4-H Shooting Sports Program Excels

— Written By Ross Young
en Español / em Português

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The 4-H Shooting Sports Program is the fastest growing interest in 4-H nationwide. Until 2016, Madison County, NC had never had a youth shooting sports program of any type. 4-H clubs are an incredible tool for helping youth gain life skills as well as leadership experiences; both are much needed by Madison County youth.

In the fall of 2014, N.C. Cooperative Extension worked directly with a volunteer base to begin the certification process which trained two volunteers to legally instruct “safe archery practices” to youth in Madison County. In January of 2015 the process of building a 4-H Archery club began. By the end of the year, there were 20 youth participating and 5 adult volunteers.

The 4-H Club, N.C. Cooperative Extension and Madison County Parks and Rec. partnered to write a grant to NRA for an expansion of the program to include the rifle component. This grant was awarded and 2018 in the amount of $3550.00. This funding assisted in the expansion of the program to include a rifle component.

The number of students enrolled in the program is the first step of data collection. Attendance was taken at every month’s meeting. Officers were elected and growth in their ability to run meetings was noted. Volunteer numbers grew as well as their ability to provide solid volunteer services. Seventeen youth participated in monthly business meetings learning decision making skills as well as leadership abilities. Five volunteers worked directly with youth to train and oversee safe archery practices. $3550.00 in grant supplies were awarded through the NRA grant to support the Archery program and expansion to the rifle component. Pistol competition was added. Three participants went to scored high enough to go to state competition and one invited to Nationals.