Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Instructor Steve Adams explained various techniques to students before they began practicing on July 24 at the annual archery camp at Mill Creek MetroParks Farms.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .4H volunteer instructor Steve Adams knelt behind students as they prepared to shoot at designated targets at the annual archery camp at MetroParks Farms.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Student Marissa Coroy demonstrated both good and bad follow through technique on July 24 at the annual archery camp at MetroParks Farms.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Instructor Steve Adams explained various techniques to students before they began practicing on July 24 at the annual archery camp.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Instructor Robin Adams helped children as they prepared to shoot their arrows at designated targets on July 24.
By JESSICA HARKER
Mill Creek MetroParks hosted a five day archery camp for 8-14 year-olds at the Metro Parks Farm.
The 4H club of Mahoning county worked in partnership with the parks to put on the event, with certified archers volunteering to coach the children during the camp.
“It gets them off the couch,” said Steve Adams, one of the 4H volunteers who has been coaching at the camp since it began. “There’s a lot of discipline in archery, its a physical activity.”
Adams said he and his wife Robin have been involved in shooting sports with 4H for more than 10 years, adding that Robin is the main coordinator for the archery camp.
Scott Wright, another 4H volunteer who has been helping at the camp for three years, said that due to the rise in movies involving archery, such as “The Hunger Games” and “Brave,” there has been a recent increase in the number of children interested in the sport.
“Shooting sports in the 4H program are actually growing, its the second largest program area in the state of Ohio, other than agriculture,” Adams said.
He also emphasized that unlike a lot of sports it is something anyone can get involved in no matter age, athletic ability or any other factor.
“We get kids that come down, it doesn’t matter the size or the age, We have an 8-year-old who looks like she might be 3 and a 14-year-old who is bigger than I am... anyone can do it,” Wright said. Other benefits of the camp, according to Adams, include opening up children for possible scholarship opportunities and involvement in higher level competitions.
“The kids, if they want to, can go to greater lengths. I mean there are Olympic archers. There is a lot more available to them,” Adams said.
The goal of the camp is to teach a younger age group the basics of archery, to see if they enjoy the sport and hopefully spark an interest.
“In one weeks time we see drastic changes in their skill level and their attitudes,” Adams said.
If anyone involved is interested in continuing with archery, Adams said they can do so through 4H by contacting their county extension office. Currently there is only one active group in Mahoning county.
Delorean Jones, another 4H instructor who used to be a member of the club when she was younger, said that its a great way to continue to be involved in the sport and find a social outlet.
“Archery is much more readily available as an activity for kids,” Jones said, “Its harder to find gun shooting events, but there are a lot of different programs through the schools for archery.”
Adams added that archery is a good way to get a child involved with shooting sports while avoiding fire arms which some parents are still nervous about allowing their children to use.
“A lot of parents are more comfortable with the bows in a lot of cases because they feel that it is less dangerous,” Jones said.
The camp runs once a year and all gear needed, including bows and arrows, is provided by 4H.
To participate in the camp students must preregister. For more information, visit millcreekmetroparks.org.