Teen competes in rifle world championship

Reporter: Ellie Mahan

November 2, 2022

Camryn Camp competes in the 2022 World Championship for Rifle and Pistol, in the 21 and younger category.

Camryn Camp, a 16-year-old from Peoria, recently competed in the 2022 World Championship for Rifle and Pistol in Cairo, Egypt.

When Camryn found out that she would be traveling to Egypt to compete with the USA Shooting Team against the best rifle shooters in the world, she was shocked and excited that all her hours of practice paid off.

“My best friend also got selected, so it was a really cool experience for both of us. I really wasn’t expecting it. It was something I’ve been working towards for so long, but I really didn’t think it would ever happen,” Camryn said.

Camryn flew from Dallas to Germany, where she met up with her USA Shooting teammates, and from there, they flew to Egypt. Camryn’s father, Mike Camp, said, “We were excited that not only did she get the opportunity to experience it. She also performed very well while she was there.”

Friday, October 21, Camryn and her teammate Rylan Kissell finished in fourth place in the Junior Mixed Team Air Rifle World Championship. The junior category encompasses competitors aged 21 and younger. The USA Shooting Junior Women’s Team placed sixth overall. Individually, Camryn placed 18th in the world in the Junior Women’s Air Rifle category.

She said, “It was a really great experience. It was a little nerve racking, being that I flew all the way there to compete. Of course, I really wanted to do well. I think that I did pretty good. I am not unhappy with my score at all. I’m very content with how things went.”

Camryn started competing with the Hill County 4-H Shooting program when she was nine years old. She is also in her second year of being part of a select team called Hill Country Shooting Sports, based out of Kerrville, and she competes with the Civilian Marksmanship Program as well. Overall, Camryn usually gets in three or four practices a week, with some of the practices lasting two hours.

“I definitely think that Hill County Shooting Sports was where everything started for me, the passion for it. If I hadn’t started there, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into the sport. I feel like 4-H helped mold my skills as much as it could before moving on to another level, so I am very thankful for the 4-H program,” Camryn said.

Her father, who Camryn said has been one of her biggest supporters through the years, taught her how to shoot when she was in elementary school. Mike is one of several coaches in the Hill County 4-H shooting program. As a rifle and pistol coach for 4-H, Mike has seen the program grow over the years. He said for years the Hill County 4-H shooting team had about eight participants, whereas the team took 26 shooters to its district meet in May.

In Camryn’s seven years in the 4-H program, Mike has seen his daughter’s skills grow with her. He said, “This isn’t a sport that just takes talent. It’s not how fast you are, how strong you are, if you have the most hand-eye coordination. It takes determination, and it takes putting in the effort and working hard. Her first year I think she got one ribbon, and every year, she has just improved and improved. 4-H gives you a great base to build off of and teaches you how to be safe with all of the equipment. It gives you a great platform to grow from.”

Camryn said that her favorite part about competing in shooting events is not only the traveling opportunities but also the people she has met along the way.

She said, “I have met so many people from different states. It’s so interesting to get to know other people and compete with them and grow friendships and relationships on and off the firing line.”

Mike and his wife have traveled across the United States taking Camryn to shooting competitions, and they are proud to see that their daughter has come so far.

“We are very proud of her. When you start the journey, you never think you’re going to get to that level, but she has got to the point where she is confident and comfortable standing next to U.S. Olympians and shooting beside them and holding her own,” Mike said.

He continued, “She even told me when I was there that she didn’t have any issues with nerves. It’s given her so much confidence in herself. It has helped her hold friendships across the country, not just with youth, but also with other adult leaders and range officers as well.”

Camryn hopes that competing in the world championships on the USA Shooting Team is not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Next year there is a junior world cup in Germany and a junior world championship in Korea. Camryn hopes to compete at the national and world level as many times as she can.

“I’m just so thankful that I was able to do something huge and get to perform on the other side of the world. Not many people get to do that. I’m very thankful for everyone in the county that has helped me get to this level and everyone in the whole state and nation who has helped coach me and get me to this point,” Camryn said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s