner.  A common program will include 40 to 60 rounds per Scout.  The number at attending shooters and time allocations effect the active shooting session and may limit the round count. 

2.4      What rifle cartridge (Gauge) do we use at camp?

Scouts use camp rifles in the 22 Long Rifle (22LR) chamber configuration manufactured by Ruger Firearms.  The model is Ruger’s American Rimfire Bolt-Action produced in the Mayodan, North Carolina facility.

The current range rifles are a direct donation to the camp armory from Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.  The specific rifle model can be reviewed online:  https://ruger.com/products/americanRimfire/overview.html

2.5      Sample Budget: Rifle

2.5.1       Typical Level 2 Rifle Program Cost (Fun Experience Shoot)

Per shooter base fee $6: gun use, Eye-Ear protection, targets, sanitation etc.

Per ammunition consumable: this range is $1 per 20 rounds. 

A typical session is 60 rounds, up to 80.

Calculated budget can be what you want and time allowed. 

For this case:  6 + 4 (80 rounds) = $10 per shooter.

(limited hours of “range-only” time)

2.5.2       Merit Badge Rifle Program Cost

Per shooter base fee $7: gun use, Eye-Ear protection, targets, sanitation etc.

Per ammunition consumable: this range is $1 per 20 rounds. 

A typical session is 100 rounds.

Calculated budget can be what you want and time allowed. 

For this case:  6 + 4 (80 rounds) = $10 per shooter. (FULL Day Commitment with 4-6 hours classroom)


3 Shotgun Range Programs

3.1      Age Considerations for Shotgun Programs

question: We have a few small scouts that want to shoot shotgun, what do you think?

Small is a relative term.  I observed the “small” boys in troops take down most of the clays in fun shoots.  It’s a factor of being able to hold the shotgun over the course of fire, if you select a large quantity of shells.

Overall, even in a weekend Fun Shoot, the younger scout may struggle to hold the weight and length of the shotgun from a standing position.  Unlike a rifle setup, there is no range assistance device to help hold the firearm.  We like to provide safe and positive exhilaration experiences to all our Scouts.  Let’s not stage these young shooters to struggle with the weight, missed targets and a negative flavor of shooting sports. 

3.2      Can we have a merit badge weekend with shooting sports?

Rangemasters are certified firearm instructors and also co-registered as merit badge counselors.  We are limited in the delivery time frame for completing the requirements of any shooting badge. 

The training curriculum is 10 hours in length. This is a long day for Scouts and highly compacts the range time available for qualification shooting.  One alternative plan includes classroom; course work delivery before the scheduled camping weekend.  This method will maximize the time available at camp for range qualification.

At minimum they shoot 50+ shells to meet the MB requirements.  That assumes one starts hitting clays right away on the range.  3 boxes of ammo (75 shells) will be a long day if they can’t hold up a gun. I hope you see the logic in the physical requirements.

Shotgun Requirement 2k: Shooting score required-Hit at least 12 out of 25 targets (48 percent) in two 25 target groups. The two groups need not be shot in consecutive order. Shooters must shoot a minimum of 50 shots[1].

3.3      Is it a 20 gauge shotgun we use at camp?   

Yes, the Scouts will use 20 gauge shotguns manufactured by Remington Arms.  The model is known as the 1187 semi-automatic.  We only load and shoot ONE shot shell at a time.  We utilize lighter target loads for Scout applications to minimize the felt recoil of the gun.

3.4      Do you typically see 25 or 50 rounds for each scout?

Ammunition is typically budgeted in blocks of 25 rounds including clay targets, but any amount can be requested by the unit planner.  A common program will include 25 to 50 rounds per Scout. Greater than 50 is a “heavy” schedule of firing line time for a young shooter, especially a first-time experience.  The number at attending shooters and time allocations effect the active shooting session and may limit the round count. 

3.5      What type of targets will the Scout see for shotgun shooting?

We operate Level 2; Fun Shoots on the CSR camp 5-Stand range.  This range provides three controlled shooting decks for staging an Instructor and two shooters per deck.  Each deck can control a “straight-away” target clay thrower for the Scout in the shooter rotation.

[1] Shotgun Merit Badge Booklet

3.6      Sample Budget: Shotgun

3.6.1       Typical Level 2 Shotgun Program Cost (Fun Experience Shoot)

Per shooter base fee $6: gun use, Eye-Ear protection, targets, sanitation etc.

Per ammunition consumable: this range is $10 per 25 rounds with clays. 

A typical session is 25 to 50 rounds. Mid-size group and a half-day session

Calculated budget can be what you want and time allowed.  

For this case:  6 + 20 (50 rounds) = $26 per shooter.

(limited hours of range only time)

3.6.2       Merit Badge Shotgun Program Cost

Per shooter base fee $36: gun use, Eye-Ear protection, targets, sanitation etc.

Initial fee includes the first 75 rounds and clay targets. Minimum 50 required shooting.

Additional ammunition consumable: this range is $10 per 25 rounds/clays. 

(FULL Day Commitment with 4-6 hours classroom plus range)


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