Here are some of the basic things needed to successfully host an NROI seminar, whether it’s a Level One (RO) seminar or a Level Two (CRO) seminar.
First, let’s cover the wants. A large comfortable room, set up classroom style, with a projection screen and a table for the laptop and projector is ideal. Sometimes, the setting isn’t quite as ideal as this, but you get the idea–a place for everyone in the seminar to sit and listen and learn. Coffee, water, and snacks are always welcome as well, but again, the instructor corps is quite capable of gathering their own provisions (coffee is a must-have for most of us and we seek it out relentlessly). Lunch provided for the participants in the classroom is also quite nice, but it doesn’t always work out to be the easiest option. Here, it’s a good idea to communicate to the students so they know to bring their own, or if it will be a pay-as-you-go thing, or if everybody is going to scatter out for lunch. That last one is never the best option, by the way.
For Level One seminars, there are no special props needs for the live fire exercise. Several of our seminars are held in conjunction with the club’s regularly scheduled match, so that’s a good way to get the students a lot of time on the timer and clipboard, practicing their RO moves, for both Level One and Two seminars. If not, for Level One we have a couple of exercises that can be modified to suit the available props that really don’t require more than a few walls, targets and stands, and some fault line or boxes. Lack of fancy props is not a reason for not hosting a seminar. Live fire exercises for Level One and Two seminars can also be done indoors, with a little creative adjustment of the stages.
How about the needs? Every seminar needs table space, either for taking notes or using a laptop or tablet, or, in the case of Level Two seminars, for setting up stages selected from the student submissions. We use the 3-D Stage Builder kits for this, and they require some table space so that each group can work on their stage. We also need power in the classroom, and adequate lighting in a not-too-noisy setting. It seems that everybody needs to plug in a laptop or a tablet or a phone, and the instructor needs to power his or her laptop and projector. Extension cords come in handy. We also need a little extra space to allow students to practice range commands and other scenarios with our rubber guns. For Level Two seminars, at least 3 bays are needed, depending on the size of the class, but if more are available, that’s great. Also, basic stage props, such as walls, fault lines, barrels, targets, target stands, pasters and paint are needed. Fancy moving targets are nice, but not needed most of the time.
Besides the space and objects that we need, there are certain expectations that must be fulfilled, student and instructor alike. The instructor expects everyone to do the pre-seminar assignments, found on the USPSA Learning Management System and assigned upon registration for the seminar. For Level One, these are mostly rules related with quizzes. For Level Two, designing and uploading a stage is the primary assignment. Students are also expected to arrive on time, pay attention, ask questions, and participate. This provides some important background information that we normally do not cover in the seminar. Another instructor expectation is that someone who is hosting or at least familiar with the range can help locate and acquire props and other equipment as needed. Even though NROI is producing and “hosting” several seminars this year, a local club contact is always needed. Clear communication between the instructor and club contact is also expected, in order to facilitate a good seminar and avoid embarrassing omissions. Students should expect the instructor to arrive on time looking presentable and ready to proceed with the seminar at the designated start time. They should also expect the instructor to present the material clearly, stopping to illustrate certain points when needed and answering questions when asked, and to be knowledgeable about the subject matter. A set start and stop time is also an expectation, so that people can plan their day before and after the seminar. Instructors should also be expected to provide coaching during the live fire exercise–our aim is to produce Range Officials, and sometimes coaching is needed in order to help someone “get it”.
Interested in learning more about NROI seminars, finding one in your area, or requesting one in your area? Visit the links provided, and ask questions if you need. One thing to note: NROI seminars will help you learn the rules, even if you don’t want to gain certification, and knowledgeable competitors are better competitors.