Kids – NRA Camp Article

Snake River Versatile Gun Dog Club Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs NRA Camp Article

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:41 am

Nyssa — A 15-year-old Nyssa resident recently attended the prestigious 2013 NRA Whittington Adventure Camp in Raton, N.M., free of charge.

Zack Hackman recently spent nearly two weeks at the camp, which normally cost around $1,400 to attend, learning about guns, outdoor cooking, tracking and patriotism. During this time, Zack was able to fire around 1,500 rounds from various weapons, as well.

“This was pretty cool,” Zack Hackman said. “They were strict there. We’d clean our cabins each day, do a daily flag raising, but we’d go shoot guns, practice and do competitions. It was a pretty great experience.”

Attending the camp was not Zack’s intention and he did not seek any funding to attend, but the funding found him due to his constant outdoor activity, his father said.

Heidi Funke with the Snake River Versatile Gun Dog Club, an affiliate of the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation, noticed that at the age of 13, Zack was always outside doing something productive, said Zack’s father, Anthony Hackman.

Funke approached the family and offered to sponsor Zack to attend the camp — which has a two-year waiting period — and to pay all expenses, including his flight, Anthony Hackman said.

“I was honored by this, because this was a chance of a lifetime for him and the camp is expensive — we couldn’t afford it,” Anthony Hackman said. “With the airline ticket, this was about a $2,000 investment for them.”

The camp is administrated by some of the nation’s most skilled firearms instructors and provided guidance on the fundamentals of pistol, rifle, muzzleloader and shotgun shooting skills.

While at camp, Zack also learned outdoor specialist skills crucial to hunting and survival, such as wilderness map reading, preparing a hunting camp, animal tracking, using game calls and understanding wildlife management skills.

William Lopez is a news reporter at the Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4815 or by emailing To comment on this story, go to