Volunteer instructors from the Revolutionary War Veterans Association will be on hand this weekend at the Hernando Sportsman’s Club in Brooksville for a special rifle marksmanship program called Project Appleseed.
The instructors travel across the state to not only teach rifle skills to both adults and kids, but to teach about the Founding Fathers and the shared heritage Americans enjoy as a free country.
Spring Hill resident, Moses Serrano has been attending the Project Appleseed events with his children for several years.
“I’ve attended events over the past five years, and I always learn something new,” Serrano said. “The instructors bring their experiences to the table and you learn from that. I love the fact that they teach the kids the working mechanics of how to use a rifle and safety issues. I love that my children are learning marksmanship skills that they will take for the rest of their lives with them.
“But I am fascinated by the history lessons that are taught over the two days of the Project Appleseed event”.
Project Appleseed’s heritage program vividly portrays the American Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord, where participants hear stories about the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19th, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the new nation.
“I never get tired of hearing the story about the first shots of that fateful day when men who were basically farmers started to fight for our independence,” Serrano said. “Those men weren’t professional military men, but they did it for their families and for liberty. I have ingrained that into my kids. Liberty is priceless. Your freedom is priceless. But it cost somebody for you to be free. I want them to remember what those people did for us to be free.”
Serrano’s daughter Sophia, 15, said the history lessons draw her to the event as well.
“They talk about who really founded this country and what really happened in 1775,” Sophia Serrano said. “They were farmers and they defeated the most powerful army in the world at that time by knowing how to use rifles. I believe it is really important to know the true story. It is so vital in this generation.”
Camaraderie is another reason to attend, Moses Serrano said.
“I cherish the friendships that I have made there, both with the instructors and a lot of the people that repeatedly attend the events,” Serrano said.
The Project Appleseed marksmanship clinic will be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Hernando Sportsman’s Club, 16121 Commercial Way, Brooksville.
Project Appleseed instructors teach fundamental rifle marksmanship skills that help participants be accurate out to 400 yards, with iron sights, standard rifle and surplus ammo. Most of the instruction at a Project Appleseed event is conducted on the firing range at 25 yards, at reduced size targets to simulate 100 to 400 yards. Students will learn safe gun handling, proper use of a rifle sling, and Revolutionary War history.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The clinic starts at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 5 p.m., both days.
Bring ear/eye protection, a rifle with sling, ammunition, rifle mat, bug repellent, hat, sunscreen, a packed lunch, snacks, drinks, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Food and beverages are also available for purchase for lunch in the clubhouse.
A .22 caliber rifle is recommended due to the cost of ammunition, but a centerfire rifle can be used if preferred. About 500 rounds of ammunition will be needed per weekend.
Marksmanship clinic fees for adults is $60, youth under age 18 is $20, and active duty military and law enforcement officers with ID are free. An additional club range fee of $14 per day applies for adults and children age 12 and older.
Future 2014 Project Appleseed rifle marksmanship clinics at the Hernando Sportsman’s Club will be held Oct. 11-12 and Nov 29-30.
To pre-register online for the events, visit www.appleseedinfo.org. For more information, contact Trey Dawson at 727-452-4650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at email@example.com.