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The Versailles Republican

June 11, 2015 • Headlines

From June 3-5, Milan Elementary held a summer camp for students. This year, the theme was Habitats. Students did activities about various habitats and the animals that live in these habitats, went to Marian University to learn more and toured the Red Wolf Sanctuary in Rising Sun. Pictured above students feel what the water is like in the Antarctica habitat. From their reaction, it’s rather cold! SUBMITTED PHOTO
On June 6, the Versailles Lions Club remembered past members Lawrence Green, John Halford, Bill Sheckels and Carter Everage, who all passed away in the past year, by planting a tree and setting a stone with each member’s name on it at the Versailles Sports Complex. For a complete list of names pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local newsstand. LINDA CHANDLER PHOTO
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Friendship open for muzzleloaders, flea market shoppers

The small town of Friendship will start to swell by many times beginning this Saturday. That’s when the nine-day National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association meet begins. According to Terri Trowbridge, director of publications for NMLRA, they expect some 10,000 people to go through their gates when it’s all said and done. That doesn’t include the annual flea market at Friendship’s Old Mill Campground, which coincides with the shoot, and has nearly 500 vendors.

NMLRA Primitive Range

Pictured left is a view of the Primitive Camp at the NMLRA in Friendship. They’ll have kettle corn and fry bread there, as well as lots of displays and demonstrations.

The NMLRA will hold its celebration of all things relating to the sport and history of muzzleloading through June 20. Their mission is to promote and support the nation’s rich cultural heritage in the sport of muzzleloading through matches, hunting, gun making and safety, historical reenactments, exhibits and other programs. Members and their guests converge upon the beautiful countryside along Laughery Creek from all 50 states, and some come from outside the country. This year, members from Germany and Austria are a few that are expected to compete in the NMLRA competitions

While many come for the black powder shooting, family members and visitors enjoy the many other activities and sights at the grounds as well. There are early American living history demonstrations, classes and museum displays. As Trowbridge says, “ The Spring National Shoot is an opportunity to view an important part of our nation’s heritage in operation.”

There’s also plenty of shopping and commercial vendors for muzzleloaders. With that in mind, something new this year is a Civil War re-enactment. Two units, one made up of Jennings, Ripley and Jackson county men, and another from Kentucky, bring four-wheeled cannons and guns popular to that time period. Sgt. Major Mikal Moore with the Nelson County artillery that includes the Indiana group, said there will be 30-50 people dressed in 1860 uniform acting out skirmishes on the Rand House lawn and in the primitive area. “The North and South are it again!” said Moore. The enactment will be presented the last Saturday of the shoot.

Civil War re-enactment

Michael Mars, pictured left, plays an ordinance sargeant and he will fire a Gatling gun for the Civil War enactment June 20.

Another way history is shown is through the Living History Center, where visitors can learn and have fun. The sounds of a hammered dulcimer, fiddle, bodhran, Irish whistle, and bagpipe music lilt through camp. Traditional craft demonstrations include woodworking, leatherworking, weaving, soapmaking, and many living history interpretations in camps. Youth activities include bead stringing, an archaeology class and candle dipping.

In addition, there are the Living Arts program. You can learn how to craft a gourd into a basket or discover the delicate art of scrimshaw. Activities are planned for children, including a class where they can play with Lincoln Log style kits and get to make and take home their very own fort. Children can have fun hearing about the 18th century fur trade while they trade for trinkets. They can ride stick ponies in a race, play Early American games, or rope a “steer.” Also, South Ripley school’s Thom Maltbie will oversee an introduction to glass making and infusion.

The focus though is shooting, and the public is invited to view the national competitions. “There is just good muzzleloading shooting,” Trowbridge commented. The NRA and NMLRA have teamed up to bring many new competition opportunities, as participants can now compete in the NRA National Muzzle Loading Championships and at the same time shoot the NMLRA’s Spring National Shoot. New this year is the table match competitions, which allows all levels of abilities to competitively shoot (blanks), even little kids or seniors in wheelchairs. There are so many matches that there is something for shooters of all skill levels. A special feature of the competition area is the Youth Range, developed by the NMLRA as a way to safely teach children how to shoot muzzleloading firearms and get them involved in the sport at a young age. For the Ripley County folks, many like to visit the NMLRA grounds and partake in the good eats. There is fry bread at the primitive area, plus kettle corn and more.

For more information on the Spring National Shoot and the living arts programming, contact the NMLRA at 1-800-745-1493 or visit www.nmlra.org. For information about hotel and motel facilities and other area attractions, contact the Ripley County Tourism Bureau office at 1-888-74-.5394 or visit www.ripleycountytourism.com.

Pick up this week's edition of The Versailles Republican for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Sunman meeting: Sidewalk in progress (front page)
• Milan school board to vote on random drug testing (front page)
• Cooking and baking contest during Switzerland Co. festival (page 2)
• Events at Osgood and Milan libraries (page 3)
• Ripley County seeks FSA nominations (page 3)
• Letters to the Editor: Animal abuse and Versailles Lions Club (page 4)
• Students collect over $3,000 for cancer (section B, front page)
• On the Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (section B, page 2)
• Regional Wrap-Up: Woman overdoses with four kids in car (section B, page 5)
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