Author Topic: 2020 Maryland Appleseed Summary and 2021 Goals  (Read 170 times)

Online Catch-10-22

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2020 Maryland Appleseed Summary and 2021 Goals
« on: December 14, 2020, 03:45:59 PM »
Well, 2020 was a tough year but we ended on a strong note thanks to all the students, instructors, and volunteers that made the year a success despite COVID restrictions and cancellations.

Some statistics to put 2020 in context:

- We held 19 shoots, only one fewer than 2019! That was despite 11 cancelled events, by far the most in the history of the Maryland program. We appreciate the flexibility and understanding of our shooters and host ranges throughout the year - we all were forced to adapt.

- Out of those shoots, 10 were sold out and 2 were nearly so for a rate of nearly 70%! I know some of that was due to having to reschedule folks several times but with 3 shoots in 2021 sold out or close to it, we are starting off right.

- We ended up with 175 shooters out of a total capacity of 225 - this matched our highest ratio of attendance since 2014 at just under 75%.

- We had 45 new or requalified Rifleman for a rate of about 26%. This is off our all-time high last year but well above our historical average of 19%. It reflects a lot of new and youth shooters coming to the program, which is great as we want a new generation of people interested in our message of history and rifle marksmanship to come through the program every year.

- There were 5 shooters that qualified Distinguished and we had another Perfect 250 in Maryland. Shannon is 1 of only 5 people to do it in the history of the Maryland program and is by far our youngest - Huzzah!

- 2020 was ushered in by a Winterseed and 2 people earned that special icy looking patch.

- We only had one Rimfire known-distance event (200-yards) with 2 qualifying Rifleman earning that coveted rocker.

- 30 cleared Red Coats, once again proving that cleaning that target is harder than making Rifleman. Our new half day events will be using the Red Coat as a "hits count" target for most of the instruction, so if the 400 yard target or Morgan’s Shingle keep making you a cook, sign up for one of those events to take that next step toward Rifleman!

The instructors understood what a difficult year it was for everyone but it was obvious all year that folks were energized and motivated to attend our events.

We had a lot of new shooters who wanted to learn basic marksmanship and safe firearm handling skills. We had a lot of experienced shooters that wanted a refresher or to learn new skills and positions. And, of course, we had many experienced Appleseeders that wanted to requalify and pick up new sets of skills (long range, pistol, etc.). All of you are welcome!

We understand folks are starting to feel the effects of ammo shortages and cost increases. But remember that shooting skills are perishable - use it (ammo) or lose it (skills). Our new half day and a wider swath of one day events should keep ammo expenditures reasonable. If ammo is holding you or someone you know back from attending, a shoot boss may be able to help.

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers and instructors this year. I know COVID was a concern to many and that put pressure on some of our core volunteers to step up and deal with uncertainty, range restrictions, and masks that constantly fogged up glasses. We appreciate the support of your families as well - no one does this without it sacrificing in other areas.

We were able to maintain our 3 students per instructor average across all our events due to dedicated instructor participation, which allowed for substantial attention to safety and quality of training.

We also grew the Maryland cadre of instructors and volunteers:

- 1 new designated Shoot Boss (Catch-10-22)

- 1 new Red Hat Instructor (Agent711) and one that spent a lot of time in Maryland (thanks BillP_556!)

- 2 new Orange Hat Instructors in Training (FunctionCheck and kniwolf - thanks for stepping up!)

- 2 new Blue Hat AppleCore Volunteers (Liberty Boy and Bravo_Alex - Huzzah!)

- 2 new Appleseed Pistol Clinic Instructors (Catch-10-22, Etervigila - CatGravity is just one step away)

Overall, we had 20 instructors and volunteers working shoots this year, which is higher than 2019. However, with a bit step up in events, ranges, and students planned for 2021, we could use more help bailing the ship. If you are interested in volunteering with the program or would like to rejoin the instructor cadre, WE NEED YOU!

Throughout the year we try to provide some other content in addition to our announcements and AARs to both promote the program and help folks on their journey to Rifleman and beyond through MDShooters and the Appleseed Forums, some written by instructors, others by students:

Appleseed Appleseed Pistol Clinic Preview
https://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?249662&p=6068305#post6068305

CZ455 Scout Appleseed AAR
https://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?246408&p=5952822#post5952822

My First Appleseed 12/5-12/6 2020
https://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?251461&p=6136042#post6136042

A huge thank you to all of the ranges that hosted us this year!

- Anne Arundel Fish and Game Conservation Association (AAFG) in Annapolis

- Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore (AGC) in Mariottsville

- Sanner's Lake Sportmans Club (SLSC) in Lexington Park

- Delmarva Sportsman Association in Suddlersville

We also had two ranges back in the fold this year:

- Berwyn Rod & Gun Club in Bowie

- Leetown Gun Club in Kearneysville, WV

These ranges not only offer fantastic facilities for shooters of all kinds, but their commitment to Project Appleseed reflects their commitment to expand and enhance the community of shooters and actively engaged citizens - we can't thank them enough for the support.

We are always hoping to add new ranges - both indoor and outdoor - and re-introduce ourselves to clubs where we have previously been active. Looks like we will add at least two new ranges in the Maryland and Southern PA this year. We are especially interested in finding ranges that would accommodate Appleseed Pistol Clinic events at 7 yards. If your club is interested in hosting an event, we can make it happen!

We are always looking for new ways to enhance the experience of our students and instructors as well as to bring new people into our community. If you have questions, comments, or feedback, we are absolutely open to suggestions.

If you know anyone who could benefit from Appleseed, please suggest our program to them - we want to continue to grow the shooting community in Maryland while also helping folks understand the value and perishability of their rights.

We are nearly done scheduling our 2021 events and Maryland Appleseed has an ambitious set of goals for next year:

- Nearly DOUBLE the number of clinics we had in 2020. We already have 30 shoots locked down with our host clubs including 24 one/two day clinics and 6 half-day clinics. We hope to get that number to 30-33 one/two day clinics for nearly 40 shoots. 2020 will be the highest number of events in the history of the program.

- Maintain a strong sell-out rate. While 2020 matched our best year ever in terms of rate (78%), we don't want all of these additional clinics to just spread shooters around. Luckily, if that is the right word, class size constraints from COVID will help. We already have 13% of our 2021 scheduled shoots sold out, which is a good start!

- Maximize host range utilization and membership flow-through. Ranges are sacrificing member time to host clinics and we want our events to be worth it - full lines, happy participants, and more members at those clubs. We already do a lot to promote membership at the clubs with participants but it can't hurt to let them know we actively refer people.

- Build our instructor cadre and attract folks back who may have stepped away due to COVID and life. While 20 active instructors in 2020 was excellent compared with 14 in 2019, we are well off our average of 30 active instructors from 2014-18.  Our number of "engaged instructors" (those that worked 3 or more shoots) was the same as 2019 and we MUST get the number up to handle the double workload (particularly due to scheduling conflicts between the ranges). A few of our most dedicated volunteers are taking a lot of the load - THANK YOU! But we want to get you help too.

- Maintain our Rifleman rate. That will also be hard as we are getting more new shooters lately and hope to attract even more with our half day events. But we should hold ourselves accountable for student performance, get them to return to future events, provide tips between shoots, and attract experienced shooters as well.

- Add new repeat group customers. Bravo_Alex is already revitalizing our MilSeeds in Maryland with the National Guard, we have new Boy Scout and Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadrons that are buying out shoots, and there is an opportunity for a service academy alumni association in addition to youth groups, Sea Cadets, and other traditional group attendees. These organizations require a lot of pre-event engagement and coordination but can be major structural supports for the Maryland program's growth. They lead to sold out events as well.

- Add new ranges. We are already working to add a new range to support the MilSeed near Baltimore and are in discussions with PA to support a new range on the MD-PA border. It was great to get Kearneysville and Bowie back on the list this year (though WV is not MD, it is close enough!) but we learned that COVID restrictions required more consistent club engagement and negotiation. Also hope to have some border raiders help out at the NRA range this year.

- At least 2 Rimfire KD events. We only had one in 2020 due to cancellations but it is a popular event. Would be nice to have spring and fall clinics.

- Add a Appleseed Pistol Clinic event. While we qualified two PP instructors (and a third is pending Pistoleer) we don't have an event scheduled yet. It may be another boarder raiding opportunity in southern PA, but it would be good to practice what we learned through the TtT event in VA.

- LibertySeeds! We already have several instructors and Blue Hats talking to groups about conducting them. We did not have one in 2020 so let's get on it!
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 07:39:21 AM by Catch-10-22 »

Offline Sheepdog87

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Re: 2020 Maryland Appleseed Summary and 2021 Goals
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2020, 10:45:54 AM »
For what it was, 2020 was a great year. Here's hoping 2021 is even better!! :beer:
--ARW
Morgan's Shingle and Redcoats Cleared 07 MAR 2020
Rifleman 07 MAR 2020
Distinguished Optics 08 MAR 2020
Winterseed 23 JAN 2021

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
 -1 Corinthians 10:31

Offline Bravo_Alex

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Re: 2020 Maryland Appleseed Summary and 2021 Goals
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2020, 05:20:17 PM »
Those are strong numbers. Can't wait to make 2021 even better!

meippoliti is still working with her friends to get LadySeed participants, so you can add that to the 2021 list, too.

Online Catch-10-22

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Re: 2020 Maryland Appleseed Summary and 2021 Goals
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2020, 06:25:30 PM »
We would LOVE to have a Ladyseed. It has been several years in MD. Of course we may need to have a female shoot boss border raid from Virginia  :sos:

Offline BeSwift

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Re: 2020 Maryland Appleseed Summary and 2021 Goals
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2020, 09:59:45 AM »
Female shoot boss is not necessarily a deal breaker.. We've done it both ways, and in surveying the students, they don't seem to care about the gender of the instructors.. students yes, but instructors no.. They don't want to be rushed or feel pressured (aka no "drill sergeant" stuff)..   The last Ladyseeds we held in MD were poorly attended, but I'm willing to give it another shot if the demand is there. Ideally, will need to hand pick vols for the event.... We'll discuss... B

We would LOVE to have a Ladyseed. It has been several years in MD. Of course we may need to have a female shoot boss border raid from Virginia  :sos:
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Offline Monkey

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Re: 2020 Maryland Appleseed Summary and 2021 Goals
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 07:29:13 PM »
Female shoot boss is not necessarily a deal breaker.. We've done it both ways, and in surveying the students, they don't seem to care about the gender of the instructors.. students yes, but instructors no.. They don't want to be rushed or feel pressured (aka no "drill sergeant" stuff)..   The last Ladyseeds we held in MD were poorly attended, but I'm willing to give it another shot if the demand is there. Ideally, will need to hand pick vols for the event.... We'll discuss... B

We would LOVE to have a Ladyseed. It has been several years in MD. Of course we may need to have a female shoot boss border raid from Virginia  :sos:

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