Author Topic: Better Attendance  (Read 1902 times)

Offline SamD

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Better Attendance
« on: November 30, 2010, 10:41:02 AM »
The Southern New Mexico market is saturated with shoots right now.
We are pretty much on a "regular schedule".   We have range space pretty much whenever we want it.  We also have plenty of instructor staff, SB's and IIT's and Red Hats  ^:)^

The SNM problem is getting more shooters on the line than we have instructors. 

Folks here don't feel threatened enough to come out and play.  About 50% of the population here do not consider our "heritage" to be their heritage, which does not help. 

Anyone got any New Mexico specific suggestions?
Sam


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Offline Devnull

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 01:45:11 PM »
This is something I keep mulling over.

The lack of feeling threatened isn't just a problem with the southern part of New Mexico. Even up here in the middle part of the state people think there isn't a problem. It's a major issue to overcome.

The question becomes what motivates people to come to a shoot? Historically we have seen trends in individuals who already know there is a problem attending. I would say most of our shooters are in that category and these are the individuals who already get it.

I think our first step is to convince people we're going to teach them something they don't know. Quoting the fact that we have trained some of the military will help capture the "Mall Ninja" crowd.

Next for Joe AverageNewMexican I think telling him/her we will teach their kids how to shoot works well in getting people to the line. I notice a lot more of these shooters following gun shows up here in Albuquerque.

I've used your "Pepsi Challenge" quote on occasion telling the "Hey, I know how to shoot already" folks that if they come and shoot an AQT and score 210+ before an Appleseed I'll give them $100 bucks. Unfortunately none have taken the offer as of yet... Pride is a major issue here in New Mexico as well as their perception of themselves...

As you know I've asked many times for suggestions here on this board about how we can get more shooters but no one ever seems to have any fresh ideas... It's definitely time to think outside of the box!

I like the idea of getting plugged in with the state's hunters ed program. (BTW OL, I haven't heard back from that lady who's contact information you sent to me.)

Maybe we need to offer a couple of free passes to be raffled by other organizations like the Elk foundation or maybe the tea party. (If they have a rally or banquet or something.) That way we're building up interest in the program?

I would like to see some gun shops hand out a flier with each rifle that they sell. I've been trying to talk one local shop here in Rio Rancho into doing that.

We REALLY need to get the scouts on board. Maybe we should also look at contacting church youth groups, Royal Rangers and other community oriented programs?

Another avenue we need to look at is getting some time on local radio shows to discuss what we're about. Perhaps invite some local TV news people to a shoot? After all who could turn down a free easy story?

These are some of the things I've been mulling over and I sure hope we get some other fresh ideas on here!
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Offline MeanStreaker

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 01:52:42 PM »
Are there any state-based firearm groups in New Mexico?  Preferably with a forum?  That is how many states were able to get off the ground.

Also, most state rifle/pistol associations, gun clubs, etc have newsletters where they basically beg for article submissions. 

Those are a couple things that may help out.  Good luck!
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Offline TaosGlock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 04:06:39 PM »
Are there any state-based firearm groups in New Mexico?  Preferably with a forum?  That is how many states were able to get off the ground.

Also, most state rifle/pistol associations, gun clubs, etc have newsletters where they basically beg for article submissions. 

Those are a couple things that may help out.  Good luck!
BF and I have spoke at and have attended both of our local Las Cruces clubs, Picacho Gun Club (Cora Lee Carrier) and Gun Culture Club (Bev Courtney) and even the Tea Party (Jon Davidson is their Pres). His son shot but he did not. ???

A typical talk involves what we are, what we do in regards to marksmanship and some history and usually is about 30 min max.

But still, we only snag a couple shooters from any of these groups but that is all. Form our last gun show, we actually produced a greater number of shooters, but still dismally low.

And this is with 2 major gun shops who really support our cause. They are Command Bunker (owned by Harry and Donna Stryker) They have shot with us (each scored Rifleman) here in LC and at NRAWC.  Custom Cartridge (Rey Gonsales) is the other gun shop. I have known those guys for a long time. They have those nice tri-folds, each with a Swat and a Dillon and an event flyer (in those plastic display cases) in them so they can take it home and mull it over and check out the web site.

At least in this area we have a lot of pistol/CCW people that think that is all they need to do. The majority of these clubs are people over 55 and just want to talk about their former days as a good shooter. These gun groups attract older folks for some reason with virtually no kids (posterity).

We are both NRA, JPFO and GOA members and even attend the local Friends of NRA where we pass out our stuff, but it still don't get them out.
We even donated one of those nice coupons for a "Free Clinic". BTW, we always hold a free raffle for a "free clinic" at the clubs we speak at just figuring if we get one old fart to come shoot he will get all his kids/grandkids to come to the next one.  Even that does not work. At each shoot we anxiously await someone to turn in one of the free coupons we gave away to track it's effectiveness. But nada. :-[

We have tried every angle from a personal level and a technical level

Yeah I know our little state has only 2 mil. people or so but we should do better.

Like the OP said, it is just plain hard to get folks to come and shoot. :-[
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Offline oladcock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 04:43:41 PM »
It's frustrating as hell. As an example, the Roswell Dec 4&5 shoot, we've passed out over 300 flyers, RTI at the gun shops, local scouts, political groups, 4-H, etc....PSA's on 4 radio stations and local paper, and sent out 200+ Emails to shooting groups, home schoolers, churches, and political organizations. New venues seems to draw good numbers initially, the low hanging fruit shows up, then after that drops off considerably. The rest of the fruit are slow to ripen and any knowledge that there will be others seems to lead to procrastination. "We'll shoot the next one".

The Roswell shoot this weekend, I don't think the pre-registration have been updated, or I've had folks tell me they signed up and didn't. I've got a couple more follow-up calls to do this evening. Beats the hell out of me what to do different other than suck it up and press on....O.L.
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Offline ashrn03

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 10:51:40 AM »
Well, it's nice to know I'm not the only one having the same problems with attendance and that the methods I've used to get the message out (passing out flyers, talks to groups, gunshow display, etc) haven't turned up any significant number of participants either.  I thought it was me (and I'm still not sure it isn't).  However, at the Davilla RBC two weeks ago Scout reported pretty much the same results.  And they even had two highway billboards put up as an experiment: results - nada.  The best methods still seem to be word-of-mouth, Fred's Shotgun News column, and chatter on specialized (shooting and self-reliance) internet forums.   

Right now I'm working on two Club-member Hunter's Safety instructors to help me promote the program.  On their own initiative, these guys put on an extra 1/2 day of optional instruction including a 'walk in the woods' at our local Gun Club where they show students how to use a compass, cross a fence, get in and out of a boat, detect game (they put out 3D archery targets), and to make sure of their targets before they shoot: a camo-clad instructor will stand up some distance behind the 3D deer just as the student is about to take their 'shot' - very effective object lesson.  Anyway I'm trying to get something set up for a follow-on Appleseed.  The main problem so far is that they do these Hunter Safety programs in the spring and fall just ahead of hunting seasons and as they finish, the seasons open and everyone disappears.  I'll let you know how this works out.       

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Offline oladcock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 11:48:21 AM »
Ashrn03, Yep, I've been an HE instructor for 20+ years and you'd think they'd be a match made in heaven. Here in Roswell we hold 6-8 HE classes per year with 15-30 students each and I try on the last day to take 10 mins with them to tell them what AS is and dovetail it in that HE taught them to be safe and AS will teach them how to shoot. It gets lots of excitement and lots of "we'll be there"'s.......Then nothing......When you follow up you get the standard excuses. They attend the HE classes cause they have to. Bowhunter ed gets very little participation for the same reason, after doing it for a week with their buddy they are experts, and it's not mandantory......O.L.
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AZOpie

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 04:24:53 PM »
I have begun stopping in at the recruiting offices and talking with them about Appleseed. Today I stopped at both a Marine and a National Guard recuiting office. The Sgt in the recruiting office was a shooter on the state team and knew the Sgt that helped us out with the CAP shoot back in June. Both of the Army recruiters want to attend the next shoot that doesn't conflict with drill. They also plan to bring their kids with them. Hey, if they have a good time and like the training, you know they will tell their recruits. Now there's a great target group to get to the events (and a constant source of attendees)!

Offline oladcock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 08:20:47 PM »
"recruiting offices and talking with them about Appleseed"

Yep, done all that too...Zero response....O.L.
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Offline Aromatic

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2010, 08:58:15 PM »
I agree with ashrn03, it is word of mouth and forums.

I think Scouts work with the survival podcast and the Backwoods Home articles are prime recruiting methods.  AS is attractive to "survival and preparedness" groups because we teach a useful skill at a great price.

I would suggest joining some "survival and preparedness" forums.  Many have threads about local met-ups to share knowledge and network.  The firearm related sections of these forums could often times benefit from some AS information.

Offline starfox

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2010, 09:11:36 PM »
In the DFW area, we've had alot of good luck partnering with other organizations.  Most notably the DIVA organization (check if they have a chapter in NM) and the Civil Air Patrol.  Both have been great for not only securing us a DAR here, but also in filling our lines.  The DIVA women are great, and generally from what I've seen very motivated shooters.


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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 09:49:19 PM »
Hi guys! I wanted to chime in on the better attendance issue. For what its worth, I can tell you I am a second year Gunsmith student at Trinidad, CO the largest Gunsmith school in the U.S. Last night after class I got to talking to the instructor about ballistics etc and he mentioned the long waiting lists to buy barrels. Many of the better barrel manufacturers have a waiting lists up to 22 weeks!

So, people are still buying rifles and the custom/semi custom rifle trade is going strong. Where all those folks go to shoot/learn how to shoot I don't know. However, as long as rifle sales continue at or close to record numbers, we should see a corresponding increase in A.S. students some where....

I can tell you that last April at Fountain, CO I was Shoot Boss for the first time. I saw 12 year old kids and 70 something year old grandmas' lying in the rain and sand in 40 degree weather ALL DAY Saturday because they wanted to learn how to shoot. The spirit of the population is waking up. And it is good to see. It may be unequally distributed around the country, but it is still here! Don't give up on your area. It may just take some more time...... see ya on the trail....

Offline oladcock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2010, 10:47:42 PM »
"The spirit of the population is waking up. And it is good to see. It may be unequally distributed around the country, but it is still here! Don't give up on your area."

Oh no, not giving up, fruit has to ripen eventually! :)

Good suggestions Starfox, I'll look into it...O.L.
"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato 400BC

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Offline oladcock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2010, 11:16:39 PM »
Hey guys, here is a link to DAR Chapters in NM...O.L.

http://www.dar.org/natsociety/chapters.cfm?State=NM
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Offline TaosGlock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2010, 12:38:21 PM »
Thanks for posting that DAR list OL!
Looks like a receptive audience and perhaps we could get some shooters out of them.
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Offline SamD

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2010, 03:17:26 PM »
SAR too
http://www.nmssar.org/
LC appears to be their busiest operation in NM.
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Offline WindRider

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2010, 08:11:41 PM »
Quote
Are there any state-based firearm groups in New Mexico?  Preferably with a forum?  That is how many states were able to get off the ground.

The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association is here:  http://www.nmssa.org/

Maybe Fred's idea of seeding AQT's around ranges would help.  Maybe you think you can shoot, but what does your target say?

I thought of entering club-level competitions (we're Zia members, but they are 1.5 hours away so we rarely get there).  The Centerfire prone matches have an NRA Service Rifle category with 300, 500, and 600 yard stages.  Some of our M1 Garand hot-shots might generate some curiosity among the competitors.  Zia also hosts standard High Power Rifle competitions.  And then there is Rimfire Benchrest.

We're members of a gun club that is trying to locate a site for a range.  I've had a few nibbles from other members when I talk about AS, but so far only one has made it to a shoot.

Offline SamD

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2010, 09:03:09 PM »
I've been in touch with the NMSSA a couple of times but the response wasn't even lukewarm.
The competitive folks even less interested. 

They either "Don't need to learn any of that stuff" or refuse to believe we aren't a militia organization.
For the most part they have little desire to teach which takes them away from their competition and
requires that they prove their bona fides at the trigger before learning how to do so. 
I have been told that the HP contingent at Del Norte were some of the most voiciferous objectors to our using their range.   

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Offline colycat

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2010, 09:49:12 PM »
Its kinda crazy, what it takes to get someone to attend.  I am a member of a very small rural Catholic Church.  Everyone knows everyone.  They all have spoken to me about AS.  They know when I am on the trail, because I am not there.  It took 2 yrs for one of them to bring his family. 

Two years!

He called me the other day, (its been way over a month since he and some of his kids attended) to give me some leads on some opportunity's for AS.  This guy is still on fire about AS!

So, do not give up.  There is a reason why Mc Donnalds still does advertising.  Promotions are a very tough nut to crack.  But I think 2011 is going to be the year of AS promotions.

You all, keep up the good work, it will pay off, if not now, then later.
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value."   T Paine

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Offline TaosGlock

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2011, 01:32:39 PM »
SAR too
http://www.nmssar.org/
LC appears to be their busiest operation in NM.
We met Walt Baker last night at our local gun club meeting. He happened to be there. A no nonsense guy in his 70's and I could tell he was a DOM. ^-^
Our local group meets once a month for a couple hours. I did a 25 minute presentation of RWVA flags for our group.
He is the their NMSSAR State Society President and also a National Trustee of the SAR. He is still listed as VP on their site though.
He is a former Navy vet too. He had relatives fighting on both sides in the RW.

Anyway I asked him how many members they had and if they liked to shoot. He said it is mostly older folks who do little shooting. He said most clubs like these are older folks and young folks don't join clubs these days. We gave him some brochures and event flyers and said to get his members friends, kids and grandkids to an Appleseed. I told him our organization is different than other "shooting schools" because we talk about the events of April 19th, 1775 during the course of 2 days. This, in addition to having very high standards of marksmanship based around the traditional AQT. And of course our instructor standards are very high.

After our talk, and after he had read our literature, he came over and thanked us for keeping our heritage alive.
So who knows where this will go. We are ready as always.

Next week we talk to the local boy scout chapter whose leader was the past president of the LC Tea Party. They want an event geared towards their merit badges. Might be a mini-seeed or a full on two day event (my preference) where parents can join (and should) their kids on the firing line.

Also present was a local DJ I had not heard and he wants to do something on air to promote us.

This West side of the mountain is hard to get folks moving.
 
So we will keep you all informed of all these details.
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"Make no mistake, when you cheer for the people of the American Revolution, you are cheering for traitors and criminals.
They broke the law, because liberty is always illegal"- Larken Rose

Offline duc-dog

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Re: Better Attendance
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2011, 06:32:18 PM »
       Before the last Alamo shoot my wife went around town and put up flyers with info for the shoot with a tear off tag with the website on the bottom.  She hit mostly non-traditional sites; grocery stores, library, book stores, fast food outlets, anyplace there is a public bulletin board. But........ I did not poll the shooters to see where they heard of AS so I can't say how effective it was.  Plan to do the same thing for the April shoot and I will poll the students.  We had a lot of boy scouts that their parents talked to TG and BF at a gun show so that is not a dead end.  This will always be a grass roots word of mouth program.  We are going to hit a tipping point soon, just look back at how far we have come in the last two years!!!!  Keep the faith, we are in this for the long haul.
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