On the evening of our much-anticipated gathering, it felt like we were just getting ready for any other girls’ night out. I’d purchased matching purple tablecloths, plates, and napkins and picked up some treats at a local bakery. Other ladies were bringing homemade goodies or snacks, and we’d ordered pizza. You could feel the excitement start to build as more women arrived, commenting about their long days at work, about their growing children and families, or about their need for this little getaway with just the ladies.
But this particular gathering of women wasn’t getting geared up for a night of wine and painting or an evening of Bunco, crafts, direct sales, or even the latest novel in the book-club list. We were celebrating a new and unique kind of girls’ night out—our first annual gun cleaning party.
As a leader of The Well Armed Woman, I get to do all sorts of wonderful, challenging, and rewarding things to help fellow females improve their firearms knowledge and skills. And since many of the ladies had mentioned time and time again that they’d never cleaned their guns, a gun cleaning party seemed to be a perfect fit. So I whipped up a handout with the basic information, encouraged ladies to collect their supplies and tools, and set out to start something useful and fun. The requirements to join in? Read—and bring—the owner’s manual. Understand—and practice—field stripping (and reassembling) the firearm BEFORE the party. And, of course, bring treats! What’s a party without the food? (And before you even go there: no; alcohol was not allowed—before, during, or after our party.)
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I, personally, am not a big fan of cleaning my guns. I’ll sit with my husband and get the essential task done. But it’s not really something I look forward to. But they are my firearms. They do need to be cleaned and maintained. And I do enjoy the time together with my husband. So I figured that opening this up to a time for the girls to get together would be a great way for everyone to learn this important and necessary skill…while bonding and chatting and just having fun.
We ate our pizza and delicious sides and desserts while chatting about the whys, whens, and hows of gun cleaning. Then we cleared away the food and got down to the dirty business. The other leaders and I checked and double-checked each gun with each participant to ensure safety before the firearms were even allowed in the room. (And no ammo of any kind was allowed at the party.) Step by step, we went over the cleaning basics, asked questions, made errors, corrected errors, and accomplished the task at hand.
Every gun was different, and some were a little stubborn, but we made it through. And it was a great success. Before we even finished cleaning up for the evening, people were asking for the date of the next gun cleaning party. Ladies, maybe this is something you can consider in your world, too. Looks like this event will be something we do every year…maybe two or three times! After all, you can never really have too many girls’ nights!