By its very nature, archery is a different kind of sport when its time to teach it to kids. The bow and arrow were originally designed to be used as a weapon, and there are safety measures that kids must understand whether they use their equipment for hunting or for sports activities. To help any child appreciate the history, pageantry, skills and danger, it is important to parents to provide proper education and support.
Here are three tips for getting started:
1. Consider a national youth archery program for your childs lessons
- National Archery in the Schools ProgramThis program features a curriculum with study units designed by experts in three areas, including Education, Target and Conservation Archery. The units were designed to be included in a schools physical education program and meet national and state standards for education. Teachers are certified to present students with comprehensive training in basic archery skills, using safe equipment.
- National 4-H Youth Programs for your childs archery lessons.The National 4-H Youth Programs have been training youngsters all across America and around the world for generations. With over 25 million alumni, this organization excels at training youth for a wide variety of activities. The organization offers an archery program which focuses on practical training with the equipment and their hands on learning focus is well suited for developing the skills and respect for the sport of archery.
- Team USA Junior Olympic Archery DevelopmentDesigned in a club format, youngsters ages 8 to 20 can join a USA Archery Club located nearby and learn the techniques and skills necessary to become an excellent archer. These clubs teach proper shooting practice and range safety. They serve to develop the confidence and abilities necessary to enjoy a lifetime of archery, and they help point interested youngsters toward possible participation as part of the US Olympic Archery Team.
2. Develop mentoring and enjoyable partnership relationships
As your child begins to show an interest in archery, one of the most positive things you can to do foster their education and safety is to include them in friendships, groups and clubs that understand the need for training in positive and safe environments. There are a wide variety of clubs devoted to these nationwide. Your child will mature and learn your guidelines for behavior and usage of equipment over time. Your guidance and examples will do much to lead the way toward what you consider best.
- Outdoor MentorsOutdoor Mentors is an organization devoted to motivating kids to do more outdoor activities. They have highly skilled volunteer mentors who spend time passing on their skills to the next generation. They value activities such as fishing, controlled hunting, gun safety, and first hunter education. They offer training for new archery students who are taught by experienced, expert archers.
- National Shooting Sports FoundationThe firearms industry in America sponsors this foundation with the goals of preserving, protecting and promoting shooting sports and hunting. With these as the focus, the organization displays a wide variety of opportunities for youth on their Internet website. There is a comprehensive listing of clubs, organizations and information about where to practice archery, training opportunities and equipment care and purchases.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This is the national organization devoted to all kinds of education and information available to the general public about wildlife activities. Its National Wildlife Refuge System offers controlled bow hunting experiences for young archers who are completely trained, proficient and ready for their first hunting explorations. Young hunters must have earned a Hunter Safety Certificate. This program seeks to preserve the hunting traditions and skills of previous generations using controlled management hunts that keep targeted wildlife populations at a reasonable number.
3. Share the tradition of archery with your child
Regardless of the amount of time your child spends in educational activities, the best person your child can share archery with is you. The traditions of archery have been passed down from parent to child for thousands of years. There are many exciting things to learn, share and do together with your child.
- Archery Shooters Association FederationJoin this organization as a family and take part in competitive archery.
- National Bowhunters Education FoundationThis organization offers an interactive online search option for local courses and online training options.
- National Field Archery Association
As an organization for field archery, it is the worlds largest. It promotes a wide variety of educational, competitive and club options, and provides for families to participate in archery activities together.
Once you decide to explore the historic and artistic sport of archery with your child, there are many ways to find the education, technical training and support you need. With local, national and international organizations available for every aspect of this sport, there is much to discover together. Help your child to be safe, organized and disciplined within the traditions of archery and you may find that it becomes an enjoyable hobby that will last a lifetime.