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4H youth at archery practice

4-H Youth Learn Life Skills Through Competitive Projects

Currently in Orange County 4-H, our youth participate in a variety of  competitive events, such as horse hippology, judging and quiz bowl, livestock and meats judginghorticulture ID, archery and this coming year, sport fishing will be added for those kids that like the outdoor and natural resources areas .

Orange County 4-H has a very active archery program, which has grown considerably in the last decade, not only by numbers in membership but also by increasing the number of certified instructors that can teach the 4-H youth archery discipline. Some of the subject areas that differentiate 4-H archery from any other archery program is that 4-H instructors include in this discipline important 4-H life skills such as safety, leadership, responsible citizenship, communication, goal setting, decision making, and most important of all, team work.

Lately, youth have increased their archery skills to a point where most of the youth participants in the archery project have changed their goals to participate in competitive events, not only at the local but at district and state levels. Thanks to the self-motivation of kids to achieve the next step in the project, we received a new grant (third in the last decade) from the friends of the NRA Foundation to support and increase the competitive teams that represent Orange County 4-H. A note of thanks to the NRA grant that provided us with new and more advanced equipment, including more powerful bows and competitive grade traditional and 3D targets.

To support these teams, not only new and better equipment is necessary but also caring adults that will serve as instructors for those teams and will help the youth to set and accomplish new and more advanced goals in their archery career. Along with the 4-H State Leadership and our Level II instructor, Orange County 4-H will host our second 4-H Archery Instructor Training, October 11-12, 2019, at the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County in Orlando, FL. Ten new youth and adult leaders will be trained the 4-H way to become 4-H archery instructors. The training is focused on 4-H Life skills (teamwork, self-motivation, goal setting, etc.), archery safety and healthy competitive skills.

Also, to help diversify our natural resources and outdoor project areas, Orange County 4-H had the opportunity to add a sport fishing 4-H project with a new club that is going to focus on competitive events and “trans-generational” education where older 4-H youth will be teaching younger generations the subject matter, which is the same strategy that the archery project is doing by training older youth to become instructors. We have big hopes for this new sport fishing program in Orange County 4-H and look forward to a great 4-H year in this area.