Thousands of visitors come to Camp Perry each summer to participate in the annual Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) national matches, a staple event at the National Guard Training Center since 1907. The month-long series of marksmanship events in Duration features a variety of rifle and pistol competitions and learning opportunities that draw enthusiasts to the grounds, but the base has much more to offer for those exploring behind the firing lines.
- To camp.
If you want to stay directly on base, Camp Perry offers several lodging options, from lodging to camping sites. From family cottages to motel rooms and transient accommodation, the grounds suit many budgets and offer air conditioning/heating, kitchen units and free Wi-Fi. If camping is more your style, feel free to pitch your tent or hook up at one of the RV sites with full access to water, electricity, and sewer. A nearby shower facility also allows campers to freshen up after a long day outdoors. The facilities are smoke-free and pet-free (pets are only allowed at the campsite).
- Go to the beach!
Those staying at Camp Perry will have access to the beach and the famous Camp Perry pier. Spend the day listening to the waves crash ashore, fishing, sunbathing, swimming, or just enjoying the beautiful view of the open waters of Lake Erie. Keep your eyes peeled to the north on a clear day for the silhouette of the Perry International Peace and Victory Monument, one of the tallest monuments in the United States (at 352 feet), located on the island of South bass. The site commemorates the lasting peace between Great Britain, Canada and the US after the victory of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and the US Navy during the War of 1812. Glance to the east and you might that you can even see along the coast. from downtown Port Clinton and Catawba Island! Don’t forget your fishing pole – the pier is a perfect place to spend a few hours fishing with friends.
- Try the Air Gun Shooting Range and the Petrarca Field.
If you just can’t get enough aim, CMP hosts a few ranges of its own on the Camp Perry grounds, open to the public year-round.
The Gary Anderson CMP Competence Center is home to an 80-point indoor air pistol electronic shooting range. The targets are capable of simulating different distances and make shooting air rifles and air pistols easy for any experience level (even if you’ve never shot before!). Rental equipment is available at the shooting range. He National air pistol events and the Postcard of the CMP aces are exciting opportunities to participate in air pistol competitions. And don’t forget to check the wall-sized mural in the interior! Outside the shooting range, the installation displays authentic items from the celebrated career of two-time Olympian and gold medalist and shooting range namesake, Gary Anderson. There’s even a piece of the Berlin Wall, given to Anderson, and a letter from President Kennedy himself. Learn more at https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/.
Outdoors, the Petrarca Range includes 10 electronic rifle targets set at 100 yards and 5 cardboard gun targets set at 50 feet, 25 or 50 yards. For those interested in short range zeroing, the electronic scoring system can add difficulty by accurately simulating 200, 300, and 600 yards. Banks are also available for sighting on rifles. Get more information, including a schedule of when the range is open, at https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-targets-at-petrarca-range/.
- Visit the CMP North store and Commercial Row.
If you have money to spend, visit the CMP North store. Located on the Camp Perry grounds inside one of the oldest buildings on the base, the store allows guests to personally browse through the vintage firearms offered by the CMP. The CMP North store will be open to National Match competitors only, July 7-August 3, with a full selection of surplus rifles and ammunition available to order. The store also has CMP memorabilia and other gear needs. Visit https://thecmp.org/cmp_sales/cmp-stores/ for more details. During the national game season, Commercial Row at Camp Perry is a pathway of several industry leading vendors offering firearms, ammunition, competition equipment, parts and more. Learn about Commercial Row and find a list of vendors for 2023 at https://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/commercial-row-information/.
- Take a tour of the Hough Theater and other historical sites!
As a National Guard training facility built over a century ago and a POW site during World War II, Camp Perry has many stories within its roots. Take a tour of the grounds to see many historical markers and learn how each of the outdoor ranges got its name. CMP has created a Heroes of Camp Perry Walking Tour for visitors to explore. The Hough Theatre, built in 1938, hosts National Matches award ceremonies and once played host to legendary artists such as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Once a small town within itself with a bowling alley and even its own airport, you can also see the remains of old and original structures as you traverse the grounds. Visit the small park on the base to see authentic helicopters, tanks and rockets from past wars, along with a boxcar, the Gratitude Train, gifted by France in 1949 after World War II and restored at Camp Perry in 1986. CMP also created The Story of Building 3 at Camp Perry flyer with history And don’t forget to visit the CMP Headquarters building to participate in the CMP Trophy Scavenger Hunt and to find many of the royal and historical trophies used for decades for National Matches. You will receive a special pin once you turn in the scavenger hunt form!
Find out more about Camp Perry at https://cplcc.com/.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearms safety and marksmanship training and the promotion of marksmanship competition for United States citizens. To learn more about the CMP and its programs, log on to www.TheCMP.org.