Camp Atterbury, Indiana
Since 1907 Camp Perry in Ohio has been the home of CMP and NRA National Matches. For the 2017 season the NRA is moving the National Championships to Camp Atterbury in Indiana. Crazy eh? There still needs to be the formal approval from the NRA Board of Directors but now that word is out I am pretty sure it is a done deal. Well I am a member of the NRA High Power Committee and we just had our annual meeting last weekend at Camp Atterbury. Across The Course, Mid Range and Long Range National Championships will now be held in Indiana. I knew something was up when we were diverted from having the meeting at the NRA headquarters in VA as usual to Indiana at the last minute. We had a private tour of the entire base and It is a really great place. I know this story has been out for a couple of days but most are cut from the same press release. I am able to get you up and close and personal with photos I took while there. Why after over 100 years would the NRA want to make such a move?
Now is a good time for good changes for the NRA National Championships. Remember, the NRA started because of competition. Unfortunately it has been roped in to politics for a long time and the competition side has been forgotten. We hope this will now change in the years to come. Our meeting this year was to decide between three eligible locations. We decided Camp Atterbury covered all of the bases of making a great match. The NRA, with the help of the Indiana National Guard at Camp Atterbury and the State of Indiana will be able to make a statement with its own location and event. We have been welcomed with open arms to the State of Indiana and they are willing to work with us quickly to make the 2017 Matches happen and happen well. We will have an opening ceremony and welcome BBQ. Stay tuned for possible celebrity appearances. The awards ceremony and prize table will be something new as well. Not giving details yet because there is a lot of work ahead for the amazing and overworked crew on staff at the NRA. The range and entire base is about 35,000 acres and family friendly.
On our tour we first drove to the range area. There are three 50 point ranges. Two of which can be used for long range as well as across the course. In fact they go back to 1800 yards. Maybe we can convince them to put on a Extreme Long Range match! Ok, maybe in 2018. One thing at a time. The target carriers are similar to Perry. New number boards and maintenance on the berms are a couple of the updates needed. There is plenty of housing on base as well as only 10 minutes away in Edinburgh or Columbus. From barracks to king bed apartments there are options for all. There is even a small lake with 4 cabins on it that are really cool rentals. Oh, did I just say that out loud? One of those is going to be mine. Housing prices are affordable too. There is a pool on base, bar, px, mess halls, Subway, gym, simulator building, you name it, it is all there. Their main clubhouse is an elegant log building. We had our meeting there for a day and a half and it was very nice. Could be a great location for the awards ceremony or banquets. Why should the high power competitors choose to compete here as well as Perry? Many reasons.
We love CMP for the ability to get 10 points toward Distinguished Medals and The President’s 100. NRA now will have an NRA Distinguished Badge for ATC, mid range, long range and F-Class. The point system will be somewhat similar. Details to come on that. Famous faces have expressed interest to participate. We will have an Opening Ceremony and welcome party as a BBQ and the Awards Ceremonies will become more than just a ceremony. And excuse me but have you taken a close look at the beautiful trophies the NRA has? They are like no others. The proposed 2017 match schedule (subject to change): First Shot Ceremony – July 7. Welcome BBQ (afternoon) – July 7. Across the Course – July 8-13. Mid-Range – July 14-17. Long-Range – July 18-22. Dennis Willing, Director of NRA Competitive Shooting, added his comment – “I intend to change the face of High Power Rifle as a discipline, and will be presenting matches that are better than competitors have ever seen before.”
I was worried this epic move would have been difficult to vote on or that our meeting would have erupted in to fist fights. Quite the contrary. First of all I would like to brag that we have a diverse and strong high power committee. I am honored to be part of it. I realize we can’t make everyone happy. We have to work within the means the NRA allows us. We have to work within the means of our budget which is less and less every year. I personally am excited for this new beginning. We had so many great ideas for the future of these matches. Like I said, one thing at a time. Much work is ahead to get the 2017 National Championship off the ground. I know change is hard sometimes. Some folks will be upset they have to change their plans or that changes were made at all. But we all know that our world evolves and we have to adapt and/or be progressive going forward. Change can be good. This one will be. I look forward to seeing you all at Camp Atterbury next summer. “All ready on the firing line!”