Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #324 7/25/2016

#324 - Daisy National BB Match (Watt Thoughts)

During the 4th of July weekend I participated in my 23rd Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match (DNBBGCM) or at least by my count. The match was previously known as the International BB Gun Championship Match (IBBGCM) and used to also be sponsored by the US Jaycees.

Back in 1987 I think I was asked at a Swainsboro Jaycees meeting if I would go to the shooting education class that week to help watch the kids 8-15 years old learning about gun safety. There were about 60 kids in the program. I went and helped and continued going and doing whatever. We picked seven children to go to the state Jaycee BB match and it was a fun but hot day and we made it through the match.

In about two years I was at another state match (and we had started also shooting in the 4-H matches) and the state program manger came up and asked me to be state program manger in 1991-92. It was a state level Jaycee office. I took the position and highly promoted the program all year and traveled to many towns, wrote newsletters at least once a month, gave out coffee mugs and helped start programs. I was chosen as state program manager of the year by the US Jaycees and was selected as a national representative for the program with the US Jaycees.

Ten of us served the first year and I traveled to about 5 states promoting shooting education. My emphasis had become the education apart of the program to make kids gun safe and I encouraged everyone no matter their views on guns to train their kids as they will encounter guns and I was hoping we prevent accidents. Of course until I get to heaven I will not know how many children’s lives were saved. The next year I kept my position but there were only 5 reps and I traveled from Florida to Pennsylvania to North Dakota to California and in between. The following year I was one of 3 representatives and did more traveling and promoted each year also at the US Jaycees convention. I also got to attend some neat state matches in West Virginia, the Dakotas and run the state Jaycees match in Georgia. In the process the NRA trained and certified me as a home firearms instructor. I also remained active in the Swainsboro program and helped coach several teams to the IBBGCM in Bowling Green Kentucky. In the early 1980s I also created a Lotus 1-2-3 program that scored the match and gave the rankings in all the categories we gave metals in which made the record keeping easier faster and more reliable and much quicker to be ready for the closing awards ceremony. The last few years we have now move to electronic scoring of targets by scanning them which is more consistent in scoring that Orion supplies us with.

I then was aging out of Jaycees and changed jobs and did not do anything in the program for about 3 years. Then in 1999 I read the match was coming to Atlanta and I called John Ford at Daisy to offer my assistance in February and quickly realized they had a location and 400 kids plus families coming and nothing else done. I heard train whistles blowing each day talking to John and I volunteered (may have been in Army way) to head it. I got a crew of leaders in the Georgia Jaycees together and we pulled off the match successfully with less than 5 months planning. I am still proud of that whole team and also John for all the work they did. The rest of my leadership team had never been to match and most had never shot a gun and we had air rifle also, so it was interesting teaching and doing all the skills to do this big production. We made $12,000 I think which we gave to several charities the Georgia Jaycees sponsor, but were scared we would lose money all the way to the match. We put two of the match committee in each motel room to safe money and a couple slept in hospitality suite.

Georgia was then awarded the match in 2000 and the same team planned it but we now had experience and 12 months to prepare. I dropped to co-chair and Larry MacQuirter who had been treasurer moved to co-chair with me and we did a successful match again at the Olympic shooting sports site from 1996.

In 1999 as the match got close I realized everyday as I went home and listened to answering machine that people were calling with same questions from all over the country and I started a web site just for the FAQ to cut calls I had to make each evening. At the end of the match in 2000 Daisy asked me to keep doing the site and they would take me to the match each year as pay. I had started adding pictures and more stuff (since Larry was co-chair I had a little more time to take pictures) and added stuff. The site is http://www.dnbbgcm.com/ I have now been doing the website for 18 years and continuously make better. This year I took 1376 pictures at the match. Since about 2006 my intention is to get a picture of every child shooting and to take pictures of all the events. For the new teams it gives them a chance to realize how the range is (we used to shoot outside on a football field to today we shoot in a convention center in air conditioned comfort and don't worry about heat, wind and rain), and how opening ceremony is (lots like an Olympic ceremony) and what a barter bar is. For the teams that attended a chance to remember memories and also get pictures of them shooting.

I served as treasurer of the match in Atlanta in 2002 with Larry as chair. In 2002 the match was in Colorado Springs at the Olympic training site which was really neat but they are not set up for that large of event. Since it was in Wilmington NC, Bowling Green Kentucky and for the last 6 years or so it has been in Rogers Arkansas the home of Daisy.

2016 was the 50th annual match and we had some really neat celebrations. The match is growing and adds things each year. We had BB church this year for the first time.

I would encourage you to support your local gun safety programs for children. They are sponsored by a number of organizations. 4-H is the most popular, but the Jaycees, Lions, Royal Rangers, Boy Scouts and others also sponsor programs.



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