But there’s one other change that I want to share with you concerning this year’s Rifle Department Head, Liza Stace.
Liza is well known — and beloved — to many of us, after years of having worked at Camp Alleghany. Liza was Head of Rifle for two summers, and then also a Head Counselor for three summers. In other words, she’s very experienced!
She’s now in her mid-20s, and in graduate school now, and lucky us, she agreed to come back again as Head of Rifle…but this time, with a twist.
The twist? We’re moving the Head of Rifle to a slightly different category than our regular staff counselor positions. Instead, this department will fall under our Support Staff category.
So what does that mean?
For one thing, it means she won’t have tent counselor duties, or her “own” campers.
Well, for one thing, Rifle is among the top most potentially dangerous activities at Camp. Certainly we operate at the highest level of National Rifle Association (NRA) certified safety and procedures, but Rifle is still potentially dangerous.
Within this context, Rifle has extra day-to-day and hour-to-hour procedures and processes that must be followed to assure that safety and compliance are met to the top most standards. That boils down to a significant amount of extra work for the Rifle Department as a whole, and for the Head of Rifle in particular.
Given those demands, we decided it would be prudent and, really more fair, for the Head of Rifle to have no other focus at all except the range.
Home, home on the range
The extra attention that the range requires includes cleaning, repairing, and then testing guns, extra locks on equipment which demands extra time at the beginning and end of each class unlocking and re-locking the rifles and ammunition, and a wide array of extra care and attention to the range in general.
Having the Head of Rifle fall into our Support Staff category allows her the chance to do all these things without feeling like she has to rush to also meet tent and camper duties, too. This way she can really give 100% to the Rifle Department and not feel torn or over-booked.
In addition to this, as Taylor wrote about in our updated (2016) rifle blog, we’re very excited to bring new elements into the teaching or rifle teaching this year.
Liza will use her experience as a former Rifle Head, along with updated rifle training and skill focuses, to take extra time for new teaching modules within the department to strengthen how counselors learn to teaching rifle.
She’ll also teach problem solving in target shooting, positional shooting, and the more metaphorical issues of focus and control demanded in marksmanship (markswomanship?). 🙂 This will be so great for all of our Rifle Staff and all campers taking Rifle.
We’re totally looking forward to this!
Liza has extensive experience not only on the range, but she’s also getting a master’s in education, so she has out-of-camp teaching and education experience that we’re thrilled to benefit from! We were looking for someone “older” with that sort of experienced, how great is that to bring back a ‘Ghany Girl for just such a purpose?!
Another benefit is that it’s nice to open the range during free periods to counselors who’ve never shot before, and counselors who may be working toward a shooting goal they started as a camper. By narrowing the duties of our Head of Rifle to just the Rifle Department means freeing up some energy to make this free shooting time more beneficial.
And this could mean some interesting camper-counselor shoot-off contests, or even opportunities to give Rifle a try for campers who didn’t get to sign up for this activity.
Of course, our on-going Blue-Gray competition will remain the same — registered over time, by camper and her color team — until the final score is tallied, so don’t worry about that!
I hope you’re as excited as we are to welcome Liza back, and welcome her in this new, very visible, and very unique capacity. Our dedication to Rifle just grows, and with it, unique staffing that best fulfills our goals and the goals of our counselors.
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls