This past weekend we had 4 events away from home. We had our monthly class in Tualatin Oregon, we had the idea that since we were going to be up there why not see if we can meet more kids and families. We called our really good friends and supporters at Sporting Systems in Vancouver WA and they pulled together a really great event we were so happy to be a part of. We have some friends all the way in Centralia, Washington that wanted us to come up and do our Kids Safety 1 and a live fire class on Sunday. . What was really cool about all of these events was how our volunteers and the local communities came together to make the events a huge success. Because we were doing so many classes/events we had to split the work up to get everything done, this was our first time splitting up the workload, I was nervous but we did it and it was a huge accomplishment for us. As we continue to grow our organization, it becomes critical for me to let go of control and trust the people I’ve brought on board to help with the mission. They nailed it. I have learned a lot about being a better man and better leader from being the President of the Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation.
This weekend gave us some great exposure to show people that are just learning about us about what we do. Being put in front of new parents creates interest in having us come to their areas to teach our classes. This is a good thing, but it stretches our volunteers thin. Part of scaling our program is to find out what works and what doesn’t. . One of my biggest challenges is letting go of control and trusting them to do what needs to be done. It’s something that I am trying to do better at as a leader. This weekend was our first test. We had 4 different events in 3 different places, this was truly a big test for me. It would take 4 of us and 3 different vehicles to get all of the gear needed to do these events..
I set out Saturday morning to get to Cabela’s to do our Kids Firearm Safety 1 Class. All while we had 2 vehicles headed North with all of the gear needed to set up our bb gun range. They would head to Vancouver ahead of me to get everything setup. Once I was finished I would head to meet them. This would be the first time the range would be set up without me actually doing it. I was a wreck but I knew that it would all work out, I trust the people in my corner. When I showed up to Sporting Systems in Vancouver everything was set up and ready to go. It was perfect all of my fears and worries went away. I was so proud of them, they did it!! The kids started showing up and we were in business!! We had a steady flow of families coming through. Our good friends from Aero Precision and Vortex Optics were there, it was great seeing their reps and talking shop with them.. We reached over 100+ kids in the 4 hours that we were there. Many had never shot a bb gun before and enjoyed the experience. This gave us the opportunity to educate the families on the importance of firearm safety. We then packed up and 2 of us went south, the other 2 went north.
Sunday we loaded up and headed to the range in Centralia. . Throughout our journeys we have had the opportunity to meet some great people. People who see the value in our program and mission. One of them is Nancy, she is the president of the Centralia Rifle Club and the Washington representative for our partners, the DC Project. They are a women lead gun rights advocacy group. I also invited some friends from the area representing the Pink Pistols and Operation Blazing Sword. I wanted to see them but we also wanted to showcase what we were doing as an organization to protect children. Nancy was a rockstar and helped us with donations plus setting everything up so all that we had to do is show up. We are thankful for the help.
The turn out for for our Kids Firearm Safety 1 class was amazing.. We had a great group of families that came out and were excited to learn. There was one mom that was terrified of firearms and it took her great courage to bring her kids. We were able to put her at ease and teach her family effectively. She even joined us on the range for the next class where we saw growth in her and she was in the mix with her kids while they were on the line. It was a huge victory for her. We followed up our first class with our Kids Firearm Safety 2 class. We had 10 kids registered for this one. Together we all learned important skills on proper gun handling and marksmanship. Good repetitions create good, safe habits. We ended the day and packed up to head home. It was an amazing day. Thank you to all that helped to make it all possible. We are a good team.
Last weekend was a good learning experience for me. I learned that everything will work out the way it’s designed to if you trust the people that are in your corner. Being able to not micro manage and let go of the control is the last lessons I need to learn and will keep working on it. This will continue to be a work in progress. I am proud of what we accomplished and mostly I’m proud of all those that give selflessly of themselves to help us continue to move forward. You all are heroes to the kids. Until next time, Be safe!!