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This past month, USA Archery was fortunate to visit Hidden Gems Archery in New York City, a club that is thriving under the direction of founder Natasha Green. Hidden Gems began using the Explore Archery program last year, and has found lots of success with it! They recently shared their story with us:
"Since 2013, Hidden Gems Archery has been New York's premier mobile archery academy. We focus on archery education, competition, and, most importantly, building a community around a great sport! We have several USA Archery programs, including Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD), the Adult Archery Program and now, Explore Archery. Hidden Gems Archery also supports the New York Olympic Archery in Schools Program.
Natasha Green, our founder, wanted to diversify the sport opportunities available for urban youth. With a philosophy of "Archery for All," we created mobile archery units that travel throughout the New York City area, setting up ranges where participants can learn archery. As a result, we've set up ranges in schools, churches, parks, clubs, and other non-traditional spaces throughout the metropolitan area.
In September of 2014, at the request of several dedicated archers, we established a home base where our customers could come to improve their archery skills but also connect with us on a continual basis. We joined the Explore Archery program to increase awareness of our sport and to help give structure to our programs. We use the Explore Archery book to show our students proper form, and we utilize several game ideas. Our favorite part of the program by far has been the wealth of games.
As an instructor, having activity plans is very helpful, easy to follow and adaptable to our environment. I am also happy to see that there are small group activities, as well as activities that can be done on a larger scale. Hidden Gems Archery is in an urban environment, so shooting outdoors is not an option for us which means some of the messier games will have to be explored elsewhere. However, we have happily thought about alternatives to these games, and one is to use confetti instead of water or paint to have an exciting finish.
This summer we plan on implementing a 6-week Explore Archery camp in our Brooklyn location. We plan on using the format and award system described in the book to create a unique archery experience in NYC. We want to create an exciting and fun space where archers can learn the fundamentals of archery, be acknowledged for their archery achievements and feel like archery is the sport for them. We know at Hidden Gems Archery that creating a space where community and connections are important will result in many opportunities for us to grow as a company but also for our clients to grow as archers. You can even call them our "Future Archery Pros."
Special thanks to the staff at Hidden Gems Archery for sharing their story with us!
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