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What started out as mobile archery instruction with seven students has grown to more than 100 enthusiastic athletes now involved at two facilities in Michigan, due to the dedication of husband-and-wife team Scott and Jennifer Dawson.
The Dawsons recognized the need and desire for archery in their area and founded Ground Zero Archery in 2013. After the first semester, they took their first USA Archery Level 2 Instructor certification course and so began their coaching journey.
In June 2016, Ground Zero Archery joined and offered Explore Archery during their first summer program in-house and at the local community camps. Explore Archery is an innovative education program which introduces archery to beginners of all ages and abilities. The program includes low-cost, turnkey programming options that offer a comprehensive Instructor's Guide, including a full curriculum packed with classroom activities, and award and games components.
The program's structure and supportive ideas helped the Dawson's coaches transition into shorter class times and duration. They saw immense success with their archery programs and Jennifer felt it was important for her and her husband to continue learning and obtain their USA Archery Level 4 certification.
As the Ground Zero customer base and the number of students continued to grow, the Dawsons decided to open the second Ground Zero Archery. Between their two locations (Niles, MI and St. Joseph, MI) they now welcome 100+ students per week/semester.
Jennifer commented, “We have seen many students who simply want to try archery fall in love with the sport. Some continue with classes; others start shooting on their own or with family members and some are inspired to start hunting.”
Since 2013, there have been roughly 1200 students come through Ground Zero Archery. Since starting their Explore Archery Program in 2016, they have seen over 800 archers.
“We have received all positive feedback from students and their families. Students are achieving goals they never thought possible, and parents are seeing their kids excited about coming back to learn more.”, Jennifer added.
Coach Dawson and her husband are planning to grow the adaptive archery program through continuing education. She concluded, “Ground Zero Archery volunteers at local 3D shoots, sponsors local sportsmen club events. We also take teams to competitions. All these activities give us an opportunity to share our passion, which is archery!”
Contact [email protected] for more information about Explore Archery.