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Written by Kindra Plumb   

Take a closer look at the 4-H shooting sports program

Next to the livestock projects, one of the most popular 4-H general projects to participate in is shooting sports. This year, Phillips County 4-H has 14 members enrolled in the shooting sports program with three adult leaders to mentor them.

Members are able to choose which shooting sports discipline they are most interested in to enroll in as a project. Those disciplines are: air rifle, archery, .22 rifle, shotgun, black powder, air pistol and outdoor skills.

Prior to 1986, several Colorado counties had a 4-H shooting sports program based loosely on the Texas 4-H shooting program model or as part of outdoor/environmental youth camps.

Colorado’s 4-H shooting sports program officially began in 1986 when four individuals attended a national 4-H shooting sports workshop. These individuals returned to Colorado and conducted local leader workshops. As the result of this training, local leaders started the 4-H shooting sports programs in their counties.

Early records of those trained and the numbers of youth who were trained by these new shooting sports leaders listed their project training under the fisheries and wildlife program until 1995, when the 4-H shooting sports project was separated as a project of its own.

The 4-H shooting sports program has various goals and objectives for program participants. These goals and objectives include:

—encourage participation in natural resources and related natural sciences programs by exposing participants to the content through shooting, hunting and related activities.

—enhance development of self confidence, character and personal growth through safe, educational and socially acceptable involvement in a shooting activity.

—teach safe and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment including sound decision-making, self-discipline and concentration.

—promote the highest standards of safety, ethical and sportsmanship behavior.

—expose participants to the broad array of vocational and life-long life skill activities related to shooting sports.

—strengthen families through participation in life-long recreational activities.

—complement and enhance the impact of existing safety, shooting and hunter education programs using experiential methods and progressive development of necessary skills and abilities.

—develop and utilize the leadership potential and communication skills of older youth in the promotion of the shooting sports and the 4-H program in general.

—develop and promote community identity in youth and provide service-learning opportunities to the betterment of shooting sports and the communities that support it.

The Phillips County shooting sports program invites anyone with specific questions regarding the project to contact the Phillips County Extension office at 970-854-3616.

If you have a passion for the outdoors and any of the shooting sports disciplines, please contact the Extension office. Volunteers are the key to a successful program for the youth!

Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

 

 Holyoke Enterprise May 16, 2013