The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program stands out as an example. Youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth, and conservation ethics.
Local 4-H Shooting Sports clubs are open to all youth ages 8 to 18. Each year, 4-H teaches a shooting sport to about 500,000 boys and girls each year. Shooting sports can be gratifying for youngsters, especially those who aren’t athletes. The program provides a supportive environment in which young people can experience hands-on, fun learning experiences.
Volunteers are needed to coordinate county programs and to work at the local level. Individuals who are interested in shooting sports and are willing to learn about them can become involved in an existing program or club. If none exists, they can work with 4-H youth staff to help establish a program.
All instructors are trained by state instructors certified to teach courses. Adult volunteers receive training in shooting sports at state and regional workshops to become qualified instructors. 4-H teen leaders may wish to assist with instruction. Shooting sports leaders act as role models and must impart the 4-H philosophy and youth development objectives to 4-H members.
Clubs need meeting places and sites–such as sportsmen’s clubs, community ranges, and privately owned facilities where they can meet, learn, and practice the disciplines.
There are so many ways to become involved or to support 4-H Shooting Sports. For more information on the 4-H Shooting Sports program, contact your local Cooperative Extension Office.