Finished ironing the togs from my last Appleseed of the season - family, holidays and weather have my priority now. But I have some thoughts I should share about Appleseed.
This is a great time for getting all your gear in top shape, cleaned and lubricated rifles, leather slings preserved (tong oil and saddle soap?). All targets, tee-shirts, and forms inventoried and boxed up - yes, I know I have heard we are re-branding, and although I won't bet on it, I am certain I have at least six to seven major RWVA/Appleseed operations before re-branding is finished fact, sometime after the NRA convention. I have received my red Instructor short sleeve shirt, and the new flags of the Revolution tee-shirt, so with all the other stuff I own for Appleseed, I am covered. And Dickies brown, or sand colored carpenter pants speak Liberty to me (5.11? never heard of them - some yuppie outfit?).
Winter is a fine time for reading, writing and studying - everything one wants to know about the Revolutionary War has been written by the British and the Americans - start making each of the three strikes a twenty minute presentation in at least two formats. You have to tell the tale to your audience, you must watch them to find what works - keeps their interest and perks up their curiosity. Liberty Seeds in the minor key would be good with small audiences. Not that it would support Appleseed and our day, 19 April, 1775, I think all instructors should know that Canada and Mexico have both had challenges in their History, some of which had to do with Mother Countries and much to do with colonialism and paternalism. One more person telling me that Canada didn't have to have a revolution to be as the United States is will be a tipping point. Canada stands as a fine symbol of English enlightenment and the problems with budgets - and like I said, Canada has had conflicts internally to make them how they are now. And Canada never ever wanted to be like the United States, just have a good relationship - neighborly.
Lock in your schedule for 2015, like anyone except Coupeville and Douglas Ridge Rifle Club know what Appleseed activities they are scheduling now. So send out the letters asking, make personal contact, do presentations and answer questions and get ahead of the calendar as much as possible. Get one Instructor Boot Camp early, helps frame your knowledge with the rapidly changing ways to tell a tale and all the basic fundamental knowledge. You will also be able to make known your skills and weaknesses among your peers, with their skills and weaknesses. Might even make a friend or two, and homemade cookies are awesome.
I want everyone to get really older looking over the Winter, for sure it is easier than getting younger over the Winter. And I have heard very few dandy young fellows tales - although I read about Daniel Boone having two ladies that manned the loophole in Boonesboro (against the Shawnee and Mingo) because they shot better than the men, that was the attack before 1773-4. And since we aren't going to get younger, we have to get in shape for getting in the dirt, demonstrating all the positions, transitions and steady hold factors. My advice for shooters, is five days a week, an AQT on the wall at the end of the hall, an empty rifle and a sling and go through the forty shots dry practice, six steps of making the shot, calling the shot, rifleman's cadence, and two extra sitting positions - one of which should be kneeling, with transitions! Getting up and down must get easier, but only with practice. Break your movements down, make the same solid smooth move each time. That is only thirty minutes, and no one is looking, although it would be better with a partner - you can video record it for self analysis.
Don't forget a little stretching, exercise unused muscles (thumbs for texting just don't cover much in shooting). I think the touch toes, squats, push ups, side benders, squats, and arm circles and sit ups and did I mention squats? You can figure it out, along with your normal work, school and family and friend and fellowship activities. Plenty of time until that next performance, right?
If you have real cold, frozen Winterseed and hearty crew and shooters - do have a Winterseed and give lots of those patches out - take tons of pictures and share them with the folks that haunt the forum never saying much, because someone has said it better, louder or repetitiously. Have a most happy Winter, many holidays, and opportunities to excel await and I will see you after the waking from hibernation.