One of the younger kids there tries her hand at firing a black powder rifle. She had never fired a gun before this day. She got to shoot a rifle, pistol, shotgun and a black powder rifle on her first day shooting!  She was wearing a smile from ear to ear all day long.


McLean, IL (Guns Save Life) – Guns Save Life sponsored a fun shoot for Cross Trail Outfitters (CTO) families at the Holland Farm in McLean, IL on Saturday, August 24th.  Over a dozen volunteers worked behind the scenes to make the event a big success for the seventy-six participants, adults and kids alike, who turned out.  The families learned firearm safety and were introduced to the fun and excitement of shooting.

Guns Save Life sponsored the event, providing ammunition, targets and lunch.

A number of other groups and organizations chipped in with people and logistics help for the event.  Darnall’s GunWorks provided some of the guns and target throwers, along with a couple of instructors including Sue Darnall herself.

The Sangamon County Rifle Association sent Brent Harney and Tom Shafer to help out. They worked tirelessly, Shafer on the pistol line and Brent Harney helping kids young and old on the rifle line shoot safely and better.

GSL Defense Training’s instructors also volunteered their time and expertise helping out as well.  Bonnie Garrett, John Boch, Wendy Lund, Peter Wheeler and Bob Holland all volunteered.

The Holland family fed everyone and other GSL members turned out to provide invaluable assistance as well.

GSL Defense Training’s Instructor Bonnie Holland talks safety to a couple of spellbound young men before they got to shoot pistols for the very first time.

Cross Trail Outfitters is a Christian-oriented mentoring organization that works with young boys from at-risk families to give them a positive father-figure role model.  They help these young men become good men through meetings during the week and outdoor activities on the weekends.  These activities include camping, hunting and fishing.

The event is part of Guns Save Life’s continuing effort to reach out to good people who aren’t shooters to introduce them to the fun and excitement of gun ownership and shooting, and safe gun handling practices.

At this event, dozens of people from a diverse cross-section of the community with little or no shooting experience had a chance to have fun with guns in a safe environment.


The smile captures this young man’s first time breaking a clay bird with a shotgun. Nice job!


Parents were encouraged to try their hand at shooting as well. For many, this was their first time handling guns. We think we made a good impression on them, including this one!



Before lunch, CTO made a surprise presentation of a celebratory cake to Wendy Lund and John Boch in recognition of their upcoming wedding on August 31st.


GSL Defense Training’s Instructor Bob Holland patiently worked with a number of young boys who shot their first real rifles at the event.



Attendees ran the gamut from seasoned citizens to the very young. Here, five-month-old Evan Deal Garrett was a big hit during lunch break. Here he is with GSL Defense Training’s Wendy Lund. Evan’s mom, instructor Bonnie Garrett, was running the pistol line at the event.


While the event was primarily for .22 rifles and pistols, and various shotguns, some of the folks brought some bigger stuff out in the afternoon. Here, a young man fires an AK-style rifle while CTO’s Bear St. Pierre gives the thumbs up.








4 thoughts on “Food, firearms and families: GSL presents a great family fun day for Cross Trail Outfitters.”
  1. Hope all had a great time. Tom and I enjoyed sharing the first shots with some of the kids and they really enjoyed it.
    Everyone learned how to safely enjoy the shooting sports.
    Make plans now to attend the next seminar or event in your area and bring the family.

  2. Great job GSL. CTO seems to be a very worthy organization and I’m sure your time will leave a lasting mark on many of the participants.

  3. Sooooooo where is this wedding going to be etc. who gets to go. When ? All the questions. .!!!!

  4. Well by now Wendy and John are married!!!

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