By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
JERICHO, Vt. – Those who missed the inaugural New England Games passed up an incredible opportunity for leisurely competition, social amusement and unforgettable marksmanship memories below the beautiful Vermont mountains, Sept. 14-18, 2016. An eager group of over 150 rifle and pistol competitors arrived at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site (CEATS) to fire in the latest installment to the growing number of the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) travel matches.
A combination that can only be found in the North, the competitive characters on the firing line were immersed in the breathtaking natural surroundings at the New England Games – creating a unique arena that facilitated competition and learning fun for the budding crowd of devoted gun enthusiasts.
“I was blown away by the facilities at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site,” said Steve Cooper, CMP North general manger. “The grounds were neatly manicured, our offices for registration and sales were very convenient and the classrooms were perfect for our clinics.”
He went on to say, “As beautiful as the surroundings were, the people were even better. They truly wanted us there and they enjoyed the matches, clinics and other activities. It will be a pleasure to return next year for an even bigger and better event.”
Though the CMP worked diligently for months to prepare for the Games, its staff members received an overwhelming amount of support on site from the Vermont National Guard as well as from host club, the Vermont Rifle and Pistol Association. The unshakeable teamwork between all of the entities blended nicely to create an exceptionally smooth and enjoyable event.
“It’s clear to me that the Vermont National Guard at CEATS and our host club work very well together,” said Cooper. “That’s a must when holding an event of this scale.”
In competition, Franco Scarpino, 69, of Pembroke, MA, was the big winner of the Games – pulling in overall victories in the Garand Match and the Vintage Military Match, which helped him become the Three Gun and Four Gun Aggregate champion. He was also the High Grand Senior in the Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military and Modern Military matches.
Brian Williams, 42, of Granby, MA, also had a notable showing at the New England Games as he overtook both the EIC Rifle Match and the Carbine Match.
In pistol, David Lange, 48, of Glen Rock, NJ, bested the field in the Military & Police Service Pistol, .22 Rimfire Pistol and Pistol EIC Matches, as CW2 Cara Krauss, 35, of Bristol, VT, managed to surpass Lange in the As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match by 10 points to become the overall leader.
Krauss was also the High Woman in the O-Class of the Rimfire Sporter Match, which was topped by Doug Payne, 49, of Euharlee, GA. National Record holder Sam Payne, 17, of Kingston, GA, led the T-Class – dropping only five points. CW4 Lawrence Grace, 55, of New Haven, VT, was the winner of the Tactical Class.
Steve Cooper and CMP Board member Cris Stone rose to become the overall duo in the Vintage Sniper competition, winning by only two x’s. They were just a few of the many competitors that made their marks in the matches.
“We were impressed by the warmth shown by the participants, not only from the Green Mountain state of Vermont, but neighboring states like New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and some of our regulars who made the trip from as far away as Oklahoma and Georgia,” said Cooper.
“At the awards ceremony when we announced we are coming back next year, the room erupted with cheers. It’s hard to beat that kind of reception,” Cooper added. “It fits right in with our family of Games events around the country.”
Mark your calendars! Next year’s New England Games are already scheduled – Sept. 20-24, 2017.
The CMP would like to sincerely thank Camp Ethan Allen’s members of the Vermont Army National Guard and the Vermont Rifle and Pistol Association for being such gracious hosts to our new tradition in the Northeast. We hope to see our inaugural competitors back in 2017 and are anxious to see many new faces too!
For a complete list of results, visit https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&tab=results&match=13757=results. Photos from the event are posted on the CMP’s website at http://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f748448055.