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Trap help not what it used to be????

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by over the hill, May 19, 2009.

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  1. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    Some interesting threads by Marine, Shooter R. on no target, Failure to fire (FTF) and others makes me wonder whether trap help is being trained on the rules of the sport.

    I remember some years back when you went to a registered shoot you saw the same people. Most were high school girls probably 15-18, some college students back for the summer. They were good. They had to pull as well as score.

    The boys down in the house setting targets did a pretty good job also.

    Now with phono pulls and automatic machines it seems to me that much caring has been lost.

    I too saw quite a few targets thrown without centers this past weekend at a zone shoot, no one said a thing.

    People loading the machines dont really care if there is a broken target in the center of the stack.

    Scorers dont pay enough attention unless the target comes out shattered.

    Clubs need to do a better job on training IMO.

    How do you see it??


    Regards...Gerald
     
  2. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    A little easier said than done Gerry. Kids today have no desire, or probably no need, to get out and work as they did in the times you speak of. Those days were much more enjoyable at shoots and you seemed to have more willingness on the part of shooters to help. Shoots don't happen on their own and as the years go by you have fewer and fewer people willing to do the required work. I see it as a real problem for our sport in the years ahead. Shoot well and often while we can, Bob
     
  3. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    Where I shoot is a county run public facility. The trap help for the most part are high school & college age "part timers". They get just above minimal instruction on how to load the house, range safety and the rules of the game from the people in charge of the range. To the help it's just a temp job that pays about $8-9 an hour. Because of this the help changes almost weekly.

    So the days of dedicated long term help that have learned the "ins and outs" of the game seem to be over. Now if I could get them not to handle the voice release systems like they were stacking logs I would be happy.


    Eric
     
  4. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    I see it the same way you do Gerald, clubs need to do a better job of training scorers. Tell them kids "don't let them ol' bastards intimidate you" and then be ready to stand behind 'em when they make an unpopular call.

    John C. Saubak
     
  5. Kevin Nelson

    Kevin Nelson Member

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    Welcome to Generation Y. We had a girl scoring once that would not even look up at the targets, she would just randomly say loss every now and then, when we asked for a new scorer she started crying.
     
  6. BRGII

    BRGII TS Member

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    I was shooting at the Inland Empire in Spokane Wa. this past week. In the final handicap of the the day, on the last field, last post, as lead off I called for a target after the change, Nothing. After several more calls and nothing the scorer went to the trap house and the fellow setting the targets had fallen asleep. Amazing? BRGII
     
  7. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    RE: Scorers dont pay enough attention unless the target comes out shattered

    With voice release and a good squad, I find my mind wandering and not paying as much attention as when I was pushing a button.
     
  8. Texas Ton

    Texas Ton TS Member

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    OH GAG!! Did you say a mouthfull. If what we've got now is a representation of all the male kids out there, God save us. The parents certainly didn't do it and those running the club aren't too concerned either.

    The best trap help I've seen in 20 years were high school girls, and maybe those in the first year of college.

    True story: We were shooting trap and out of the blue, with no target problems any of us knew about, midway thru a round, across the field walked two kids (male) and were waving for us to shut down. We did, they put the flag up on the house. We waited, and waited, and waited-----I finally got up and walked out there and peeked into the house. Both these kids were texting whoever and shut the line down to do so----without being seen..

    That's just one of many/many examples.

    "Management" says "yeah, don't know what we're going to do with these kids"!!!
     
  9. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    Management" says "yeah, don't know what we're going to do with these kids"!!!

    Yeah right. Fire their incompetent butts.


    Eric
     
  10. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    I seem to be in the minority here, but, I look at it from the other side as well. Yes, management could, and should, do a better job with the kids. On the other hand, I think we all bear a certain amount of resposibility to help these kids. I know that when I was setting targets and scoring, there was always someone around to help me when I got confused, or just plain didn't understand. Below is yet another article I wrote for On Target Magazine dealing with just this very subject:

    FROM A SHOOTERS VIEW
    By: Dan Thome (Trap2)

    This month’s topic: Trap Help

    Does any of this sound familiar to you? That scorekeeper couldn’t keep score if she had an adding machine on her chair. Those trap kids in the house keep breaking the centers out of the targets. The trap kid isn’t putting the target on the arm right. These kids just aren’t paying attention. Don’t these trap kids know anything?

    If you are like me, you have heard it all, and then some. A lot of trap shooters are quick to criticize everything at a shoot, including the trap help. While I, too, have had my share of problems with some trap help over the years, by and large, my experience with them has been an enjoyable one. Certainly more good than bad.

    Let’s take a look at what a day looks like to the trap help. The day usually starts with loading targets in the trap, opening boxes, and getting their trap assignments for the day. If they are lucky, they will get about 15 minutes of training and instruction before they are let loose. The loaders will get into their traps, open several boxes of targets, etc. and get ready for the first squad to begin. Chances are, he will be in and out of that trap for the bulk of the day, switching from one trap to another, with only one or two breaks. If the weather is blazing hot, he’s in there. If it’s freezing cold and wet, he’s in there. If he has to use the bathroom, he holds it until the last possible moment before he jumps out, makes the dash, and runs back. Maybe he will get a lunch break. Meanwhile, the scorekeeper gets to her scoring stand which may, or may not, have a roof to shield her from the hot sun, freezing cold or wet rain, and proceed to try and keep score as best she can while calling the targets correctly. Maybe she, too, will get a lunch break. If she has to use the bathroom, she also waits until the last possible moment to take care of it. In the meantime, she takes whatever abuse she has to from those shooters that are only too eager to show off their lack of social skills when dealing with these kids. In between rounds, she is picking up empty hulls, trash, etc. no matter what the weather. Meanwhile, in the trap house, the loader is feverishly opening more boxes so he can keep up. After the shoot has ended, they are cleaning up the hulls, hauling the trash, putting away equipment, etc. until late in the evening. In the morning, they will do it all again. And they are doing all this for minimum wage!

    For many clubs, it’s a real struggle to find trap help, and when they do, it’s even harder to keep them. Why? Because, generally, we shooters don’t treat them with a whole lot of respect and gratitude for the job they do. Why would they want to continue to do this job if they get treated poorly? Why would they recruit their friends to do it with them?




    I think it’s time for me, personally, to change my attitude towards them. While I have never been rude towards the help, I have not been all that understanding and sympathetic towards their jobs, either.

    I think it’s time for me to be a lot more appreciative of them, and start thanking them, face to face, for what they do for me. Without them, I would have no targets to shoot, I would have no scorekeeper to score, and I would have no one to pick up after me when I’m done. I seem to have forgotten, after all these years, what is was like for me to set trap, keep score, and do whatever else was needed around the club. How about you? When was the last time you took just a few minutes and personally went up to the trap help and thanked them for a job well done? When was the last time you gave that scorekeeper a pat on the back? Did you just pass by the tip jar, instead of tossing in a five dollar bill? The trap help all work hard for their money. Jobs for young kids are not that plentiful, but, if we want to keep them coming back, we need to show them that we need them and we will treat them as we would want to be treated. Take a few minutes and really think about what they do for us and perhaps you, too, will see them in a different light……….Dan
     
  11. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Well spoken Dan. After working with kids at various clubs for many years, no matter how bad a day I may be having I try and take the time to thank the scorer or trap help. Shooters have no idea how poorly some of us act, speak, or conduct ourselves in their presence. I think a scorer perhaps had more interest in their work when they had to push the button as well as mark a sheet. A lot of kids today are too spoiled and don't have any interest in doing any work to earn what they want. Shoot managements job would be a lot easier if shooters would try to help the kids rather than walking away complaining creating a bad feeling for everyone. Dan has some good points worth all of us reading twice. My cents worth, Bob
     
  12. acss

    acss Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    dan- i truely admire and appreciate your comments- wally riebesell
     
  13. Ifitfliesitdies

    Ifitfliesitdies Member

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    Well said Dan!

    I know the kids and volunteers at the ranges where I shoot. I've seen them do all sorts of crazy things with other shooters on their fields. However when I go to shoot, I make sure that they know I appreciate what they're doing. While they may or may not appreciate heart felt thanks, they're really there to make money in the way of TIPS! Why else would one work for $5.00 or $6.00 less per hour than you'd make at Wal*Mart or McDonalds.

    I give them a few dollars for every game I shoot. I've never had one fall asleep or take a long time to load the machine or take an extended break.

    I believe that you get what you pay for. If you want good service you have to be willing to pay for it! If you're cheap with the people who provide service, you're just not going to get good service.

    When I go to restaurants I like, I make sure I leave a good tip for good service.

    It's really that simple.

    There are of course exceptions to the rule but I have found them to be few and far between.


    Shoot well,
    Tom
     
  14. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    If the squad does get a good kid I make it a point to tell them they did a good job . If they did a bad job I don,t say anything . With the cost - time and money to shoot registerd Trap I just don,t have time to babyset .

    ALF
     
  15. LDAdd

    LDAdd TS Member

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    Respectfully to "Over the Hill",

    I think you have a short memory re the trap help in the past...just like today, there were the shining stars and the bummers. Today I find young people working the clubs all the way from total inability with math, to those very sharp, quick-witted hard workers. Nothing much has changed.

    Larry Addison
     
  16. drucker

    drucker TS Member

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    The vast majority of all kids are great kids still today....if you want something done right teach them and let them know they are doing a good job and don't take a pound of flesh if they make a mistake.....make them feel welcomed and needed you may find out they are damn good kids and it is many of the adults that have the problems....
     
  17. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    LDAdd

    "Today I find young people working the clubs all the way from total inability with math, to those very sharp, quick-witted hard workers. Nothing much has changed."

    I have to agree some are great workers some are next to worthless. Case in point a few years back while serving on the trap committee at a local club that held regular monthly ATA shoots. We a had a crew of about six of our regular trap help were excellent workers.

    Yet one monthly shoot between caps and doubles waiting to get everything set for doubles. There was a gun rack on the field there were 10 gun in the rack out of the ten seven were K80's and two of our great workers decided to establish who was top dog in the pecking order.

    The club was very fortunate that one of the committee members was close enough to stop it before disaster struck.

    I am not condemning youngsters I am saying that they aren't much different than 10 year old children you have to watch them all the time especially if they are male or it could cost your trap program dearly.

    Bob Lawless
     
  18. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks to those who stand up for the kids. I have yet to find one who did a poor job when ONE OF US SHOOTERS took the time to talk to them and explain what was needed--not fuss and cuss--explain as though you are talking to a co-worker on equal footing as you. What me too often miss is that some of these kids never have contact with an adult who will take the time to show any interest in them. Say hello--ask their name--ask about school--THANK THEM!!
    There are some excellent young people out there.
     
  19. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    LA.

    I respectfully disagree.

    Years ago trap kids or help had more to do than today.

    A small club I shoot Sporting Clays at has about 95% old farts like me but few complain other than missing targets.

    There is also a Tips appreciated can on the sign up counter.

    One Sunday I was there three kids took home about 70.00 ea. Not bad in my book. Not a real busy Sunday either.

    They are also trained well wether you shoot Skeet, Trap or S.C.


    Regards...Gerald
     
  20. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    Lead Man

    "Oh we can't do that we couldn't afford that $10k gun and $50k suv to ride around in."

    You make this statement and in the next sentence you ask this question.

    "How many of you will put up with a bunch of grumpy old farts who haven't had their bowel movement this morning for $6-$9 dollars an hour."

    Now obviously if you are shooting a $10k gun and driving a $50k SUV. You are certainly not taking any crap for $6-$9 an hour. If the person shooting a big dollar gun and driving a big dollar ride has a job I would say that they are better at there job than a lot of the trap pullers and setters are.

    You said that you never have been that desperate. I don't know how old you are or what you do/did for work but I suggest that your memory is a little week in the area of your very early work life. At that time your boss fit the description and if you are my age. Your starting wage wasn't that high unless you got a degree before you went to work.

    Bob Lawless
     
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