Message from Parent: We have an air gun trap in our shop where we would hold target Tuesdays with friends. They had exposure to the fundamentals and the responsibility that goes with it from good shooters (they probably didn’t even realize it was happening). When they got big enough/old enough to move into a rimfire gun they joined a 4-H shooting club (We have a great 4-H shooting club here in Bedford, Virginia.) I think the key is to set them up for success. Make it easy. They never shot something too heavy or hard to manage. If they couldn’t close one eye ( it seems like little kids have trouble with that) we would put a flap on their glasses or tape one side off. things like that.
I don’t think they realize it’s bonding, they see it as we are just heading out to shoot a little. They get to help each other, get some coaching and they get to do some coaching themselves. We take shooting as serious as they want to. The oldest is pretty competitive by nature, so she is pretty driven to get better, while the younger two are just having fun, staying safe, and learning the fundamentals. All three spend time cleaning and working on there rifles with there grandfather so it’s become a multigenerational experience. As long as they are having fun, bonding is the by-product of the time spent.
What is one quote you live by?
This is a quote my daughters love.
“Aim at a high mark and you’ll hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second time, maybe. Not even the third. But keep aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect.” – Phoebe Ann Moses (Annie Oakley)
3 Sisters Shooting
Our names are Lauryl, Samantha “Sam”, and Norah Akenhead. We are 15, 11, and 9 years old. We live in Bedford, Virginia on a sheep farm. We are members of Bedford 4H shooting club, and we are also members of the 4H Livestock Club. We all enjoy showing livestock, competitive shooting, and Norah also loves gymnastics. Sam and Norah are also currently blue belts in Karate.
Competitive Shooter Profile
Lauryl: “I really like shooting and was looking for more competitive opportunities. Mike Sutle’s club in West Virginia (LHK shooting sports) looked like they were having a really good time so I had to go! My goal for this year is to shoot at the national competition in Las Vegas.”
Sam: “My dad got me into shooting, and I have always have had an interest in it. It’s fun. My goal is to beat my older sister Lauryl and win a gold medal (LHK shooting sports gives medals for 1-3 place in each class).”
Norah: “Our dad started shooting so we wanted to shoot with him. My goal for this year is to hit the middle of the target.”
Our Rifle Builds
Favorite part about competing in an NRL 22 match
Lauryl: “Really my favorite part is going to dinner afterwards with the fellow competitors. We always have a good time and talk about how we did and how we can try to improve next time.”
Sam: “ I loved wearing my Silver medal out to dinner after the match and all the way home!” (Our club gives out medals for placing in classes)
Norah: “ I really like being with the other people.”
Lauryl: “Wind has been a challenge for me. I have had to learn how to measure wind speed and direction. I still need more practice but I’m starting to figure it out. “
Sam: “ I have had trouble finding the target, so I have learned to dial my scope out . Now I can find the target.”
Norah: “I had a really hard time closing my left eye. My dad put a flap over my glasses for awhile. Now I can close my eye without using the flap.”
Inspirations and Aspirations
Lauryl: “I admire my dad Matt and our friend Mike Suttle. They have spent many hours helping me become better.”
Sam: “ Dr. Pol. He is a wonderful vet and I want to grow up and work at his clinic. Dad. Because he is a good business man and he helps me a lot.”
Norah:“ My grandpa really helps me, I learn so much from him. He teaches me all about gun parts and how to take care of them.”