Wednesday, January 18, 2017

CMP left scrambling for help after NRA bolts from Camp Perry

Camp Perry’s National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches are looking for a few good men – and women.

Each summer the matches – held at the Ohio National Guard’s nine-thousand-acre Camp Perry just west of Port Clinton – employs a cadre of volunteers to perform yeoman’s work for a variety of necessary chores.

This annual competitive shooting effort was for many years conducted jointly by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the National Rifle Association and called simply enough “The National Rifle and Pistol Matches.”

However, after being a Camp Perry fixture for more than a century, the NRA unexpectedly withdrew its rifle phase from there last November. The organization has since moved that portion of the shoots to Camp Atterbury, a large multi-purpose and multi-sited Indiana National Guard complex located in southeast Indiana.

The move did catch the CMP by surprise, forcing the federal government-charted organization to develop the management strategies for its own set of competitions. Coupled then with this effort was the need to recruit the all-important company of worker bees to assist in conducting the revamped and new shooting platforms.

Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Program Chief Christy Sewell says that for the past 20 years her organization “has been a leader in the marksmanship community.”

“The CMP is committed to Camp Perry, the permanent home of the National Matches. In 2017, the CMP will run our matches at Camp Perry in partnership with the Ohio Army National Guard,” Sewell said.

Even so, says Sewell, many hands make for light work and the CMP could use a lot of muscle power.

“Though our staff members have worked hard to provide unparalleled service for our competitors and guests over the last two decades, we still need more hands to help us facilitate the National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches,” Sewell says.

Thus, Sewell says also, “this is where the volunteers come in,” a recruitment task here-to-for performed by the NRA.

Consequently, the CMP – as the entity is commonly referred to - is in search of willing volunteers to help support the organization’ 2017 National Match series of CMP-associated events. This year those shooting disciplines are scheduled for June and July on the world’s largest shooting range and which recently underwent extensive renovation.

In their respective roles, volunteers will assist in conducting CMP match events only, and will be picked from a selection process through all received volunteer applications.


Sewell says volunteer duties may include - but won’t be limited to - firing line work as range officers, assistance with statistics and scorecards, or other tasks to be assigned as needed.

Chosen individuals will receive a per diem stipend and based on amount of time worked along with “exclusive benefits” that are offered only to those “who graciously donate their time to helping us provide an exceptional experience for all of our guests,” Sewell said as well.

Similarly, housing and lunch will be provided for each volunteer, said Seawell.

And all chosen volunteers will attend a specialized Range Officer training course, provided by the CMP. This training regimen is typically offered for $75 per person, but is being waived for volunteers.

“That’s a possible $150 value for those who volunteer for both rifle and pistol match programs,” Sewell said.

While past volunteer experience is not needed, knowledge of firearms, firearms safety, and shooting range procedures is a plus, says Sewell.

Sewell quickly added that volunteers with an itch to compete are not just welcome to participate but are encouraged to do so when they aren’t assigned a task.

“Becoming a CMP volunteer is a worthwhile opportunity for any competition-goer,” Sewell says. “Not only will volunteers earn behind-the-scenes access to the CMP competitions process, they're also destined to create unforgettable memories with staff members and participants along the way.”

To learn more or to sign up, prospect volunteers can visit the CMP’s web site at at or contact Vera Snyder, volunteer specialist, at 419-635-2141 ext. 782 or

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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