Equipment stewardship is critical in youth programs. We as 4-H staff, faculty or volunteers, sometimes get into a position where we must manage large inventories. No matter what that inventory is, we are the stewards of shared property and we need to be responsible for it. In shooting sports this is particularly critical, because of safety and security concerns. We have developed a system to track shooting sports equipment that is inexpensive, easy to use and accessible anywhere.
In our county (which is not unique) we found that we had almost a hundred small items with a value of $35 to $350 (average $192). These items included 20 bows (archery), several air rifles, shotguns, muzzle loading rifles, etc. If you calculate the conservative value of these items (60 x $192), it comes to about $11,000 worth of equipment. All these items need to be maintained ready for use, and of course, the firearms need to be accounted for day to day. Doing this can be a monumental task!
Data collected as a result of telephone surveys, training and discussion indicate that issues with storage, tracking, and maintenance of 4-H shooting sports equipment are common challenges.
Our objectives for this project were to bring our program into compliance with state and national plans for risk management. In addition, we hoped to develop a system that was simple to use, low cost and effective. Click here for FL State Plan & Guidelines, and here for the National 4-H Minimum Standards & Best Management Practices.
We used free (to low cost), cloud-based software that meets current industry standards for asset management. This software is available online and by a mobile application (app). The barcode printer, such as this one is available for less than $50 from a national office supply retailer. Using these two tools, we are able to identify each piece of equipment individually or as a group.
A simple system will be more useful to staff and volunteers when utilized in the field. As a result, by knowing exactly what we have, its location, and maintenance status we can be more effective in our programming and lower our risks.
More Information and Acknowledgments
If you would like more information on the specifics or the tools that we used and how to get started, contact Gus Koerner at telephone: 321-633-1702, Ext. 52320 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish to express gratitude to the organizations mentioned in this article including, AssetTiger, MyAssetTag.com, the National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee and the Friends of the National Rifle Association for their generous support.