|Excellent example of how to prop a good shot!|
Archery is probably not the best choice possible for very young kids, but middle schoolers generally have a just-right amount of maturity and body strength to master the archery range well. Learning to command the bow & arrow with confidence is a great outdoor activity that every child should learn and for good reason. To be a successful archer requires a good deal of patience and concentration, plus it is an excellent exercise in hand-eye coordination and all of these attributes will have a positive effect upon their time spent back in the classroom. It's also just plain cool knowing how to shoot well.
I had about an hour with each group today at Camp Raven Knob. Archery is not as simple as it looks and only the very attentive kids will get it right upon my first instruction and safety talk. But that's OK because with most of these kids it's their very first encounter with a bow and arrow.
|Very proud of his shooting!|
Out of today's 85 students, there were about 5 who were good (...v-e-r-y good) from the first shot onward. Upon my inquisition, most of these skilled shooters came from homes where their parents had already introduced them to archery because they were deer hunters. Those kids
could make these little compound camp bows work in overdrive, hitting
the bulls-eye of the target with a resounding 'thud' and most of the time with
the kind of power that would certainly take down a deer. They had a good stance,
their elbows were always high, and their aim was right-on. They could have
starred in the movie 'Hunger Games' and passed without a flinch. They were just
plain good and their classmates admired their skill.
|Another picture for Mom!|
Standing beside those good shooters was one little fellow named Connor. He missed the target every time no matter how many pointers that I gave him, no matter how many times that I placed him in good stance. I was the most frustrated but Connor had a great attitude, always smiling, and vocalizing that he was going to hit that target with every next shot. He was one of the smaller kids and his arms just weren't the strongest but he kept at it with a smile. The struggle didn't
During the last shooting rotation Connor managed to hit the red outlining of
the bull's-eye and his classmates yelled out with a resounding cheer and
clapping. Connor left the archery range feeling great!
|Excellent shooting stance!|
|Retrieving arrows and safely carrying with two hands.|
I'm sure that even Robin Hood himself would have been very proud of today's archery classes because I sure was. I imagine that they'll have something swell to talk about with their teachers and classmates tomorrow at school and maybe their grades will improve too. After all that's what looking at the BIG picture in life is all about and mastering the skill of shooting a bow can play a big part in that picture.