See that grin? It never came off her face, the entire 2 hours of the first 4H Archery meeting. Maddie loved every minute, soaked it all in, never hit the target but didn’t care at all. She did improve with each turn to shoot and made it very close to the target and once or twice over the target. Normally she is very hard on herself when she can’t get something on her first try so I was impressed with the lack of angst over this! Perhaps, just maybe, our talks about not being perfect, just being the best you can be are starting to sink in or maybe she was just having too good a time for it to matter! Either way Brian and I will happily take it.
We started out with a discussion of safety rules for parents and the kids. Then it moved into finding your dominant eye, learning the commands that would be given by the instructors and trying on arm guards. Maddie thought her dominant eye was her right eye but had a really hard time shooting from that stance. So the instructor had her switch sides and use her left eye and everything started falling into place. The kid is a lefty through and through.
After that the kids moved over to the shooting range. It is wonderful that a local business, Brown’s Archery and The Mabee Farm Historic Site both donated materials and a place for the kids to meet. A special thank you was set up by Bonnie, our 4H coordinator. We will visit Brown’s to get the supplies Maddie will need. Maybe somewhere down the road a bow of her own but not yet!
The kids lined up by the cones which also served as quivers. The instructors give instructions about picking up the bow, taking a stance and when to shoot. Everyone must wait for all the bows to be put back down then the instructor gives the signal to go to the retrieval line. Once more the kids wait to be told its OK to go get the arrows, they meet back at the retrieval line, count to make sure everyone is there and then put the arrows back in the quiver. Safety is definitely coming first. The instructors were great in making sure the kids listened but also kept their interest and were really encouraging them.
Maddie can’t wait for the week to fly by so she can go back and do some more!