In early December, freshman Sam Glasgow led Bates College’s first official Sportsmen’s Club meeting. Students gathered to hear about the opportunity to learn about firearm use and safety and to discuss the direction of the new club. The meeting was well attended, and the club will now have regular meetings.
The concept for the club was developed by Glasgow and first-year Evan Molinari, after the two discovered their mutual appreciation of shooting sports during their AESOP trip.
“Hoping to connect with others who shared our interest and introduce novices to shooting,” says Glasgow, “We decided to start the club.”
The pair proposed the idea for the club to the school’s student council, and the club was approved shortly after.
Thus far the club has held several meetings, and according to Glasgow, the Bates student body has shown significant interest in the club.
“Both meetings were very well attended by both men and women,” says Glasgow. “In total 61 people came to our meetings or reached out about the club.”
Glasgow and fellow officers – Molinari, Nick McCarthy, and Lydia Merizon – already have several outings planned for the club.
The first outing held by the Sportsmen’s Club will take place on January 27th. Club members will take a firearm safety class at the Androscoggin County Fish and Game Association (ACF&GA) in Auburn.
Glasgow places particular importance on firearm safety. “Safety is paramount to everything we do… Attendance [to a safety class] is required before partaking in out shooting outings,” said Glasgow.
Other planned events for the club include trips to the ACF&GA to play trap and target shooting – both of these involve shooting targets from up to several hundred yards away. While trap shooting, the shooter attempts to hit clay pigeons which are launched by a machine. Target shooting allows a shooter to practice accuracy at the distance of their choice, by shooting at a stationary target.
In addition to the shooting component of the club, Glasgow and the other officers hope to incorporate fishing into the club’s regular set of activities.
Glasgow says, “[We hope to offer] trips to local streams and rivers. Fishing is also very much in the fabric of Maine life, but also absent from the Bates campus.”
The club’s meetings will continue regularly throughout the remainder of the school year, and with improvements in the Maine weather, outings will become more frequent. Glasgow hopes that the club will not only introduce Bates students to something new and fun, but also will prove to enlighten Bates students about safe recreational firearm use.
“Shooting [and fishing are] a historic American pastime and very much a part of Maine life,” Glasgow says. “I hope that the Sportsmen’s Club will provide an opportunity for the Bates community to connect with this tradition.”
Only time and the unpredicatable Maine weather will tell.