One of my first memories of Foley, actually one of my first memories periods, is being at the Rifle Range with my Dad during family camp. Sitting in his lap while he held the .22 up for me, I tried to shoot at the paper targets downrange. I can’t remember whether or not I hit them but that wasn’t important. What was important was that at that moment I was forever infatuated with the art and precision of shooting.
|Jack teaching Riflery in 2012.
When I was old enough to go to Foley by myself I was always most excited to be able to shoot again and in my eight wonderful summers of heading up north to camp, I took Riflery every signup. As I got better at shooting, I realized that it wasn’t the result of my work or the awards I got that were the things I loved about Riflery but the process. Taking that big breath, relaxing the rest of my body, and focusing on that little black dot. Lining up that shot was when my mind was at it’s clearest, body at it’s calmest, and heart as relaxed as it would ever be. I have not been able to find any activity that replaces those feelings, which is why to this day I still shoot and hunt, and it is what inspired me to be a Camp Foley counselor.
In the summer of 2012, teaching campers’ new shooting positions became a joy as I watched kids transfer to the sitting position after shooting prone for so long. I especially remember helping Claudia Leon with her elbows when sitting and Thomas Schroeder with his balance and hands while he figured out the standing position on his way to the Expert Award, the highest Riflery award Foley has to offer.
Teaching me how to safely and responsibly shoot, the Foley Riflery program was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I am proud to have passed on those values and traditions to other campers last year. Which is why I returned again for summer 2013!