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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - Explore Archery, developed by USA Archery and the Archery Trade Association, is an innovative education program focused on introducing beginners of all ages and abilities to the lifelong sport of archery. This introductory program is a great way to get new archers into the sport, but eventually successful Explore Archery Programs may want to transition into a Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) or Adult Archery Club. Kathleen and Kenneth, the husband and wife duo behind Hoot & Holler Archery Academy in Bossier City, Louisiana talked to us about why they made the transition to JOAD and how it benefited both their business and the archers.
Kathleen shared, "My husband and I own an archery shop, Hoot & Holler Archery, and we've had it since 2008." After several years of developing business opportunities through trade shows, coaching, and working at existing camp programs, they decided to start their own archery camp.
"We never really thought about having our own archery camp let alone an archery club, but when customers kept asking for summer camps, we started looking into it," Kathleen explained. We were at the Archery Trade Show when we learned about the Explore Archery Program. It appealed to us because of the curriculum it follows, and it looked very fun, and interesting at the same time."
On making the decision to upgrade their program to a JOAD club, Kathleen and her husband added, "after our Explore Archery camps, the parents of our campers asked about how their kids can continue coming to archery practice and continue training. It was very clear to us that there is a need in our community to have a year round archery training program in place. We started our JOAD club, Hoot & Holler Training Academy, in September 2015."
Transitioning to a USA Archery Club permits year-round programming, and opens the door to expanded business opportunities. For the archers, it means more opportunity to practice their skills and eligibility to participate in the Achievement Award Program, virtual tournaments and sanctioned events.
"Kenneth was able to contact most of their Explore Archery campers once we got the JOAD Club started, and many were very excited to be part of the new club. They were very excited to start learning more about archery and improve their shooting skills. We started with about 20 active members," Kenneth explained.
"Currently we have 30 active members and they are competing almost every weekend," Kenneth commented on the club's steady growth since its inception last fall. "They just shot a state indoor tournament and did very well, and most importantly they had a great time doing it."
Kathleen and Kenneth encourage other Explore Archery programs to consider making the upgrade too: "You'll reap the benefit of watching and seeing these kids grow and mature not just in archery, but also in all aspect of their lives. We see their success not just at the range but also academically. We also love seeing their increased confidence level."
For example, Kathleen shared: "One of our members has dyslexia, and my husband started using archery scoring to teach him math skills. He got 100 on his math test last week! These are things we probably wouldn't have seen had we not transitioned to a year round training program for these kids."
To learn more about how to upgrade your Explore Archery Program to a JOAD or Adult Archery Club, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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