back to db page
Standing Stone 3 Experience
This is why we need you to stay in
touch via e-mail. I got an e-mail from a friend this morning.
He'd been to Standing Stone 3, read my recent post of comments
regarding SS3, and offered the following perspective and suggestions:
I'll paraphrase the Spirit
of the mail ...
"It may be beneficial
to offer more "Milk" and emphasize less "Meat"
at Standing Stone. In other words, spend more time and effort
providing folks with the plinking/tinkering experience - sharing
our rifles - providing better targets for plinking - not separating
out the plinkers to a different range. Less emphasis on tournaments.
On Sunday, we closed
the main tournament ranges to plinkers and asked them to go to
the gravel pit range - evidently alot of people expressed negative
comments, and my friend was one of those as well. It was said
that the range was too far from the air supplier to be convenient
- suggested that perhaps the shuttle should have dropped off air
tanks for the plinking range. It was said there were no targets
provided so people plinked at soda bottles.
It was pointed out
that big bore especially, is new to folks and they need an introductory
to it. Once they see it - experience it - they want more. It was
pointed out that; by my friend sharing his rifle with folks, they
were all smiles when they smacked a plastic bottle on a stick
at 38 yards with a big ole slug - and using open sights at that!
However; there was no air and folks waiting to shoot his rifle
could not do so.
It was suggested that
there are those who are at the top of the game, and that's respected
... but there needed to be more just plain "Milk" to
Well. Sure shows you
how things can get screwed up in a hurry. Let me address some
of these things....
I suppose, first ...
I should offer that Van (Airhog) was at the show to provide free
air and tanks for participants to use. It was the same drill as
last year - Ask and receive. The shuttle ran by the gravel pit
range every ten minutes or less all day long. We also had steel
targets sitting around everywhere. There was no need for anyone
to be without transport, air, tanks, or targets. There were at
least a dozen steel targets on the main range which had been used
for plinking - seemed clear they could be taken for use if needed.
You simply cannot know what is being misunderstood if it's not
brought to your attention.
Regarding the plinking
at the tournament ranges: During Friday and Saturday, we all tried
to co-exist - Tournament shooters and plinkers. It was understood
that folks needed to check their zero - get loosened up - etc.
In practice, what we had was this: Every time we'd turn around,
someone would want to know if they could shoot the targets which
were set up for the tournaments. Every time we'd go out to score
a tournament or reset the targets, several people would follow
us to set up plinking targets, measure out distances, drive in
little distance sticks, even post paper on our game targets. We'd
have to gather these folks up and get them all back in order to
continue. We were all having a good time - there was no real trouble
- it just gummed up the works.
By Sunday, it was clear
that the system was not working and that those plinking weren't
just checking their zero prior to joining in the games. They were
quite content to go on plinking. Shooting benches were all covered
with stuff and the owners were elsewhere. We needed a different
system. We posted that the two main ranges would be to used run
the tournaments, plinkers please go to the gravel pit range.
Regarding folks being
introduced to shooting. Here's what we spent the entire three
days doing: As fast as we could load our rifles, folks were invited
to slide in under them and shoot them. We talked them through,
filled the rifles with air, loaded the rifles, cocked the rifles,
explained the scopes, pointed out the targets. Our rifles, free
air, our lead, our targets. We saw smiles all weekend. We walked
folks around the wood's walk courses - had them shoot the tournaments
with our rifles.
Now; here's what we
saw when we turned around. Some of the tournaments were rather
dramatic. One I remember (obviously I was part of the staff at
the big bore range) ... dramatic tournament. Steel silhouettes
flying and tumbling in the air. Lots of lead and action. We had
a tie. Needed a tie breaking shoot off. The shoot off proceeded
thru four additional rounds of shoot off - wow - out to 155 yards!
Absolutely amazing. When we turned around ... about three people
were watching ... the rest were plinking and fiddling. It was
something you could not duplicate in a lifetime ... and only a
few saw it ... AND ... they were even at Standing Stone when it
All the tournaments
ran pretty much that way this year. I shot a 50 yard multi-face
bull target of ten perfect ten's in a row with a brand new 45
PCP I'd had to the range once. About three people saw it. Take
my true point ... nobody is obligated to stand and watch me shoot.
However; since we'd spent quite alot of time, money, and effort
to provide the Standing Stone experience ... and folks actually
took the time to come ... it did seem a bit odd they'd spend so
much time doing only what they could do at home.
I told my friend this
morning ... it seems a bit like this from our side of the thing:
Sort of like you went to a carnival, and then, instead of riding
any of the rides provided, you asked if you could set up a 55
gallon drum and a plank in the midway for a seesaw. It seems that
there were quite a number of folks who were trying to run a parallel
festival - desiring duplicated venues - and running simultaneously
with the actual festival we'd spent the year preparing.
We sure never desired
to offend folks. Especially those who'd bothered to come to the
Festival. We put our heart, our backs, and our wallets into providing
the infrastructure for people to have a unique experience that
they could not get elsewhere. I suppose it will always be so ...
that when you jump thru hoops to get a kid a special gift, all
they will really want to do is play with the box it came in.
So, we live and learn.
Everything was there for the asking. Jim and I could not be everywhere
at once. What we were aware of, we had the staff and we dealt
with it immediately. We dragged our sorry butts out of there absolutely
exhausted once again after four very long days on site. But -
it was a good time and we hope most of you enjoyed it. Many of
our regulars could not attend this time due to conflicts. The
crowd would have been far better had it not been for the hurricane
We'll keep you posted
regarding next year's activities.