Junior Rangers compete in national marksmanship championship
By Peter Moon
Junior Canadian Rangers from across Canada gathered in St. Catharines, Ontario, in early May for the annual Junior Ranger national marksmanship championship.
“They shot well and enjoyed themselves,” said Warrant Officer Ron Wen, a Canadian Army instructor. “They should be very proud of what they did in this contest. They did well.”
The Junior Rangers are a Canadian Army program for youth aged 12 to 18 in remote and isolated communities across the Far North. A total of 63 Junior Rangers competed in the annual event which was held in the Lincoln and Welland Regiment Armoury.
The Junior Rangers shot with Daisy air rifles on a 10-metre range at a variety of targets, including paper, clay, falling plates, and digital targets.
“I’ve enjoyed myself,” said Junior Ranger Troy Ningewance, 16, from Lac Seul, Ont. “The shooting was challenging but it was fun. It’s been very interesting meeting people from different places. I’ve enjoyed meeting and talking with people from Yukon.”
The Daisy air rifle is a useful teaching tool that can be used to stress firearms safety, and it can be fired safely indoors, said Captain John McNeil, the army officer commanding Northern Ontario’s 1000 Junior Rangers. “The principles of marksmanship are the same whether it’s a Daisy air rifle, a .22 (calibre), or a larger calibre. The more you can shoot the better and more comfortable you feel shooting. We stress safety.”
St. Catharines was selected as the location for this year’s competition because of its proximity to Niagara Falls. “Seeing the Falls and being so close to the United States has been an exhilarating experience for the (Junior Rangers),” Capt McNeil said.
Junior Ranger Destiny Larouche, 15, of Moose Factory saw the Falls for the first time. “They are amazing and so beautiful,” she said. “I’m so pleased I’m here to see them.”
The championship had a surprise winner. Twelve-year-old Junior Ranger Eden Dulac won as the youngest competitor. She beat her 18-year-old brother, Joshua, who was the second highest scorer and one of the oldest shooters. They travelled the furthest to get to the contest from their home in Haines Junction, Yukon, which is 4 250 kilometres from St. Catharines.
(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.)
Junior Ranger Jasmine Keogak, 17, from Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories, concentrates on her shooting. Photo: Submitted
Junior Ranger Eden Dulac aims to fire the Daisy air rifle during the competition. Photo: Submitted
Junior Ranger Eden Dulac, the youngest competitor at 12, was the surprise winner of the national championship. Photo: Submitted
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