By Maria Milligan
Sep 21, 2016

Thanks to the NRA Foundation, Shooting Sports Thrive at Camp

If you’ve ever participated in shooting sports at a Utah National Parks Council camp, you’ve been the beneficiary of the NRA’s generosity. Thanks to a long-standing relationship with the NRA Foundation, council camps have received new equipment and facilities to ensure youth stay safe and have fun while learning about shooting sports. Every camp in the council has benefited from grants from the NRA. Here are the changes we’ve seen in recent years:

Thunder Ridge Scout Camp

Thunder Ridge Shooting RangeCamp Thunder Ridge is set in beautiful country near Parowan. In the past two years, the NRA donated money to construct a new rifle range and archery range at this camp and donated new equipment for Scouts to use. For years, Thunder Ridge had been using worn-out equipment in facilities that were too small and crowded for instructors to teach and maneuver around the Scouts effectively.

With the new ranges, there is room for more Scouts to learn about shooting sports and safety and the instructors can give more individual attention to each Scout because they are better able to see and access them. The NRA also helped build a storage building and gun safe to keep the equipment safe and in working order. These new facilities have made the shooting range at Thunder Ridge one of the best in the council.

Beaver High Adventure Base

beaver-rifle-rangeThis year, the NRA Foundation donated funds to expand the rifle range at Beaver High Adventure Base. This addition will expand the existing range (also donated by the NRA) to double the number of youth who can participate.

This camp draws in older youth, girls camps, and Scouts from across the nation with its high adventure programs. The existing rifle range is too small to accommodate all the participants, so this expansion will give more youth the chance to shoot. The new portion of the range will be completed in the coming months and stand ready to welcome campers next summer.

Scofield Scout Camp at Frandsen Scout Ranch

Scofield Rifle RangeI confess, I’m partial to Scofield from my time there as a waterfront director. I have fond memories of the rifle and archery ranges, courtesy of the NRA. The foundation also provided the funds to build the backstop for the ranges.

I loved watching Scouts learn new things, practice discipline, and embrace new hobbies at these ranges. And while I was watching Scouts swim during free time, I could hear evidence that the range was getting just as much use as the waterfront on those hot summer days.

Tifie Scout Camp at Mountain Dell Scout Ranch

Thanks to donations from generous foundations and individuals, Tifie Scout camp is one of the most up-to-date and versatile camps in the council. The NRA played a big part of that by donating funds for the rifle pavilion and backstop. Scouts love testing their shooting skill by trying to shoot a playing card in half from the side—not an easy feat!

Maple Dell Scout Camp

Maple Dell Rifle RangeMaple Dell is the oldest and often busiest of our camps. Fathers who came to camp here as boys love bringing their sons to continue the tradition. The wear and tear from hundreds of campers each summer means the council has needed to update facilities over the years.

In recent years, the NRA Foundation has provided a new backstop for the rifle range and new archery and shotgun pavilions. These additions have helped ensure Maple Dell can remain beloved and useful for years to come.

Camp Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson ArcheryShooting sports aren’t just for Boy Scouts! Cubs love to try their hand at archery and guns (BB guns, in this case) just as much as their older brothers do. Funding from the NRA made it possible for us to build the archery pavilion at Jeremiah Johnson, which has proven to be a huge attraction for Cubs and their leaders. This pavilion is a great place for younger Scouts to learn the basics of shooting sports safety.

Equipment Donations


14BSA TR 0895.CR2 BSA Thunder Ridge Scout Camp July 17, 2014 Photography by Mark A. Philbrick

In addition to the capital donations that have changed the face of our ranges, the NRA Foundation has also generously provided equipment, including rifles, shotguns, pistols, hearing and eye protection, and more. If you’ve ever participated in shooting sports at any of our council camps, you’ve done so thanks to the generosity of the NRA Foundation.

Thank you, NRA, for making our camps better and providing unforgettable experiences for thousands of young people!

Know of any NRA projects that I missed at your favorite camp? Let me know in the comments.

Maria Milligan


Author: Maria Milligan | Grant Writer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.

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