About Me

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I have been contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

I was an instructor for many years, currently on hiatus.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!



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Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why Gun Training Parties?



My whole business model is based on doing the majority of my training in people’s homes with 2 to 5 students.  Kind of like a Tupperware Party only with guns.  Not claiming it is an original idea, or that I’m the only one doing it.  This is about how I got to this and why.

When I left the company I had been training for to become my own boss I had a few bumps with startup money for classroom rental and equipment.  After a lot of soul searching that included why do I teach, what is in it for me (hey, it is a business) and what were my goals I realized that money took a backseat to education.  I wanted my students to be comfortable, to learn and to be able to use what they learned.  So, the days of teaching a room of 20 people were over.  That wasn’t what I wanted.  I implemented my model of Home Training Parties. 

I will go to someone’s home, set up, teach the classroom portion, answer questions, sometimes walking through the house with them to help them understand the concepts of safe room, safe direction, possible entry and escape points, whatever they need.  Often it will be a host and a few of their friends or family. 

The up side for students?  A more relaxed environment, familiarity, able to see the home defense issues more clearly than in a classroom, comfort with the other students, and shooting buddies who are on the same, or nearly so, level who are hearing the same information.  Also, since I’m not paying for a room I charge a little less than I would if I was renting space, and I tend to offer discounts for the host/hostess, as well as military and LEO spouses.  The response has been amazing and if I wanted to I could be teaching every weekend. (I can’t because of other commitments, such as my next book is due the end of this month! YIKES!!)

What is the downside for the instructor?  I’ve talked with instructors who have this question as they contemplate a similar model.  First, smaller classes means less income.  But, hey, most of us aren’t doing this to get rich, we are happy when we can cover costs and have a little left over for ammo and new guns.  Second, you don’t see where you will be teaching until you walk in the door.  You need to be able to adapt fast.  No safe direction where we will be doing unloaded firearm handling?  I carry at least one with me.  I have a Kevlar Clipboard (which really works, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wQJ_J1zA7Q), I also have a soft level 2 vest that hangs quite nicely over the back of a dining chair.  I usually bring a piece of white poster board that I’ve been known to hang with Blue Painters Tape as a “screen”.  I have a music stand that doubles as a podium for my computer remote and training materials.  Yes, it is a lot to schlep but you get used to it and wheels are great!  It can be a little un-nerving going into a strangers home and spend most of the day.  But, I’ve talked with the hostess beforehand, gotten a level of comfort, and as long as people aren’t chain smoking I’m usually ok.

I may run a class in a more traditional environment from time to time, but probably only more advanced classes.  I like the intimacy of only a few people, especially with beginners.  They seem more comfortable and I get the joy of spending a little more time with each of them to be sure they are learning safely.

Is this a good model for everyone?  No.  Can it be rewarding and fun?  Absolutely!  If you are an instructor and want to talk more, reach out to me, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

 

3 comments:

  1. This is a great idea. I've taught in the home before I like it.

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  2. My husband & I are considering becoming NRA instructors, I was just wondering why you chose to do it, where you went for education, how you found out where to go for that education, how difficult it was to achieve etc.

    Our area has a need for female firearms instructors, so although I don't like the idea of going to work (I have two young children) I had thought perhaps an instructor position that I would only do once per week might be something to think about, especially since I have a passion for this.

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    1. Thank you. NRA, in going to the blended format, has rendered my model inadequate for concealed carry. This is not the way to make money, I admit that. I odder too many discounts. But it is a great way to interact with students. Most of my credentials are NRA, but they may be let go. I'm looking at either Second Amendment Foundation training division or trying to license via Women Firearms Instructors. It is something your need a passion for, not just to fill in. You can email me at Femaleandarmed@gmail.com if you would like to talk



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