I am often asked what it’s like to work with Shoot Like A Girl (SLG). Well, here is my year in review. It is not all-encompassing of everything I’ve experienced, but it does highlight a few of the many adventures that I have experienced in this incredible role as a Pro Staff Firearms Instructor.
When I was selected to join the Shoot Like A Girl Team as a Pro Staff Certified Firearms Instructor in June 2021, I was thrilled at the thought of introducing women to the shooting sports at various locations. Little did I know that the primary function of this role was only a part of what was to come. Each experience on the trailer is filled with physical labor, meeting people from all over the country, and developing friendships with the amazing women of the SLG Team. I could never have imagined what was in store for my journey.
My initial “interview” was held in Georgia. From the very first day, the SLG Team was so welcoming and engaging. Although our team members are from all over the country, we shared an instant bond and it felt like it was where I belonged. Our CEO, Karen Butler, offered me the position during my interview weekend and I was super excited to become a new member of such a powerful team of incredible and accomplished women. They welcomed me into the sisterhood with open arms.
As I began to review the travel schedule, I realized that there were so many places I had never visited. From my travels to Missouri, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Ohio, Nevada, Kansas, Tennessee, and Montana, I have experienced beautiful places, great adventures, and the many amazing people. These memories will last my lifetime.
Trips that stand out in my mind include SHOT Show, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Convention, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) Fest, New Mexico (during the International Balloon Fiesta), and most recently, our trip to Upper Canyon Outfitters in Alder, Montana. This trip was especially memorable due to the challenging work, extreme travel schedule, the team bonding experiences, and the beauty of the great outdoors. We began in Park City, UT at the RMEF Festival. Upon leaving UT, we drove to Montana. During our week at Upper Canyon Outfitters, we participated in a photo shoot in the beautiful mountains, with gear received from SLG’s numerous and awesome partners. One of the most memorable events, while at the ranch, was the equine facilitated wellness team building exercise. We rode the horses bareback and blindfolded, as part of our lesson in trust and vulnerability. The entire experience was phenomenal and the staff at the ranch was fantastic. Witnessing the amazing wildlife, the majestic mountains, and flowing river provided the perfect environment for soul-searching, serenity, and nature’s therapy.
Another amazing first-time adventure, while at the ranch, was having the opportunity to fly fish. I wasn’t sure about what to expect, but it was much more than I could have ever anticipated. Standing in the middle of the Ruby River, surrounded by trees and mountains, fulfilled a need that I didn’t realize I even had. It was one of the most relaxing and tranquil places on Earth! There’s nothing better than shooting outdoors and shooting in the mountains was just a part of our many assignments while on location. Yes, this is what work looks like with Shoot Like A Girl.
While at the ranch, we all stayed in cabins and spent time sharing stories, thoughts, and lots of laughs. We had a few practical jokers on the trip, so some of us found wooden snakes in our boots and under our pillows. Every meal was spent in the main dining room, where we got to mingle with the other ranch guests during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The last night of our trip was extra special. We were invited by the Upper Canyon Outfitters Owner, Donald McDonald, to join her and her other guests on “the back porch” under the stars for songs and treats. The thought of leaving the quiet of the Montana mountains made it hard to say goodbye. We had an adventure of a lifetime and so many memories that we won’t soon forget.
Another bucket list trip was the trip to Las Vegas for SHOT Show! I was thrilled to have been selected for that event, especially Industry Day (Range Day), where I was able to meet so many of the experts in the firearm industry, many of whom I follow on social media. The highlight of the trip was being able to shoot different firearms and rifles supplied by our industry partners. In particular, the Walther tent was directly across from the SLG Trailer, and I was able to shoot their amazing newest firearm. Being interviewed for SHOT Show TV was also a surprise. I loved everything about SHOT Show. Again, thanks to Shoot Like A Girl, I was able to check another box on my bucket list.
One trip that is forever etched in my mind is the trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, during their International Balloon Fiesta. I had always wanted to see this spectacular event and Shoot Like A Girl made it possible. The SLG Trailer was perfectly situated where we could see the sky filled with balloons as they ascended and covered the sky. I remember standing next to Karen Butler, while watching the balloons, and thanking her for the opportunity to be a part of her team and being grateful for all of the wonderful experiences that we are afforded, while working a passion that we love.
Lastly, but certainly not least, was our trip to Springfield, Missouri for an event at the Bass Pro Headquarters. It was a trip to remember! The Bass Pro employees were invited to visit the mobile experience on the trailer. One of the surprises we received was a trip to Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium. There are no words to describe the incredible experience of the museum and aquarium. It is simply breathtaking. To top off the trip, Johnny Morris visited the SLG Trailer, and we were able to meet him and take pictures. It was such a pleasure to personally thank him for all he does in support of Shoot Like A Girl. What a trip!
I don’t know what adventures lie ahead, but I know that I have found a formidable sisterhood where we work our passions, impact people across the country, and create amazing memories along the way. Over the past year, I have had some of the most exciting experiences of my life. Someone once told me to be careful about saying no to the opportunities you can’t see. Sometimes you just have to say YES, prepare for the adventure, and be amazed!