Ema first female president of St. Charles Sportsment’s Club
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—When Andrea Ema was going through a transition time in her life, she was looking for something she could do that she really enjoyed. After taking a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) course called “Becoming an Outdoor Woman,” she knew she’d found it. She started learning how to shoot a rifle and pursue other outdoor sports. Today she is the first female president of the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club in Elburn.
“When you break that first target, it’s just so exciting,” Ema said. “I didn’t take it up until my daughter left home. I wanted to find something I really enjoyed. It’s challenging. It’s social.”
Ema compares the fun of shooting at moving targets, like trap and skeet, to golf.
“It’s focus, focus, focus. It’s 90 percent mental, like golf. Eventually you get the technique down, and then you blend it with the focus,” she explained. “It’s really a competition with yourself.”
Having been raised around guns in her childhood in Idaho and Michigan, where hunting and shooting are very common, Ema didn’t have any formal training until she joined a shooting club eight years ago, eventually finding her way to St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club. There she found a group of women who also wanted to shoot.
“My problem as a single woman was to find a group to go be with and be comfortable with. I found that at St. Charles,” she said. “I found a women’s group. It was nice to have that little back up.”
Today there are roughly 20 women who shoot, many of them wives of husbands who also shoot. The club invites anyone to come on the third Saturday of the month to take a beginning class to get them started on shooting as a sport. The class is open to the public.
The club has about 500 full members and 800 shooting members, with people coming from as far away as Chicago. It has various levels of memberships, but does hold special events that are open to the public, like the Paralyzed Veterans Association shoot in June, as well as events whose proceeds go to charities like the Special Olympics. The club is membership-owned and operated with volunteers giving their time and money to keep it going.
The club began in St. Charles with 175 members. As that area became developed, the club purchased 70 acres west of Route 47 on Keslinger Road. The facility has seven lit trap fields, a lit skeet field, sporting clays course, rifle and pistol range, 1.5-acre stocked pond and a clubhouse.
“We try to be good neighbors. We don’t start shooting until 9 a.m. and are done by 10 p.m. We make sure that nothing leaves the property (shells, etc.). Our quiet days are Easter and Christmas,” Ema said.
She said that their club has been “grandfathered in,” in terms of the noise ordinances in Elburn.
“The great thing about the club is no matter where you come from, no matter how much money you have, nobody knows that when you get out into the field. No one’s going to say anything if you miss a target,” Ema said. “Shooting is fun. Breaking targets is fun.”
For more information on special events open to the public and membership opportunities, visit scsconline.org.
open to the public
Paralyzed Veteran’s of America (PVA)
15th Annual National
St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club
The event is open to all shooters.
The cost is $160 for 300 targets
and 300 shells, two breakfasts,
two lunches, a banquet
Call (630) 365-9881 or
for more information