2013...looking back

Another year come and gone...where does the time go?

Mostly, it was a positive, good year at Bigfork Gun Club: the officers and directors met with some controversial issues, undoubtedly ruffled a few feathers, pulled together to accomplish stated goals, and always put the best interests of BGC at the forefront, as they saw it. In a purely volunteer-managed and operated entity, that's about as good as it gets.

Our membership is steadily growing. More than one newcomer has said that after looking over other options in the Valley, they felt Bigfork Gun Club was the place to be. We have a top-notch facility! (We even had an Olympic U.S. Gold Medal winner, Jamie Gray, practicing at BGC for the 2016 games)

With the help of grant monies from NRA and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, significantly bolstered by generous and welcome input from our membership through donation appeals and sales of donated Elmer Sprunger wildlife prints, we were finally able to start construction and finish a new multi-discipline storage building. With some extra effort and funds this summer we were also able ahead of schedule to add electricity and lighting in said building, as well as upgrading the lighting of our parking lot and surrounding grounds.

Probably the biggest, most rewarding and exciting project underway this year was the beginning of a youth shotgun program, focusing on introducing teenagers to trap. Jim Brown worked hard to get this off the ground; several club members in the shotgun side donated many, many hours of help and encouragement to these kids as well. The youngsters even got to compete in a four-state regional match in Idaho...those attending from other states went home knowing there is a new, talented and successful junior trap club in Bigfork, Montana. Also, a link with the great 4-H program could happen in May.

The directors also spent many hours this summer drafting, reviewing, adjusting and finally adopting several amendments and additions / deletions to the club bylaws and policies. Much of this was done to bring older language and content in the bylaws up to date with contemporary wants and needs. It also includes a much studied and reviewed instructors policy which offers a consistent path for requested use of the club facilities, while allowing the directors to retain control throughout the process.

Our excellent volunteer-manned Range Safety Officer program is being revitalized, largely through the efforts of our new Chief Range Safety Officer, Michael Hebert.

All that said and accomplished, it's now time for others in the membership to begin picking up their fair share of the load...Remember this is a membership-owned, volunteer-run organization. Many of the current program and activity volunteers have been "volunteering" for a good, long time. The starters need some time on the bench. New blood, new muscle, fresh ideas all help make a good dynamic.

Just as important is a call for those interested in contributing as officers and directors of BGC. The annual election / general membership meeting is scheduled for June 2nd. You must be a member in good standing for at least a year, at the time of election, and hopefully will have demonstrated your interest by attending some of the monthly directors' meetings prior to June. All offices, from chairman through board of directors member, will be open for election.

Bigfork Gun Club needs YOU!!                                  Happy 2014!!              L. D. Gross, chairman 


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