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Last year, USA Archery developed partnerships with several programs including the New York Society for Recreation and Parks (NYSRPS) to grow archery at the community level. As part of these partnerships, USA Archery helped to facilitate grants from the Easton Foundations for archery equipment kits and programming to help implement Explore Archery and next step archery programs for youth and adults.
Adam Washbon, Recreation Supervisor of the Town of Chili, was certified as USA Archery Level 2 Instructor as part of this grant program and was awarded program materials including the Explore Archery curriculum, achievement awards and an equipment kit.
"We found out about USA Archery and Explore Archery through NYSRPS," shared Washbon. "The timing of the grant worked perfectly. We were in the process of overhauling our summer camp program and making our campuses a recreation destination comparable to residential camps. We felt it was in our best interest to have kids excited to stay in our community over the summer. Archery curriculum was a big piece of the destination puzzle. Thanks to the grant, we now have the equipment to offer archery to our camps and community with no cost to our residents."
Washbon's camps for grades 3-6 and 7-9 use the archery program daily and adventure specialists are trained to be on site archery instructors for each program. In addition, they have since held Try Archery stations at three recent community events to showcase their equipment and encourage camp participation.
Washbon added: "We partnered with Neil Armstrong Elementary school's PE teachers Glenn Pittman and Jake Johnson to offer archery as an indoor activity over the winter months. The feedback from their students in grades 3-5 was remarkable. On their weekly evaluation sheets many marked archery as the highlight of their week. Archery caught the teacher's eye too. Many came into the gym to try it for themselves. The format of the Explore Archery program had a profound impact on the students. The level of responsibility and respect for the equipment was noticed by administrators and teachers alike."
Washbon plans to continue to expand community archery programs and shared that the room for growth is tremendous: "We will look to offer more Try Archery events and recurring Explore Archery programs for youths, adults and seniors as free community clinics. Neil Armstrong has reserved the equipment again for next year. Based on the success of their pilot program, Gates Chili middle school is also looking to implement archery."
USA Archery's Chief of Sport Performance, Mary Emmons commented: "I am encouraged to see USA Archery's partnership with NYSRPS has resulted in a positive impact in the Town of Chili. Our primary goal was to increase the accessibility of archery programming at the community level so that new participants could try archery and hopefully as result, develop a passion for the sport and progress to more advanced programs and events."
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