Shelley and I had the great honor of presenting at the Active Self Protection‘s National Conference September 25-27, 2019 located at Living Water Ranch located in Manhattan, KS. This unique event, that is also known as “Bullets and Bibles”, donates all of the proceeds to the Flint Hills Foster Teen Camps.
“In addition to the summer camp for teens, they also do Homes of Hope. When foster teens reach 18, they age out of the system. Many find themselves immediately homeless on their 18th birthday and without the life skills and support system to rise above that challenge. FHFTC proves room and board, along with support and training in basic life skills to ease the transition from foster child to adult. They stay on-site and learn about budgeting, hygiene, cooking, cleaning, job skills, etc. This is a tremendous resource for them and they get to go through this transition with caring adults and counselors to point the way.”
Now this is a cause we can all support! All of the instructors donated their time to this worthwhile program. I have found that being compassionate and generous is a boon for the giver. According to Jason Marsh and Jill Suttie of the Greater Good Magazine (Science Based Insight for a Meaningful Life at UC Berkeley), “When we give to others, we don’t only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them.”
Over 100 shooters supported this event with its worthwhile cause, but there was something unique about this group. All were kind, generous, and interested in personal protection, but that is not what set them apart. Chuck Haggard of Agile Training & Consulting, put it succinctly, “Everyone there was a new shooter”, meaning none of the traveling instructors had seen them before. If you attend enough training classes you get to know the “hard core training junkies”. Tom Givens of Rangemaster believes that there are roughly 5,000 or so people that train consistently, and we all get to know each other. This was 100 new shooters under the tutelage of top instructors, for some of them, it was their first training class ever.
This is noteworthy, and exciting! John Correia, founder and owner of Active Self Protection, has an immense reach on social media, and more importantly, he is a man of faith, allowing him to draw a different community. Bringing this many new people to actively train is what we are all striving for in the firearms training community. Not only that, but the team at ASP, John Correia, Neil Weidner, Chief Marketing Officer/Instructor, Active Self Protection, and Stephannie Weidner, CEO/XO (Executive Officer) of Active Self Protection, built a sense of fellowship, and community that was both inclusive and welcoming. People interacted, and really got to know each other. I noticed a difference on the line immediately, while everyone was attentive, and open, the excitement to all the excellent information being presented was tangible. I think most instructors worked all 3 days, either teaching or assisting in classes, feeding off this infectious enthusiasm flowing through this conference.
Raising money for kids in need, teaching personal protection, and creating a new group of shooters is a success. There are so many people that contributed to this event, giving their time freely, and helping young men and woman improve their lives, let me thank each of you for your generosity. Shelley and I will look forward to attending this conference each year, and spending our time with all of you wonderful folks at this event.
“Virtue is its own reward. There’s a pleasure in doing good, which sufficiently pays itself.” ― John Vanbrugh