STAY UP TO DATE
CALDWELL, ID -- Located in Caldwell, Idaho, the Treasure Valley Family YMCA launched its archery program this past Spring with more than 170 participants.
The Explore Archery Program is being utilized within the afterschool care and summer childcare and is free for youth already enrolled in those programs. “We have a five-day curriculum that was built from the trainer course that is combined with fun that focus on sportsmanship, positive competition and aligning with our core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility,” said Nicole Pratt, Area Director for YMCA Child Development. “Every now and then we switch up the activities to offer more based on specific techniques needing to be taught within a particular group.”
After the Treasure Valley Family YMCA introduced archery, 60 youth participated in a weeklong instructional camp – and that was just the beginning. Enthusiasm spread like wildfire for the new archery programming. “The youth we serve love it when they see archery on our calendars. If they are returning participants, they get excited and set goals for themselves. If we have brand new participants, they get excited about the idea of archery and even more so when they are on the range and see it in action,” said Pratt.
Archery fosters focus, self-confidence, and teambuilding skills, which align with the YMCA’s core values. Pratt added, “We are seeing not only positive interactions among peers, but we are seeing determination, patience and the willing to keep going and not give up. So often you see youth getting down on themselves and give up after one failed attempt at anything they do, the positive environment on the range is keeping up that moral and youth are encouraging each other which keeps them going.”
Pratt hopes to develop a mobile archery program so that the camp can travel with equipment and serve a larger population. “We serve approximately 1,000+ participants every year and Explore Archery could have a tremendous impact on the youth that we serve,” said Pratt.
“Our families have been very receptive to our Archery program. This is an opportunity that not all youth and families have access to so learning this new skill is very beneficial for all,” she said.
“A couple of families have placed their children in a local archery club after having their child talk non-stop about it. The Explore Archery Program is definitely having an impact on our youth.”