Richard Eyer Smith's Excellent Adventures in Paradise

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I peaked out at twelve.

OK, maybe "peaked out" is too strong, but one of my life's biggest successes came at Minnesota's Camp Foley For Boys in the summer of my twelfth year. (That would be in 1957, by the way - the greatest year ever for Chevy!)

One of my favorite activities at camp was going to the rifle range and practicing target shooting. I worked diligently in hopes of one day making the rifle team. I was good, but just not quite good enough to compete against the other camps.

That summer there was to be a big match against all the other camps - even the dreaded Camp Lincoln boys would be there. They'd won every match for the past decade, and this year they were better than ever. I wanted to compete, but I ended up missing making the team by just one point.

One lousy point!

The morning of the match, just as I was watching the big Camp Lincoln bus roll into the parking lot, the coach came up to me.

"Smith," he said. "Johnson's got the flu. You're on the team. Get your rifle. You're firing in round two."

A million thoughts raced through my young mind, and not all of them were good. Yes, I had worked hard and I had dreamed of this opportunity, but now that it was finally here I was trembling with fear and doubt.

I remember lying on the green mat, rifle in hand, thinking, "You know what? I'm going to do my best today - absolute best - and I'm not going to worry about the rest."

And that's what I did.

I took a breath, then let it out a bit. I aimed. I slowly squeezed the trigger. "Bang!" Again: breath, exhale, set my sights on the bulls eye and gently draw my finger to the trigger. "Bang!"

Twenty seven times in all. Bang, bang, bang...

When it was over, I stood, carried my rifle to the gun case and waited to see how I'd done. My nerves were really acting up. Had I done OK? Had I made a fool of myself? Had I let the team down?

"Smith!" It was the coach standing behind me. "I've got your target. Take a look."

"Is this a joke?" I asked.

There were two sighting rounds and 25 bulls eyes.

I had fired a perfect score!

No one in camp history had ever fired a perfect score. No one.

Well, no one 'til now.

So, you may ask, why am I putting this story in a blog about network marketing.

It's here because, all these years later, I still remember that sweet, sweet taste of success.

I'm ready for another bite.

Care to join me??

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