Author Topic: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends  (Read 53203 times)

Offline Mogget

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2009, 03:02:04 PM »
Hi All,

I first found Appleseed last November through a link from Instapundit, I think, and I have followed this thread with interest.  And since I got my patch this weekend, I thought that now I might add to it, as well.

I have been around guns all my life.  My father's rifles and shotguns stood in a corner of the pantry or hung on a rack in the basement, and his pistol was on the top shelf, next to the iron in the laundry room.  And the one piece of Army regalia that he kept in plain view was his marksmanship badge -- he'd shot at the expert level way back in the late 50s as a draftee.   Anyway, I swept around his rifles and shotguns or dusted them from the time I was old enough to help around the house.  (To those of you who have fallen off your chairs in dismay, this was twenty or thirty years ago, the laws were much different, and more importantly children were clear on the distinction between themselves and adults.)  And when I was twelve my father taught me to shoot using a .22 and sent me off to the local hunter safety course.  

I didn't much care for hunting, though, so the next time I did more than plink was in my first years at West Point as a cadet.  I fired everything from M-14s and M-16s through mortars, artillery, armor, and selected air defense systems under the supervision that most potent weapon of all, the American non-commissioned officer (NCO).  Although most of that experience was simply familiarization, the rifle training was most thorough and conducted by some of the NCOs of the 82nd Airborne Division.  Consummate professionals in every regard, as many of you know!

But with time and experience comes rank, and with rank a shift from rifles to pistols.  Thus, the last time I seriously fired a rifle before this Spring must have been in the 1990s.  Time does fly!  To bring this story back 'round to where it began, I ended up on this site last Fall, registered for the Patriot's Day shoot in late November or early December, and began to take stock of my lack of recent practice and equipment.  I had a 10/22 from my youth, so I ordered the suggested accessories and identified myself in the MN forum.  To my surprise and pleasure, VMT our state coordinator and resident Red Hat, offered an informal range session in March.  Based on ninety minutes of his excellent coaching I was able to practice effectively and to clear the red coats without a sling several times before I attended an Appleseed.

And so now here I sit.  It's stuffy in my office and I've got work to do but my mind keeps returning to Saturday and that first set of AQTs that we fired.  (See, you can focus your eyes on one thing while your mind does something else!)  I mentioned it when Thor presented my patch, though I doubt anyone remembers it, so I'll say it again:  I am grateful for my father who taught me to shoot, grateful for those NCOs who refined my skills into something remotely useful, and finally grateful to VMT who took the time to give me that last assist.  Marksmanship is just one of those skills that enriches one's life.

Now...how to get myself to that RBC at Ramseur in May...hmmmm...hmmmm.

Mogs    

Offline azwildcat2001

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2009, 02:53:23 PM »
Hi all,

My journey with Appleseed begins with my husband. The first time that I shot a firearm at all, he had invited me to a New Years Day shoot in the desert with some of his friends. This was days before we got engaged and all I was thinking was, "If we're going to have guns in the house I'd better not be so afraid of them that they intimidate me." I had so much fun at the shoot that I began to shoot pistol a bit. Fastforward about four years, my husband became aware of the appleseed program from Shotgun News. I expressed interest in wanting to go to an appleseed, so we bought an LTR for me and last Memorial Day we both went to Appleseed for the first time. It was a disaster! Not because appleseed isn't wonderful, but I didn't have a sling, I was shooting the wrong brand of ammo for my rifle, and I'm a lanky 5'9", my standard Ruger is too small for my long arms. However, I was hooked and determined. Last summer, we decided to go to bootcamp. I thought to myself that I was sure that I was going to be the only girl. And I was, the only girl student. ;) Dragonwood was our shootboss. Everyone, especially Dragonwood was so encouraging and patient. JB even bought me a recoil pad to extend my rifle for me. I started with scores at about 100 and ended at 180 ish. I've been IITing ever since. I love it. Matt (my husband) and I wish we could do it more often. We just got done IITing last weekend, and I took my instructor test. If I passed it all that stands between me and a Red Hat is my rifleman's patch, and I'm so close I can taste it. Last weekend was also my husband's first weekend as a red hat. I've been so impressed with all the wonderful people that I've met and all the friends that I've made. I'm looking forward to many more years as a part of this organization. It's something that my husband and I enjoy doing together and will continue to do so.

Jennifer Maynard
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Offline KittyGlocker

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2009, 04:14:28 PM »

Offline BlueFeather

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2009, 05:29:35 PM »
I've put this off long enough, so I'd better chime in. Its been an interesting path, perhaps it will be enlightening to some who are wondering what this is all about...

I grew up, a British subject, as Fred likes to remind me. We moved to the US in 1967 and I grew up in beautiful anti-gun Hawaii, with academic parents.  I moved to the mainland about 25 years ago, once I realized I couldn't making a living windsurfing and designing swimsuits, yes it was a blast, but times change...  The man I married was a mountain man from Colorado, he grew up with guns, hunted all his life, we could not have been more different, except we were from the same era and had the same social and political views, which have changed synchronously over time.  Early on, he bought me my own 357 "because he loved me and wanted me to be able to protect myself!" 

We were lucky to live where there is a lot of public land, and TaosGlock (my hubbie) made his own walk-about range to shoot at distance.  He still pretty much had to drag me out there to shoot, but it was a pleasant hike! Fast forward to a few years ago, when we heard about Appleseed from Fred's ad:  we were in Wyoming at about the same time as a really cheap shoot, but we couldn't make it.  The seed was planted.

Last fall, we found an AS in Raton, and that smart hubbie that he is, just mentioned it a few times and let me decide.  I thought it would be a nice distraction.  TG read up, got prepped, did everything right, and we showed up with 10/22s with all those friendly after-market parts and some ARs as well. 

TG made rifleman the first day. No surprise to those who knew him, though he insists it was humbling.  I was not prepared.  I went through the short but stressful period of "honey, help, how do I...?"  until I got the hang of the gun, which of course I was only vaguely familiar with. 

Sunday we moved on to our ARs, which was better, but still a struggle for me.  My elbows were burned from rubbing on our nylon carpets which we brought as shooting mats (I still have scars today!)  My fingers wouldn't work by the end of the day.  But I got an incredible amount of individual attention, mostly from ashrn03 and lots of support from both PHenry and atticus, who have to be some of the best story tellers out there.  PHenry complimented me on sticking it out.  That was nice, but it made me wonder why many women just wimped out.  PHenry did not realize he had just issued me a challenge!

That made me determined.  I went to the range about three times a week for three weeks until I was consistently shooting rifleman scores with the 20-inch Bull Barrel AR that I stole from my husband (its ok, he built another.) Then we went to El Paso.  It was a long hot weekend in October and we weren't getting to those AQTs. I had to shoot!  My squares were great, but I was getting nervous!  Finally we got to AQTs on sunday.  The first I almost blew, just squeaking in 211. I did better after that, and got my patch with a clean score with no questions... somewhere in the 220s. 

There was something there... I still could not put my finger on it, so I volunteered us.  Very uncharacteristic.

Since then, we have been immersed in a torrent of Appleseed training:  we've done something AS every month since September. We had a boot camp at our house in November, had a 5 hour inquisition from Fred that turned out to be our Red Hat test, though I didn't know it. Now I am a shoot boss!

I've SB'd twice before, but under the watchful eyes of SamD with greater experience. TG and I ran our own event back at beautiful Raton this past weekend, so it had our personality, which was strange to me.  I truly felt honored to work with all our students and IITs and they all thanked us and gave us a round of applause!  We made 3 riflemen, about 6 others close behind and 7 who want to volunteer!  Somewhere between that nationwide volley and talking about Jonathan Harrington, my eyes teared up, as they always do, and as I looked around, there were many other teary eyes;  I had these guys.  More new best friends.  More people to carry on the 7th step.

There are a few drawbacks... I find less time for my liberal acquaintances, though they are curious about what we are doing;  I have less time in general, and somehow a little less money. I get stress headaches... so I must vigilantly work to prevent them.  Oh, and of course, we don't get to shoot much any more, though we still have the standing rule that we MUST shoot rifleman every time... now its actually a contest to see who gets a perfect score...

Being a Shoot Boss is as much about dealing with management issues as anything, and that I did not expect... so not only must I do my best for our students, but I must juggle IIT personalities as well... and let me tell you, not every good shooter is a good teacher! Its a wonderful opportunity to be in service.

I have found the community I was looking for most of my adult life.  That is NOT an overstatement!  I don't know how it happened, but it is a gift that I now cherish regardless of where the path leads.  And Fred knew it all. He saw this coming in us anyway.  Its brilliant. 

So, take a look at my picture:  its out in the desert with a Swedish Mauser, c. 1909, 100 years old!  I was shooting a steel target about 3x5 MOA at 500 yards and nailing it. I also got my first blood ever, a Javelina at about 70 yards with a 30-30, 1959, the year I was born, off-hand.  Not only could I not have done those things a year ago, I would not have even thought to attempt them!

My Dad died on April 19th, 2008.  His passing freed us up to live our own lives again as we had focussed most of our attention and time on his needs.  There is some great irony in there that I have yet to understand, but Appleseed came along at a very opportune time.

Quite a change for a former subject! And somehow I think this is only just the beginning.

/Gillian




« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 05:44:15 PM by BlueFeather »
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Offline ItsMichelleNotMichael

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2009, 09:14:22 PM »
It was POURING when I drove to the April 18-19 Appleseed Shoot in College Station/Navasota TX. I followed the directions and ended up at a fork in the road. On the right was more gravel road. On the left was a brick entrance with an iron gate that was propped open. I sat in front of the gate for a few minutes, afraid to proceed any further because of the big "Trespassers will be shot" sign. But I took my chances, held my breath and drove on through. I was glad to see that I wasn't the only female in attendance (there were 4 of us).

The rain continued to pour most of Saturday. So hard that we could barely hear our instructors. But I like a challenge. By 2pm or so, it had stopped. The central Texas humidity and gnats fired up. Sunday was a breezy and sunny day. No bugs. Very little humidity. A perfect day.

The teachers -- Scout, Top, and Matt -- were really good. I can't think of a thing they could've done better, except for one little thing: when it finally stopped raining and we were able to head out to the firing range, it was getting dangerously close to the 3pm nationwide shoot so things were rushed. And since I was a total newbie, I knew nothing about how to shoot so I was in a panic. But I made the 3:00pm shot and I learned soooooo much the next day.

MiChal in East Texas

Offline Western Rose

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2009, 11:18:48 PM »
Hey all,
 
Update: Here is an interview of my story

   I come from a family that shoots a lot. I hardly remember a time when I didn't know how to shoot. My Dad wisely decided that all of us kids could learn how to shoot as soon as we could recite (from memory) his four safety rules. 
   In 2006, Dad announced that there was going to be an Appleseed Shoot near by that he wanted to attend, and take along one of my older brothers and me. I had absolutely no idea what an Appleseed Shoot was but we were game. I was nervous at first, especially when I saw that no other girls had shown up, a possibility that I had never thought of. On Sunday I was relieve to see another woman show up. We all shot alright on Saturday, and better on Sunday. We also got the chance to shoot at the "gong". 8) Some people say that the gong is 375 yards away others say even farther. The instructors, Fred, Believer, and two others were awesome.
   In 2007, Dad, Matt, and I went to our second Appleseed Shoot. This time there were less people, fewer instructors, and more girls/women. On Sunday Dad preached a sermon and we also tried to "sing", although I don't think that worked too well. My .22 tube-feed rifle gave out, so I shot the "extra" that we had brought. Near the end of the day most of the shooters went down to the lower range with Guy. Seven of us stayed up top with Fred. Dad, Matt and I were now shooting the same ammo and it became obvious that we were going to run out, so I stopped shooting and let the guys shoot. Something you should never do if Fred is around... :) I don't remember what all he had me do, but one of them was calling the line. That was one of the strangest things I have ever done. I mean, there I was, the only girl on the line, trying to yell loud enough to be heard by the guys who had plugs in and muffs on.
   In 2008, we went to our third shoot. This time we were only able to go for one day. There were even more women this time and we got to meet two instructors, Savage Shooter and (if I remember correctly) Johnny Appleseed, and see one of our first instructors, Believer, again. Once again, the instruction was great.
   Just this month, Dad, Mom and I went to another Appleseed Shoot. This shoot was the fourth that my Dad and I had shot in, and the first Appleseed that my Mom attended. The first day was a little bit slow, which was nice for the new shooters. JF showed me a different way to position my right hand on my rifle. O0 After that, and taking JF's advice that "slow is smooth and smooth is fast", I shot a lot better. Early Sunday morning Dad preached a sermon. We shot the first AQT for the weekend. Those of us with tube-feeds got to learn a new way to do transitions, the best way I've come across since we can't do transitions with the rifle loaded, and a new way to do a "magazine change", which also worked great. We ended up shooting six AQTs, two redcoats, and two 1" square targets. Things finally clicked into place for me. Not that I hadn't understood some of it before, but I was actually able to coordinate what I knew with my actions. For the first AQT the instructors decided to give us more time and just shouted "time" when the time would have been up. I shot a 211 but went over "time" on the second stage, so it didn't count. After that I shoot a 225, 212, 215, 212 and finally a 229. I got The Upsetter, JF, and Silence to sign the target. ;D We got the range cleaned up, and so ended another wonderful weekend.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 11:35:01 AM by Western Rose »
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Offline kentuckyjam

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2009, 10:00:48 PM »
My story:

I first wanted to pick up a gun to protect our livestock from predators.  I went to a women's pistol class at my dad's club and was thrilled that I hit bullseye.  It was hard not to after spending most of the day in class learning the basics - something I love.  A couple of years later, I decided I wanted to learn rifle shooting because a pistol wouldn't do it across the farm and Brad just got his AR-15.  To learn right, I wanted another class that started with the fundamentals and stressed them. 

Dad asked a guy and he turned us on to Appleseed, had been with his daughter.  Brad and I signed up with my dad.  A month or so before, I decided not to go.  As I read more about it, I thought any female would have to be crazy to go.  2 days, all day, standing, sitting, laying, standing, laying?  Could I hack it with the boys? Ughh!  Could I even hold the rifle up?

But Brad really wanted me to go and I knew it would be a missed opportunity with both him and Dad there.  I got packed up and then the day before I wanted to stay home.  I figured Louisville wasn't that far away from the shoot so I could leave and go sight seeing.  I messed up my sling on the first red coats and got 0 shots off.  I was so nervous and dreading the rest of the weekend - I was the worst shooter there.  But things started turning around...I shot a respectable group on my squares - Brad and Dad were amazed.  By lunch, I was having a ball.  Brad admitted he thought I'd quit by then ( as did I), but I was revving up.  Saturday night I couldn't sleep because I was adding up what I had to get to reach Sharpshooter.  Rifleman eluded me due to..well, jams.  But I was okay with it.    My best score of the day was 202.  Phenomenal!  Learning the fundamentals and hitting the target - what a rush!

Brad wanted to go to another one and the knot came back in my stomach - everyone would be expecting me to get Rifleman this go round.  We got new Marlins and signed up for Carrollton.  Brad asked me to practice inbetween, but I was too nervous.  What if I developed a bad habit without the instructors watching over me?  I'd do even worse next time.

(Three weeks later) Going down 55 about a mile out from the range, that knot came back.  Inadequacy and doubt flooded over me.  Walking up, we met Funfaler.  He was just as nice in person as on email.  Seeing Mudcat and Big John started relaxing me.  The other shooters were kind, not intimidating.  After helping setup and getting on the line, the anxiety gave way to excitement!   

Throughout the day I thought, can shooting really be this fun?  And check out this line - 7 to 72 yrs old, kids with dads.  This is what America is about - passing on our heritage to the next generation.

The 1st AQT and ...jam.  Why am I destined to jam?  Almost lunch time on Sunday and I tell Brad I'm not a Rifleman, I'm sorry.  He encouraged me to stick with it.  Then Funfaler called for one more course before lunch and we did it quick.  I had no time to think or psych myself out.  I missed getting one shot off and thought oh, well, I'll rest during lunch and try again.  I started adding my score, my mouth dropped and my eyes got huge.  Brad told me to calm down and let him and an instructor score it - don't get excited.  I paced as they went over it - it just had to be 214.  Then Mudcat turned and smiled.  I squealed, hugged Brad and then hugged my Dad.  Man!  What an incredible feeling!  With everyone's help, I got there.

The next day I took my target and my patch to work.  I know they thought if she can do it, I can do it.  One manager wants to take both her kids, and others that were never interested in guns can't wait to get their gear so they can attend.  I was now ready to practice at home!  But, had to start getting ready for Harlan, the next weekend.  yep, we signed up for our 3rd Appleseed in 4 weeks.  Brad is now an IIT and will be working the line.  I need to better my score.

This has brought Brad and I even closer together as a team.  We never get away from the farm and these shoots are just what we need.  More women need to be encouraged to join their husbands on the line and shown how remarkable the experience can be.

I called my grandmother today to tell her about Appleseed and told her I felt my grandfather would be proud of me (he is passed).  She agreed and said Americans are no longer patriotic, not like during WWII (my grandfather served).  She encouraged us to stick with this Appleseed, it was a good thing.

I now feel more like an American, taking to heart the history.  They gave everything they had and more, not only for their families, but for ours.  They had true character.  Character is not built in an instant when a goal is reached.  It's honed during the struggle, in the middle when you don't know the outcome, but you have hope and you push through for what you believe in. 

Appleseed is a taste of that where kids and adults can learn discipline and a greater sense of being American, while honing perseverance.  Thank you for this program and for awakening me.  I applaud you.

Kyjam
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Offline vic303

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2009, 04:38:01 PM »
Davilla June 6-7 2009 AAR.

I attended my first Appleseed at Davilla this past weekend.  I accepted the offer and suggestion to camp and it was a smart decision despite the heat.  It was just better, being on site so there was no rush in the morning--just the lowing of cattle and the barking of the assorted greyhounds across the road.

I arrived Friday afternoon and got set up.  Scout was kind enough to bring ant killer to spray around the tent to keep the buggers out.  They're everywhere.  He also provided a quick lesson on why you do NOT want to touch Bull Nettle. 

Saturday was up early and we were shooting once we completed the safety briefing and got our gear ready to go.  Redcoat targets were shot first--This was my first time shooting the particular 10/22 I brought and also the first time it had been shot with Tech Sights installed so they were NOT sighted in...oh well, my groups were tolerable, and I was somewhat on paper though left a ways.

Next was squares and instruction on proper techniques.  My groups began to shrink, and I was getting comfortable with the positions.  I personally had done a little bit of position prep beforehand,  but honestly, all three positions are pretty comfy to me despite my age & largesse...

The weather was hot and the sun unrelenting.  I think a lot of folks did not keep as hydrated as they could have, as I don't recall seeing a lot of other folks visiting the Portables that day.  I have learned my hydration lesson years ago on bicycle tours such as RAGBRAI 95, and it is a hard lesson to learn, but one you don't soon forget!  I was practically sloshing with all the liquids I consumed!  The sun got to a lot of folks by afternoon but we persevered and shot the AQT.  We even produced a Rifleman that first day.  Congrats, Scott!  I was knocking on the door--shooting better than I had expected to--but not there yet.  I had a 205.

We finished up and then it was time for showers.  Amazingly, Scout has a set up that allows for shooters to get a decent shower with warm water (solar heating in summer, woodfired in winter), and there was plenty of water for all.  Been a few years since I relished a shower that much!  Next was a movie, offered up by a pair of campers on their laptop .  Imagine if you will, watching Defiance, whilst half-snoozing in a cow pasture, after a long day of shooting.  It was great!  Dinner, like breakfast was done on a Tommycooker (aka Esbit stove).  I was livin' cheap that weekend so I didn't splurge on foodstuffs.

Sunday dawned with the hint of cloud cover and a strong quartering crosswind.  We did some more squares with minor sight adjustments, and then moved on to an AQT.  Still stuck on 205. I had the occasional problem with timing my shots in the 2nd or 3rd stages, and the odd flyer now and then.  Just enough to keep me away from 210 and beyond.  After a lunch break and the 3rd Strike of the Match story we went right back to shooting.  Robert, a visitor & fellow Appleseeder (now IIT I believe) stopped by and encouraged me to reposition my loop sling to a higher position on my upper arm.  It proved to be the impetus to push me over the top and I scored my 217 on that next AQT!  Man, that felt good!   My final Redcoat was great too.  I was pretty pleased, so I kept that target and my 217 AQT target, just to remind myself of the fun I had this weekend, and that I should "Never shoot that badly again!" Hehehe...

I want to thank all our instructors, Metalbot, Aromatic, Big D, and Labrat for all their hard work with all of us this weekend.  Huge thanks to Scout for ALL he does for us--the range, the camping set up, the stories, the lunch treats, everything...!  He truly rates his Hero Member standing on the Appleseed forum.  My thanks to Robert, for his help in breaking through that plateau.  And last but not least, my thanks to all the shooters!  Dave, Scott, Jim, Larry & Andrew, David & Emma, young Thomas & his dad, the trio of ladies, the Moores...and all the rest whose names I do not recall.  You all made this a very memorable weekend!

A quick note on the stories--I didn't relate any of the info on the stories in my AAR as I do not want to spoil it for anyone who has not yet heard them.  It is fascinating history.  I knew some of it from some books I read to my homeschooled 1st grader, but not the more intimate details.  I will say my favorite tale was Dangerous Old Men.

Offline dixiedea

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2009, 12:03:05 PM »
Hi Girls,
I am a total newbie. After going through a horrible divorce, and finding myself unexpectedly single, I am trying to take charge of my life. My ex-husband was an expert shot, but never wanted to teach me. In fact he was such a jerk about it, he crushed any self-confidence I might have mustered regarding ever shooting. I did not grow up with a rifle in my hand. I had only fired a gun about three times in my life before Appleseed. This past weekend was my first. I bought the gun the night before the the event. Brand new gun, never fired before. I had to ask someone there to put the sling on for me. I was not registered on the forum and had it not been for a friend's help would not have half of what I needed. I got really frustrated at first because I could not see through the scope, couldn't get into position, etc. I was emabarrassed and about to get up and leave. Then one of the instructors took me to the side and worked with me one on one for the rest of the day. No pressure, no put downs, he could not have been nicer or more patient. I did not leave, and I am so glad I did not. (I owe you big time Flathead!) I am hooked. I want to learn to shoot. I will be fifty next year. My goal is to get that rifleman patch no matter how many Appleseeds it takes. I am already registered to go again in November. Now, I have to go target practice!

Offline DragonWood

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2009, 11:57:11 PM »
First let me say, Shame on me! :-[ I have not been reading this post like I should have! It is wonderful to read through the stories of other women and their experiences with the AS program.

On my next layover I have got to read thru all 5 pages! Just from the stories that I have read here on page 5 gives me more inspiration than you can imagine!

Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. I encourage all to continue to share their experiences. When I came on with AS there was one other female instructor, RifleWoman, and she was mainly doing admin. Now she is so buried in admin we barely get a chance to see her!! I am now among the ranks of many very good female instructors!

I mainly teach IBC's and RBC's so I don't have much of a chance to get to an AS.

Reading your stories brings back my memory of the first time I ever shot a rifle (at an AS 3 years ago). We were about to shoot the redcoats and I thought my heart was going to beat right out of my chest! I left in tears (mainly of frustration) but I vowed to do better and learn this shooting thing!

Keep up the great work ladies. Keep spreading the word. And yes, encourage other women to join in with their husbands, boyfriends and family and come to a shoot.

I encourage any of you to get involved in the instructor program  as well!!

DW
Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages. (George Washington)

Offline Trisha

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2009, 12:43:22 PM »
Last year on this very same weekend, my in laws, Old Glory and Colycat were at an Appleseed shoot in Ottawa, IL. At this point I have not been to one and my birthday and my husband's birthday is July 5th and we were planning on having a party to celebrate it with our family. Old Glory told me when she got back that she almost cancelled the party because she wanted to stay there for the last day of the AS. I was shocked, and kind of in disbelief that she would want to cancel a birthday party meant for not only me but her son!! Now it is one year later, there is another AS in Ottawa, IL and my birthday is on the same weekend as it again and I don't want to have a birthday party, I want to be there at that Appleseed!!! but I can't. Isn't it amazing what can happen to a person in just one year?! I went from not knowing or even caring about the program and wanting a birthday party, to wishing I could be at a shoot this very same weekend just 1 year later.

Offline MorganGirl

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2009, 02:19:01 AM »
I went to my first Appleseed the weekend of June 27 and 28 in Albuquerque, NM.  I had never heard of Appleseed, but my boyfriend got all excited when they approached us at the gun show a month earlier.  Even more excited when he heard that women shoot for free.
I was excited as well, not really sure what to expect, but, what the hey, any excuse to go shooting, right?  Boy, was I surprised.  I've always considered myself a fairly good shooter  :~, but I learned sooooo much more from Appleseed.  I scoffed when my boyfriend said I would learn to shoot prone and offhand.  "Prone," I said.  "That's uncomfortable, and I don't shoot well offhand."
I got more training in 2 days than I have in the year I've been shooting.  I watched my groups shrink from 2 to 3 inches to 1/2 to 1/4 inches, even shooting offhand, and sitting or kneeling, which I still need work on.  That weekend was the first time I had ever shot kneeling, and while I need a lot more practice shooting that way, my groups got a lot better.  It's very gratifying to watch yourself get better as you get more instruction.
The best advice I got was to practice proper breathing and stop fussing my shot.  My shooting improved dramaticaly once I stopped fussing the shot.  My name is MorganGirl, and I'm a shot fusser, but I'm working on that.
Thanks sooooo much to Sam, Gill, Paul, Chris, Al, and all the others for all the encouragement O0.  They told me not to give up, even when I was so tired I just wanted to lay down on my mat and die.  Thanks to their instruction and encouragement, I shot better in those 2 days than I have the entire time I've been shooting.  I definately plan on going to the next Appleseed in Albuquerque.

Offline NorCal22Gal

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2009, 11:00:08 PM »
Hi All,

I've been shooting for abt a year and a half.  My first experience with a rifle (ever!!!!) was a tube fed .22 that belonged to my husband's grandfather. Hubby talked me in to trying it...I was convinced it was going to knock me on my fanny...(had never held a rifle, shot gun, pistol or even a b.b. gun before). Well it didn't and I found I was enjoying it.  We joined the club near us and started shooting almost every weekend.  I even shot my husbands garand and the m1-carbine.

My husband found the Appleseed info on line and showed it to me. We talked abt it and I said why not go. It was in Sacramento, CA  April 18-19. Got us registered and found a hotel close (well 30 min drive). Then we started practicing the different positions.  Wanted to at least have a clue when we got there....

Saturday was nice and pleasant. There were sure a looooooooooooot of people showing up.  (total for the weekend was 106!!) We found spots and started absorbing the instruction.  My husband seemed to pick things up very quickly where as I felt like I was fighting things alot.  Lunch felt good to be out of the sun and listen to the history that I don't believe I learned in school.  After lunch it was back to shooting, and more frustration for me. My very first AQT was a 69.  Man was i disappointed and almost in tears.  Hubby made rifleman the end of the day. Took his patch and an orange hat.  We went back to the hotel and had dinner and talked.  We figured out that I was over thinking everything.

Sunday I started the day with the goal of doubling my score from Saturday.  I stopped thinking so much and just focused on my breathing...(something I've always had issues with). Amazingly enough   ;) my groups began to shrink. My highest score that day was 158!!!!! That was soooo encouraging.  It was very hot....found out later...high was 101...in APRIL!!!

Well, we had to go to another.....Fresno at the end of May.  Hot. Switched to my husbands match 10/22. 190....sooooooooooooo close....Kept having problems seeing the last two targets on the slow fire prone.  Ended the event very frustrated.  Practice, practice, practice.

Sacramento June 13-14.  Switched back to my 10/22 with a low power scope on it, finally could keep those last two in sight.  Saturday I ended up being the only woman on the line on our range.  Oh yeah....Cleared the red coat, TWICE. (by the way was the only one who did.....). Score was 199.  Sunday i was so nervous and sooo wanted to make the score.  Stared the day in a positive note. We combined into one range so i wasn't the only woman. Two of us cleared the redcoat. Everyone was so encouraging...Sunday right before lunch. 190.  First AQT after lunch  204.  sigh.  Second AQT I just shut everyone and everything out. Didn't even feel the brass from the shooter next to me. Talk abt the rifleman's bubble....I wasn't scoring my own targets I was too scared to so I was having our shoot boss Camljr do it for me.  Three shooters down the line from me made rifle man score on that AQT.  One was the guy who cleared the redcoat that morning with me.  I handed mine to Camljr and got ready for the third.  I finished the Seated round, cleared my rifle. I had no sooner turned around than one of the Red Hats told me the happy news....217!!!!! ;D. I was soooo happy, i was grinning from ear to ear and crying.....oh yeah....didn't get back to the bubble...blew the last two parts of the third AQT.  Oh well.....  Missed clearing the final red coat, missed the head shot... :-\ .

So far I can honestly say the Appleseed's that I have attended have been the best, and I can't wait to see what the future holds. 

So I am now a rifle(wo)man and beginning my journey down the road to becoming an instructor.....

So a BIG, HUGE THANKS, to my husband (eaglescouter) and all the instructors from my first appleseed all the way to this one and beyond.  I certainly hope I can teach others as well as I have been taught.

NorCal22Gal

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2009, 04:45:20 AM »
Wow...all these posts are heartwarming, each in their own way.
I, myself, got into AS via a radio program that featured it. I then came to the forum and checked out this very thread, to see how the ladies may like it, how they were received,etc.. I found the stories encouraging and thought "Hey..what the heck. If these ladies can do it, I can too.". So...I proceeded to get hubby on board (Paladin, here on the forum) and we both attended our first AS on Patriots Day weekend. It was awesome! I have to say; I was really nervous, regardless of all I read but the stories did help quite a bit. I hadn't picked up a rifle since i was a young kid and since then had only handled handguns. I didn't remember anything about loading the rifle...nothing. A few IITs at that AS were kind enough to show me the ropes and get my confidence up to try this thing. Yeah..I got frustrated many times but kept going. I have since attended two more AS (even the first ladies shoot) and had a blast. I've had some struggles, physically, but I'm determined not to let it stop me from making rifleman...no matter how long it takes. I'll be attending my fourth AS this weekend- prayin this is 'the one' but even if it's not, I'm in AS for the long haul. It's an awesome program, with an awesome mission...with amazing folks that I can call a family. Every single person I've met at AS has been great, true patriots and some of the kindest people you will ever some across. I would like to encourage every woman reading this, who's wondering if they should get involved...if they'll be welcomed...YOU SHOULD and YOU ARE WELCOME. Come have a blast with us!!

Offline SniperMama

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2009, 11:16:15 PM »
 :)
Hello all! My name is Margot and after my FIRST APPLESEED SHOOT this past weekend in Enfield, NH, my hubby and friends are calling me "Sniper", hence my username. I am usually a homeschooling mom of four lovely, spunky girls, but for one weekend I turned into a shooting and learning happy lady! I couldn't wait since I too grew up in a hunting household that did not allow a GIRL to handle a gun. Heaven forbid!! I suppose the boys did not want the competition!

Over the next two days, I was astounded as how much I had learned, both with the skills of shooting and the history of our heritage.  The instructors were great! John, Alicia, Ross, Mark and Andy and "Smithy" Tony were all superb.

I would like to tell all women out there who have not yet attended an Appleseed Event that the instructors and others attending treat women specially well- but I can't. And I am happy to say that! They treat EVERYONE well! No one treated me like a 'little lady', but like any other competent learner. At the first shot of the day (the redcoat) I shot better than everyone there at that moment (Boy was I SHOCKED!), mostly men.  On this first red coat I was one shot shy of clearing the paper!! I couldn't believe it! I had never fired the rifle I had with me- a Marlin that I love despite ALL the problems I had that weekend- and had only been to one NRA pistol class.  They were all impressed, but still taught everyone the same. They didn't assume that I knew lots, or that it was beginner's luck. They kept to the program and made sure we all got the proper training. There was a gentleman there who had made Rifleman before, there were others there who had been to an Appleseed before. NONE of it mattered. Everyone was treated with the same respect and dignity. Oh sure there were some jokes and lots of fun, but respect all around.

I learned many things about shooting and handling the rifle, that scopes CAN fall off the rails, how to prep 40 rounds using multiple fingers as my trigger finger got sore after a while, how to run twenty yards, hurdle my stuff and shoot an AQT well in 4 minutes' time, how to shoot in rain, in blistering sun, with tons of mosquitos--- whatever necessary!!  We shot our own rifles, we shot others' rifles, we shot solo and we shot in teams with a common objective. I only wish we could have all camped together too and chatted over a campfire!  Even if you don't end up shooting well (and you WILL improve- everyone DID!) you will be very familiar with all the lingo, line commands, etc. and that makes a big difference- knowledge.

Though I did not make Rifleman my first time out- I got a score of 193 and kept getting those head shots! I learned so much, I learned new confidence, I had a great weekend away with my husband and made some quality friends! With four children, it will not be easy to attend often, but I will attend until I get my Rifleman badge and hope someday to have time to dedicate to being an instructor.

If anyone has doubts about attending, please give it a try. They really teach you EVERYTHING you need to know, and as long as you come prepared to learn and have fun, you will have a great time!  Hats off to all the volunteers who keep this program growing!
Enjoy and relive the heritage!!
Margot AKA SniperMama
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Live Free or Die... preferably in my sleep, but if with a rifle in hand, so be it!

Offline CarrieB

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #45 on: September 11, 2009, 01:59:55 PM »
Hi ladies! Another woman here.
I just attended my first Appleseed ever, an RBC at Ramseur this past week and that flowed into the weekend Appleseed.

Before attending I'd never fired a rifle; I had put some rounds through various handguns here and there out in fields or backyards way back in my teens (I'm 38 now).
My first Redcoat target, I didn't even hit the paper. (In my defense, my rifle was stock off the shelf and hadn't been sighted in, lol.)
I'm sure I annoyed the heck out of our instructors (Crashkid2k and Stimey) with all of my questions.
I got my Rifleman patch on the final day of the weekend Appleseed and am heading down the Orange Hat path eagerly.

One thing that this thread really brought home to me is that I'm not a "girly" girl. I don't wear makeup, don't paint my nails, I'd rather be in jeans and can't remember the last time I wore a dress (not sure if I even own one, honestly). I was an only child and a consummate tomboy. If my nail breaks I don't even think about it, I just rip it off. If I get dirty, no big deal, that's what soap and water is for. 

My Mom and I were the only women at the RBC, and she left early due to the physical strain of it - so for a few days I was the only woman. Didn't bother me a bit, I've always been "one of the guys, with boobs".  :)  The only times that I encountered problems on the line due to being female was when I realized my bra strap was getting in the way of seating the stock and causing extra bruising (solution: slide the strap down onto my arm) and when in prone position, that extra "tilt" from my chest area caused extra pressure on my ribs and hurt until I got used to it.

I've got a real concern about how to relate to women who may come to the Appleseeds with the mentality of "I can't possibly do this because I'm a woman". That's so foreign to me that I'm worried I might offend a fellow female without meaning to. I'm really worried about being an actual detriment to the program or deterrent to the ladies who come when I'm helping out on the line.
I realize this thread is probably not the place for a discussion like this, so I'd be eternally grateful if any of you experienced female instructors could PM me with a few tips. I know I'm not the only tomboy here and surely some of you ladies have encountered situations like this before?
You do not know and will never know who the Remnant are, or where they are, or how many of them there are, or what they are doing or will do. Two things you know, and no more: first, that they exist; second, that they will find you.
~ Albert Jay Nock

Offline RifleWoman

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #46 on: September 11, 2009, 02:40:14 PM »
CarrieB, I would not worry about how other women will relate to you.  I don't think you will have a problem.  Women are structurally different than men so to have a women who understands is a big deal.  Men forget that women's cheek bones are higher and the butt of the gun doesn't quite fit where it needs too, so having an instructor that understands those things is always good for other women. 

The biggest problem you will run into, and you've got to be tough through it, is men who's ego's won't allow them to learn from women.  When it happens just chuckle to yourself about the poor stupid guy, and get back to work.  ;)  Don't let it intimidate you just plow right on through.  When it does, contact me and I'll pat you on the back and welcome you to the club.  ;)
Many hands make light work and easy bailing.

Offline vic303

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #47 on: September 11, 2009, 02:57:37 PM »
Carrie, hello & welcome!  Congrats on your Rifleman patch & your new Orange hat!  My mentality is much like yours as far as not being a girly-girl.  But I think you will relate to all the women on the line just fine.  I'm also very happy to see you join the ranks of Orange hats!  The more women instructors, the better!  It can only help the cause--not harm it.  Something about the hand that rocks the cradle ruling the world... ;)

Also, if your mom is interested, please ask her to post her experiences here.  Her insights may help other women cope with the physical strains of a long weekend or RBC.

Offline BeeFree

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2009, 08:59:53 PM »
Welcome Carrie!

I don't think you have to worry about anyone at a shoot having the "can't do it 'cause I'm a girl" attitude.  I have yet to meet a woman at an AS who thought that way.  Some have come without ever having shot a rifle before - we just point out their advantage in not having to UNlearn any bad habits and get down to business.  Sometimes they are surprised at how well they shoot compared to the guys, but that's usually because they know they have less experience and expect to shoot worse for it, not out of any inherent gender issue.  At my last shoot, we were all pleased as punch when "French Manicure" made RifleWOman - all weekend the guys had been teasing her about having just had her nails done before the AS... it didn't stop her from outscoring 3/4 of them! 

BeeFree
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Offline RifleWoman

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2009, 09:42:12 PM »
It would be interesting to know the number of women who get their rifleman patch at their first AS compared to men.  I'll bet it's a pretty high percentage.  I did!  O0
Many hands make light work and easy bailing.

Offline NorCal22Gal

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2009, 08:52:32 PM »
Would be interesting....I know I didn't. Took me 3 tries.
NorCal22Gal

Offline Nickle

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2009, 03:43:31 PM »
It would be interesting to know the number of women who get their rifleman patch at their first AS compared to men.  I'll bet it's a pretty high percentage.  I did!  O0

In my area it's a higher percentage than most folks would think, but not higher than the men. Largely due to the percentage of men we see that are already established shooters.

I have recently had a lady (and I do mean lady in the BEST of terms, she was great) newbie shooter get it done her first Appleseed, and she was using a bolt gun. Not jsut once, but several times during the weekend.

The bottom line is that this Instructor finds women easier to teach, as they know that they don't know. So, I don't have to deal with a closed mind, or bad habits. They came to learn, and learn they shall.
They have men amongst them who know very well what they are about, having been employed as Rangers against the Indians and Canadians and this country being much covered with wood, and hilly, is very advantageous for their method of fighting. . . . ".  Lord Percy

Sounds like New Englanders to me.

Offline GunslingerGirl

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2009, 01:47:46 AM »
Well, my first AS was in Castle Rock, WA. It's actually a little more than 5 hours away from where I live, so the first day I was dead tired. You know how hot the ejected cases are? Well me, having a very hard time with NPOA on my first AS, did not want to move when one landed on my arm (It would have messed up my newly aquired NPOA). This resulted in 1 second of silence, the next second me shouting "Ow, ow, OW!" I guess it wasn't really the smartest idea to leave one on your arm... So, now I have this awesome scar on my arm in the perfect shape of a cartrige case. It's the best bragging material anyone could have. I show people and tell them about AS all the time. (Although a scar from one of the shoots isn't always a real incentive catcher...)

Now I'm a Newbie Instructor and I love this program! Yay Appleseed! Ask me sometime and I'll show you my scar (If you know me that is.)

Becky

Offline Patriot Gal

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2009, 11:04:08 AM »
Hello Ladies (and lurking gents  8)).  I have read some of the posts with smiles and a few laughs.  I can relate to all.  Trisha mentioned what a difference a year makes.  Last year or so, I was not thinking firearms at all.  Then the political environment changed - A LOT!  Believing a change for the worse, I purchased a handgun and got trained.  I was adamant that if I had a firearm in the house (other than a few old shotguns) I wanted to be properly trained so I was not a threat to myself!! The next spring we decided to join a local range which is where we were introduced to AS at a gun show there.  Pappy and Garand69 were working it and gave us the Appleseed word..."You need to do this"

So off to Chillicothe we went.  Our SB was Ben1775 from Missouri. He drove 6-7 hrs. to be there for us.  Dedication and persistence of the Rifleman was shown right from the beginning.  It was the least I could do to provide him with chicken sandwiches with the works including cilantro on sprouted grain bread rather than watch him eat PB on white bread.  :P ME brought her famous and fabulous cookies so we were well taken care of in the snack department.   ;)

We used new rifles I had just purchased.  A Savage bolt .22 for me on day one, my son from Arizona using a brand new Ruger sporter .22.  We cleaned and greased them up real well with some moly lube which, I think, caused much jamming  throughout the weekend and much frustration on my part. The scope on the Ruger was loose which we didn't realize until my son was gone back home on day 2.  I felt bad we didn't realize it while he was shooting as he would've had better accuracy and a better experience.  :(   In any case, I learned a lot, my shooting improved, but no Rifleman that weekend.  I was unable to complete a single AQT without losing time and rounds to jams.

Next AS in Bonfield 6/09 started with the same problem. I was soooooo close to Rifleman twice, Pappy was asked to looked at my rifle, so he cleaned it out real good (no more moly lube) and I shot Rifleman on the next AQT. Didn't realize the emotional release that was until I couldn't shoot squat after that the rest of the day.   :D

I considered the Orange Hat, but had read that the Rifleman needs to shoot consistent Rifleman scores before becoming an instructor.  I was far from consistent, having just shot my first rifle in April of the same year and just having learned to shoot correctly in AS.  So I attended another AS back in Chillicothe over Labor Day.  All my AQTs were Rifleman except the first.  I cleared the Redcoat.  Confidence was building.  My husband made Rifleman, having solved most all his mechanical problems so he could concentrate on simply "shooting by the numbers".

I finally felt confident to consider stepping up.  I talked to Garand69 about the orange hat when planning my 4th AS in Bonfield 10/09.  At that AS, I cleared every Red coat, shot every AQT at Rifleman, was shooting 1/2" groups. I now felt the confidence to step up into instructor ranks to pass along what I had learned to the next new shooter.

This next weekend, I travel to my first AS a an orange hat.  I am looking forward to it as I think we will have a pretty good number of shooters.  Some will be friends and aquaintances my husband and I have encouraged to attend.  I hope they will enjoy themselves as much as I have.

Our mission is good and true.  Our country needs the Rifleman!  Thank you  Fred, Riflewoman, Ben 1775, The Guy, EEL, Pappy, Garand69, Sheepdog, M.E. and everyone else who volunteers their time and their life's energy to the mission of the Appleseed Trail! O0 O0

I hope to meet lots of you out on the trail. <:)
Patriot Gal  :~
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 11:07:02 AM by Patriot Gal »
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Offline Garand69

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #54 on: October 24, 2009, 07:39:38 AM »
Who you calling a lurker?  **)

Glad you listened to the arm twisting of Pappy and I at the Chillicothe Gun Show O0

A big thanks to all of you Ladies for participating in Appleseed, we need you!
Garand69

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #55 on: November 02, 2009, 11:55:04 PM »
Athens, OH    Oct 31-Nov 1   After Action Report

My hubby MeanStreaker had talked about the magic of Athens and I was fortunate enough to get a taste of some of that this weekend.  I don't always feel like I fit in with the Appleseed world and am not quite sure where I belong. I don't have that burning desire to be an instructor and my teensy tiny attention span sometimes makes two full days of shooting a challenge for me. Top that off with our two crazy dogs at home that need cared for (one of which sometimes eats things that aren't food when her man leaves for Appleseeds), and there is the tendency to feel a little left out of the Appleseed loop.  That really changed for me in Athens.  I never really paid much attention to the word "fellowship" before.  Never really used it in conversation, never really thought about it much, never really appreciated its significance before. That's really what Athens was for me.  The people there are just SO AWESOME! Everyone made me feel so at home and so a part of everything that was going on.  So a part of something. Of that fellowship. Call me crazy, but I could easily skip all the shooting just to spend time with the people (don't get me wrong though, I still want to get over my 191 hump and make Rifle"woman"). The instructors that I have met, some of which only a few times are trusted friends.  I have only met the Richardson family three times now, twice in Athens and once in Miamisburg, but the impact this one family can have on one's life is just astounding.  I would love to have six kids too if they all turned out like the Richardson kids! Each member of that family has their own special place in making Athens the shining star of Appleseed and giving hope for what our country can be. They epitomize the family value and spirit of giving that our country is sorely lacking.  So thanks for that.  This weekend meant a lot for me and even for my relationship with my husband.  I think it will be a little easier to let him leave for weekends now.  While it's never easy to be apart from someone you love, I am so thankful he will have that second family when he is gone on the Appleseed trail. 

Thanks to the DryFire family as well.  From my very first time at Athens him and his wife took me in and were just so darn nice to me.  MeanStreaker was instructing at my first Appleseed in Athens and so I thought I would be alone on that firing line.  I wasn't.  Not for one minute.  Interestingly enough I have only shot at two Appleseed's and both were in Athens.  I think maybe there is a reason for that. 

So, its getting late and while some of you really like to see all the pictures of the fun shooting, my contribution is the pictures of all the people I have met.  There are more, but hubby has only downloaded a handful so far and I still have some sleep to catch up on so they will have to wait for another day.

Oh, and Luna, I just love your dog.  Maybe if I can get a tranquilizer gun I can Appleseed with my pooches as well.  Until then, I will just enjoy petting yours. 

Okay, I am done.  Enjoy some pics.
















Offline Trisha

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #56 on: November 03, 2009, 12:05:33 AM »
Welcome Starbuck! I am happy to hear you had a great time in Athens. The fellowship with everyone involved in Appleseed is just amazing and that is why I love it so much. Ohio is doing a fantastic job with Appleseed, and it's great to have another woman in the program! It truly doesn't take much to get caught up in what Appleseed is about and become such close friends with people who are involved in it.

Like I said, I am excited that you are in the program and I do hope we can cross paths some time out on the trail! Maybe at the All Women's Appleseed in Indiana next year...  O0

Trisha
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 12:08:14 AM by Trisha »

Offline Jules

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #57 on: November 03, 2009, 11:04:25 PM »
Welcome Starbuck! ( I love and support your trademark lol)


I went to my first Appleseed this last January to actually get my husband to quit "bugging" me about rifle shooting. I had a .38 hand gun, what more did this man want? I am not a hunter or a fisher, why in the world would I want to learn how to shoot? But then............... I thought of my fantasy scene. Linda Hamilton, in Terminator, running with the sawed off shot gun, pumping it as she went. Oh, sweet. I would love to be that. So, I went to Sac Valley Rifle and Shooting Center, with my recently post op husband, and took a gander at what this "Appleseed" deal was all about.  We checked in, and gathered around this tall, soft spoken Brit, who gave us a basic introduction of the weekend. Counter that with a booming fellow with an red hat, and a variety of others running around in orange hats............ Safety Rules, we all chorused Safety Rules............ ok, fine, go get your rifles, find a spot on the range, and prepare for the ride of your life.

 And, lo and behold, I had a female instructor on my line. I was sure I was going to be the only 'broad' there, and the rest would be Elmer Fudds, with goofy Cammo Ninja gear on. In all honesty, I didn't know the ass end of a rifle, or  even how to load the  thing. This would be a Rueger 10/22, about the easiest rifle in the planet to operate. Slings! They showed us slings. Slings really help! I was kind of liking this deal. Shoot the Redcoat? Sure! I pictured in my mind who the Redcoat could be. If you are my ex husband, read no further............... For a first time shooter, I actually put holes in the 100 yard Redcoat. I was starting to feel empowered. By the end of the day, I was having a blast, but my body ( that has really funky Fibromyalsia ) was letting me know it. I woke up for day two feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Determined, I did the best I could on day two, sitting out the last half of the COF.

My female instructor, Savage Shootr, came over to talk to me, and I shared, with tears in my eyes, that I really hurt, and why. She gently told me that her daughter had the same autoimmune disorder, not to worry, sit back and watch and learn. I let out a long breath, and did just that. By the end of the weekend, I was sure that I was going to practice, and be back in April for the HUGE shoot there. We came again, and brought our youngest son with us. Post op hubby, who had been shooting forever, did not get his Rifleman in January. He was back to make sure he got it this time. (which he did) Oh , and the history. We had Bob210 in his gear, and musket, and flags were flying, and stories were flowing, and I found myself crying listening to these tales I had never ever heard before. A fire burned in my belly at that point. I would like to say I shot Rifleman that day, but the weather was incredibly rude, and I got heat stroke, and was sent back to the covered area to sit and drink lots of water. Poo.

Fast forward my life. Our home range had one of the two modular homes available for rent. Our oldest daughter, who had been widowed a few years ago, had been living with us, and needed her space. I went in and told Rod that I wanted to move there. His mouth fell open. We applied for the home, and were accepted. We were out of our beautiful Lodi home in 4 days, leaving our daughter to make the modest mortgage payments. Everyone thought we had lost our minds. I hadn't. I had found a purpose to live. We now call our home, the Dragon's Lair , given by our dear friends and instructors EagleScouter and NorCal22Gal. ( My hubby's forum name is Bald Dragn), All  instructors who come to our range to instruct are welcome to grab a piece of floor, or couch, or if you're like Double D, claim the spot under our kitchen table. We have a barbeque on Saturday night for the Instructor's AAR, and the bonding that occurs is unlike any I have known.  We arranged to have an IBC at our home, and Dragon wood ( Master Instructor, and a possible Linda Hamilton double )  flew out from Florida to train, and encourage all of us. My husband went from an orange hat in April, to a Shoot Boss last month. I continued to persevere ( thanks to the encouragement of V and Camljr ) against physical pain, and that rotten voice in my head that kept telling me "you aren't gonna make it, you're NEVER gonna make it"  We bought a trailer to put ALL the Appleseed gear in. And we hauled it last weekend down to the Fresno Range for the 10/31-11/1 shoot. The time monkey was making me crazy. The guy on the line next to me with the AR15 was making me jump and flinch. The guy on the other side was throwing brass down my shirt, and plinking on my head. Come lunchtime I was discouraged. End of day one, I left the range with a 207. Sunday came, and was to be warmer than the day before. And I don't do heat. Determined, I put on the hot shooting jacket, to keep the loop sling high on my bicep. I put squishy orange plugs in my ears. I put the "Mickey Mouse" ears over that. I put on a hat. I was creating my own "Rifleman's Bubble"  By lunch, my score was going down with every AQT. Returning, I was encouraged that the guy with the Boomer had gone somewhere else, and there was room for me to move down the line. Ryantsg IIT4 and Desert Dog (the most awesome of instructors) made the decision to run the AQT bottom up. My stage 1 was what was killing me, and my discouragement of  my low score spilled over to stages 2,3, and 4. That was the golden moment. I made my score. I made a 222. Desert Dog continually got to my target before I could, and unknown to me ( remember I couldn't hear squat) both Desert Dog and Ryantsg were instructing and watching my target through binoculars.  I had the honor of taking my orange hat from my misty eyed husband. I felt so proud, so empowered. I was woman, hear me roar. And now I scour the posts on the forum to find the shoots that are within reasonable distance to me. We have a shoot here in December. Starting in 2010, we will have one every month here. California is taking off big time. And I get to be right smack in the middle of it. History in the making. My life couldn't be better right now. And this is only the beginning. I hope all the women who come to Appleseed find something that brings them back for more. There's no looking back for me........

Jules
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline vic303

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #58 on: November 04, 2009, 11:45:24 AM »
Outstanding work, Jules!  I know BD from the NDE forum, so am glad to see you not only on the AS trail, but as an IIT. 

Great suggestion btw, for folks who don't react well to muzzleblast, to 'double bag' the ear-pro!  We do that at the range all the time, and it does help.

--Vicky

Offline samjt15

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Re: The Women of Appleseed, Stories from Appleseed Weekends
« Reply #59 on: November 05, 2009, 01:57:39 AM »
Hey I saw this and thought that I would respond to this article,  Well here's my story. I've shot a gun since my first gun safety at 12 yrs old. I probably only actually shoot a gun once a year if that. Yes I guess its not the top thing on my list of stuff to do but despite the lack of practice i'm still a pretty good shot.  My brother who a lot of appleseeders know has Aftermath has been doing this for about a year or so now and finally this past year brought it to my families attention so I decided to tag along, well some days I guess i'm not a very good sport to say the least but I did attempt to try the shoot this past year in Winona MN.  I honestly did not have a great time, I know who ever reads this will disagree or frown on that part but keep reading.. So I had quit half way through, yes I did and I do regret it now.  Then I had moved to Missouri where I currently live and my brother had come down for the shoot in August at Osage Beach, And I had a blast. The people where great and welcomed me my fiance and my brother with open arms. Longshot, KR, let me even use his gun since my stock is too long for me and his was ajustable. The first day I did alright and was deteremind to get my riflemen, but did not succeed, however we camped out, went through the next day having again a blast and my fiance managed to get riflemen, the only one of that weekend too and I after correcting KR that his scope wasn't sited perfect went from shooting a 149 to a 173. It was great fun and now will be attending more when possible with my instructor in training fiance'. I'm not a history buff and I guess you can say i'm probably more girly then out doorsy but I did enjoy this and its a great learning experience for anybody. I'd say if you haven't tried it at least once, then you are missing out.
- Samantha