Currently viewing the tag: "Integrity"

Deb Abraham Spalding

AIM stands for Academics, Integrity, and Marksmanship. It’s the youth program for the ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association), a national and worldwide program. “This is a sport,” explained Maryland AIM Director, Chuck Farmer, “and it’s the safest sport you can play. Safety is built into the program, so there aren’t accidents. It builds the responsibility, respect, and discipline that carries on to everything else in life. That’s what sports are really about, and ALL that shooting sports are about- and it’s FUN!”

Farmer took the lead when the AIM program was moved to Thurmont two years ago. Dick Hughes had run the program for many years at Harvey’s Cedar Gun Club near Baltimore but turned it over to Farmer as the new director when his attention shifted in other directions.

In Thurmont, Farmer has appreciated the many volunteers who have stepped forward to create an active committee of support. Older trapshooters, members of area sportsman’s clubs, Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, and other professional adult volunteers dedicate time and effort to the annual event. He said, “It’s a good thing to have it here in Frederick County.” Now, a non-profit Maryland State AIM committee has been formed. “It’s all about growing the youth programs,” he added. “We’d like to expand to make Frederick County the central hub in Maryland for all youth-shooting sports, including sporting clays, skeet, five-stand, trap, and the pistol and rifle shooting sports.”

AIM encompasses and supports all the area’s youth trapshooting organizations including 4-H Shooting Sports, Boy Scouts, High School Rodeo Shooting Sports, Conservation club teams, USA High School Clay Target teams, Scholastic SCTP teams (there’s one starting up in Thurmont and one currently at Mt Airy IWLA). To form a team, a squad of at least five shooters is required. Call Chuck Farmer at 301-988-2809 or email with inquiries.

On June 12, 2021, AIM members hosted the Maryland State AIM Championship at the Sportsman’s Club in Thurmont. Four age groups comprise the AIM program: Pre-Sub (11 and under); Sub Junior (12-14), Junior 15-18, and Junior Gold (up to age 23). The day after this shoot, the Pennsylvania State AIM Shoot was held in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. Farmer said, “It’s a state competition, but you’re really competing against yourself. You’re earning targets to go towards the bigger contests. That’s why you’ll see youngsters side-by-side with adults while competing and everyone competes on their own level and ability. The best part is that anyone can participate- even if you are in a wheel chair.”

Grand American Nationals are coming up from July 30 to August 3 in Sparta, Illinois, with shooters from countries all over the world. At that event, there will be Olympic shooters, professional shooters, youth shooters, and more.

Farmer shared, “We probably have already 15-20 from the area’s new high school clay target team (Frederick Stars & Stripes) that are interested in going to the National event. The Grand American is rich with history with many people who participated over the years such as Annie Oakley, Roy Rogers and John Philip Sousa.” The Grand American at the World shooting Complex is the largest shooting competition in the World with a trapshooting firing line  over 3.5 miles long. The World Shooting Complex is also the current home of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame Museum and worth a visit if in the area.

Brian Ferris, Director of a new program in West Virginia, will host their first State Shoot in Winchester, Virginia, July 10 and 11, trying to model after Maryland’s AIM program.

AIM members may go to any local gun club, or even visit another club to shoot while on vacation. The kids are the future of their clubs and of the sport. The Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club (TCSC) hosts frequent shooting opportunities. If someone would like to make a contribution to AIM or the Club, they can do that.

Vice President at TCSC, Jeff Plum, is also the Thurmont Sportsman’s Club’s pool chairman. He said, “The pool is open,” and encourages membership at the Club.

Special thanks are extended to all the sponsors, including the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club, Brunswick ACE Hardware, Butler Tire, Rentals Unlimited, Whistle Stop Smokehouse, National Wild Turkey Federation, NFM Lending—Jeremy Poling, MD State High School Clay Target League, Shotgun Shooting Supplies, J&B Real Estate—Elle Smith, Evolve Stone, PJ’s Roofing, Tuscarora Gun Club, R&R Guns, Hafers & Skeeter’s Gun Shop.

Special thanks also to the event’s caterer, Mission BBQ, and Rita’s Italian Ice who provided the treat trailer.

Maryland AIM Director, Chuck Farmer, explains the rules and process of the Annie Oakley competition during the MD State AIM Championship on June 12, 2021.

Shooters rotate turns and positions in groups of up to five per squad.

Shoot Out winner, Tami Nanan, won the coveted Maryland State Leather Shooting Bag, donated by Shamrock Leathers.

On Saturday, June 4, 2016, members of the Frederick County 4-H Firepower Club participated in the Maryland AIM Championship at the Harvey’s Cedar Gun Club in Harford County, Maryland. The American Trap Association AIM program stands for Academics, Integrity, and Marksmanship and is held in each of the states in the United States.

Each member shot 100 singles during the competition and 50 doubles. In the singles category, the Firepower Pre-Sub Squad, which consisted of members Hunter McGlaughlin, Mo Baker, Marques Miller, Zachary Mullen, and Abigail McGlaughlin, placed first in the state with a total score of 355. Individual member awards were given to Hunter (champion); Mo (runner-up); Marcus (third place), and Abigail (high lady). Zachary shot 69 targets.

The Junior Gold team, consisting of members Natalie Schiazzi, John Schroyer, Amelia Summers, Trevor Mullen, and Matthew Lenhart, also placed first in the singles competition in the state with a total score of 381. Individual member awards were given to Matthew (second place) and Natalie (high lady).

4-H member John Schroyer shot his first 25 straight targets (without a miss) and, as a custom, the hat he was wearing was thrown in the air while members from each club represented “shot at his hat.”

4-H member Kyle Snowden also participated after taking his SAT’s, arriving in time to register to shoot. In the singles event, he scored a 91 out of 100 targets in the sixteen-yard competition.

In the Pre Sub Division doubles competition (50 targets), Hunter McGlaughlin placed first (48), Mo Baker placed second, and Marquis Miller placed third. In the Junior Gold Division, Matthew Lenhart placed first (42), Blair Nicholson of Middletown placed second, and former Club President Natalie Schiazzi placed third.

Matthew Lenhart was also the Shamrock Leather Shoot-Out Winner for the State of Maryland and received the Maryland ATA/AIM leather shooting bag.

Many of the 4-H members who attended this event will be participating in the Youth Grand American in Sparta, Illinois, on July 30 through August 2, 2016.

Other teams participating from Frederick County were Junior Squad members of the Thurmont Top Shots and two Junior Squad teams from the Catoctin Fish & Game Club, who also represented Frederick County well at the event.

The Frederick County 4-H Firepower Club meets on the first Monday of each month at the 4-H Camp Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. However, the August meeting will be held on August 8, 2016, due to the National AIM Championship.

For further information about the club or if you have any questions, contact Chuck Farmer at 301-418-0918 or the Frederick County 4-H office at 301-600-1589.
4-H members attending the Maryland AIM Championship on June 4, 2016, were: (front row) Zachery Mullen, Abigail McGlaughlin, Marques Miller, Hunter McGlaughlin, Mo Baker; (back row) Matthew Lenhart, Kyle Snowden, Natalie Schiazzi, Trevor Mullen, Amelia Summers, and John Schroye