I quit smoking on March 22, 2011 with Electronic Cigarettes

Friday, July 8, 2011

When the going gets tough- Shut up and work harder !!

~ Troy Landry

Thats my new motto :)

Tonight we were sitting here watching swamp people and Bow starts saying "..... IF YOU CALL ME ELIZABETH ONE more time!" I was thinking if that's the worst thing he quotes off swamp people we will have it made. LOL

We have been busy these last few weeks.
The wedding was a success! Rayley did great, and looked adorable!

I was very proud of her.

And we had another surprising twist... Matt asked if he could weedeat. Seriously. So BR taught him how. Unfortunately, he got about half way done and the weedeater messed up. I had to take it to the shop and have gas lines changed. *again, THANK YOU to the federal government and the EPA for putting ethanol in the gas- it raised corn prices AND is eating all the parts used in engines..... *

But, the biggest thing around here was:
BR and I have always felt that although our shooting sports was a wonderful thing, we needed more- We needed an actual skeet range, a trap thingy, and an archery range- (we lost ours last year that we borrowed), plus a a rifle range and classroom, and all the other elements that combined make for a great time. Something that belonged TO the kids. Not just a borrowed gym that we had to restore all our stuff every night, or a hay field with a skeet machine on a trailer.

We have helped a little through the years, doing whatever was asked of us always helped with the fundraisers and worked hard to get more money for the club, and have got ourselves signed up to go to San Antonio next week to take some instructor courses. Eventually we talked about it enough between ourselves that we decided it was time to talk to everyone else. So we did. And everyone else felt the same way!!

So, the next logical thing was to look into buying some land and getting the fundraisers started to pay for it and build the complex. Then we found out the 4H couldn't own land.
So, we decided to start a non profit foundation, named it the Jasper Youth Shooting Sports Association, and got to work. We put together an awesome board; Parents, civic leaders, business owners, elected officials, and everyone in between, even me.

We had our first meeting a week ago tonight- and I swear, I don't think I have ever been that excited- I was supposed to let BR run the meeting, he is the chairman after all, but honestly, I was just so gung ho I couldn't stop. We presented the bylaws, mission statement, general ideas, job descriptions, and even a plot of land to buy. Everyone loved it. - I had worked on it for weeks getting it together, and once everyone got on the same page, we came home and I got busy again.
I have read more about non profits, and 501 (c)'s than I ever knew was possible, am learning to form a corporation, reading tax law, and insurance policies. By the time we left, we had voted to not only acquire the land offered to us, BUT, on our first fundraiser and had raised almost 300.00 from the very room that comprised the board!

The land is PERFECT. its half cleared, half still in woods, is way in the country, has a creek running through it AND is surrounded by hunting land where we can take the 4H kids hunting!!

BR was off all weekend, and ended up telling me "ya know, I took off all weekend, you could do the same" . BUT, we would end up talking about the association anyway.

The worst thing was- Monday was a holiday and I couldn't conduct ANY business!! So, I opened a PO box online, and STILL had to wait until Tuesday to get the number.

I spoke to some other people who had started complexes and couldn't wait to meet with them to see their facilities. Of course, my days were still full of trying to figure out the 501(c) and trying to decide between a corporation and an LLC.

I still haven't figured that part out yet.

We are just so blessed to have a board of 20 people who are as excited about this as we are. People who are willing to work hard, put their necks and reputations on the line, and MAKE something- Not just a bunch of folks with ideas, and talking about it, But people willing to knock on doors, write letters, learn rules and read legal papers.

BR has been such a great help too. He calls me all the time with a new idea, something else to research, encouraging words, or just to add to the dream. Not to mention; he hasn't complained once when I worked strait through till 7pm and forgot to cook him supper, or wouldn't talk about anything except form 1023, EIN's, grant proposals or fiscal sponsorships. He wants this as much as I do, and we KNOW that time is of the essence. Brett is already 12- we want him to be able to compete on a state level for a few years. Its not fair for him to watch all this happen and only Bow get to benefit from it.

I'd like to see at least one 5 man stand, 1 complete skeet set up, and 1 trap setup in place before this time next year.

Anyway, yesterday BR and I, and 2 others from the board went to the closest gun club to us to learn about some of the ins and outs. We came away from it with alot of valuable information, but more than that with a sense of pride and knowhow. we CAN do this.
Unfortunatly, we also came away from it with some information that we didnt want to hear. The words "gross negligence" and "liability insurance" are never fun to hear. But its something you have to always have in the back of your mind anytime you allow the public onto a site that you design and construct, especially for the youth to use.

And more especially when there are firearms and archery equiptment involoved. ( I am not allowed to call them 'weapons' around the 4H kids- which makes no sense to me, a weapon is only a bad thing if you use it for a bad purpose. I really have no easy term to use. "instrument for expelling projectiles" seems too long and cumbersome. )
anyway, the concept of liability is something that does scare me. I can ensure safety in the way our kids USE the Instruments for expelling projectiles or IFEP's, and I can make sure that they are maintained. But you cant inspect every shell that comes through, arrows are known to break from a hairline fracture, wood and synthetic are not made to last forever, and strings get frayed and can snap; mechanical failure on a brand new item is a very distinct posibility. And here was a man who had done this for decades, who was on the state boards, wasnt just an instructor for KIDS, but an instructor FOR instructors, telling us " you DONT want to be the ones supplying weapons to kids- PERIOD. you CANT afford the liability"
He said no insurance company would touch us with a 10 ft pole, the kids MUST supply their OWN IFEP's and Projectiles. UGGGGGG
the WHOLE point of our entire club is its FREE. The parents and kids work our tails off all year to raise money for all the IFEP's and Projectiles and targets (I wonder if I can still use the word target.... to have a target you need something to aim AT the target, and that is traditionally a weapon.....)- anyway, we work hard to make sure that anyone with a finger and a shoulder can shoot a gun. You dont have to have your own, you dont even have to know which end is the bad end when you show up. We are trained to teach you every bit of that. We provide ear plugs, glasses, skeet, heck, we even provide the water to drink! All we ask of the parents is "Bring them, and watch" If a parent WANTS to help- we LOVE it. if they dont, we are okay with that.

But, now that part of the dream, the one for all the disadvantaged kids who dont already HAVE a shotgun or bow at home might not work out for us. Thats the kids we wanted to be sure got to hunt, and were able to shoot to their hearts content. Its heartbreaking. But, Its NOT going to stop us. PERIOD. One dog doesnt stop the show. We can fiqure out ways to get around that. But, now we have to break it to everyone IN the club. And sad thing is, folks think I am being the bad guy.
It doesnt matter though- we WILL prevail, we WILL still have that range by this time next year, and we WILL work to make sure anyone interested is able to shoot in all the disaplines we offer. It might just be a little differnt than we imagined.

The actual association is fine, its not affected by this. Its just an entity to facilitate the act of expelling projectiles (shooting seems just as unPC as weapons and targets....)- it will simply be like any other gun range in the state- and allow the 4H to utilize the facilities.
Its the Club that worries me. Oh not that we wont still have one. Most of our kids have their own IFEPs, so thats not the issue. And this is East Texas- most folks know someone, who knows someone, who has a cache of guns. Its the strife it might cause amoung the adults that is bothering me.

But alas- that's neither here nor there, the point is- we HAVE an association- We WILL have an entire shooting complex, and we are going to have it SOON!!

I am just thrilled to be a part of something so great- And the other night, I went to the NWTF chapter meeting to discuss our banquet, and our field representative has his own 4H gun range too! Its way up in North Texas, but its great to know someone else has done this.

And I know we have a great board, I didn't have a single person hear about it that didnt want to be a part of it immediately!!

The boys have been picking peas all week, getting up and getting in the fields right after daylight because its so hot, and then picking a few bushels and selling them. And the other day we sold 4 hogs, after I took out the money for feed, the boys got the rest for feeding and watering them.
I am hoping this will teach them that hard work DOES pay off. And if it doesn't pay off, maybe it will teach them to get a good job and pay others to do the dirty work.

I will close with a video of Bow,

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