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December 17, 2014

Explore Archery Program Thrives With Fun Activities and Flexible Formats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - One of the best things about Explore Archery is the way it can be adapted to fit the needs of almost any community based organization. We recently chatted with Rick Hennig of South Jersey Archery Explorers, to learn how Explore Archery is benefiting their program, and what advice they might have to share with others.

Tell us a little about your program: how did you get started, and why did you choose Explore Archery? 

Our program, South Jersey Archery Explorers, started because my wife and I run archery programs for Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey, and we were looking for some good structure and guidance on running a program to give the girls more. We chose Explore Archery because it seemed to be a good start with some lesson plans and good programs to use with the different archery techniques for learning.

How has the program worked out for you? Please let us know how you've grown, and what you like about using Explore Archery for programming.

The program has offered us a good guidance for what "games" help with what technique we are focusing on at the time. It's easy to follow along in the book.

What are the archers' favorite games and activities from the Explore Archery program? 

The girls have really liked the treasure hunt and the candy shoots.

What ideas are working for your program in terms of activities and fun things to try?

So far everything we try with the girls has been a hit. We are looking to possibly upgrade to a Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Club next year. The girls are now getting their own bows and are really excited about archery. They like the awards for their efforts as well.

Explore Archery offers a few different formats, giving instructors the option of flexibility. Which format has worked best for your program?

We use a 6-week program mostly. We have done a trip out to Lancaster Archery Supply for the girls to get early Christmas presents and have a nice dinner all together. We also worked out the use of an indoor range for free over the winter period since our range at Girl Scout camp is located outdoors. We have started a special interest group within our Girl Scout Council to try to entice more girls to come out and try archery.

Are there any other tips or advice you'd like to share with our readers?

Have fun with your archers. Remember, not all young archers will follow your instructions like you want them to, so remember to be patient. Sometimes it takes them doing it wrong for a bit and slowly correcting them for the students to really realize that what you are teaching them will help them to improve.

Author's note: The Six Week Camp format outlines a 90-minute session per week for six weeks. Students who complete the Six Week Camp format will earn all five Explore Archery Awards.

If you have found success with any of the formats (Try Archery Event, 1 Day Camp, 5 Day Camp, 6 Week Camp, Birthday Party), please reach out to clubs@usarchery.org. We want to hear from you about how you have made it successful for your camp, club, or archery program!


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