Grant Support from the NRA Foundation Helps Make Shooting Sports Available in Wakulla County for 4-H Youth
The Wakulla 4-H program added Shooting Sports to the roster of clubs offered to local youth in 2018. A series of grants from the NRA Foundation have helped Shooting Sports to grow as popular community clubs for Wakulla 4-H youth members. To start, youth ages 10 and up had the opportunity to participate in shotgun. Wakulla County Sheriff Jared Miller has been a strong advocate since the start and each month youth have a Saturday practice at the Sheriff’s shotgun range. Our state team has also used the range at Talon in Midway to prepare for competition and 4-H thanks Charlie Strickland for his support of 4-H Shooting Sports. Archery has been wildly popular from the beginning. Archery meetings and practices are held at the Extension office in Crawfordville. Youth ages 8 and up have enjoyed learning archery skills with 4-H. In 2020, air rifle was added to the program. Youth ages 8 and up are eligible to participate in air rifle. Air rifle also meets and practices at Extension. This past, Wakulla 4-H received an additional generous NRA Foundation grant that allowed us to further grow the air rifle and archery programs.
In 2019, 2021, and 2022 Wakulla 4-H was able to offer archery as part of summer camp programming. In 2021 and 2022 air rifle has been included as an option.
Shotgun Program: Competition Skeet and Trap
On Thursday, September 15, 2022 the 4-H Shotgun program will have the first meeting of the year. This meeting will be held at the Extension office at 6:30 PM. There will be no hands on shotgun practice that night. This informational meeting includes required safety training. Parents and youth should attend. Only youth age 10 by September 1, 2022 are eligible to participate. For more information, please call 850-926-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 4-H Shooting Sports Program should be viewed as a vehicle for achieving youth development, the mission of Extension 4-H youth programs. The 4-H Shooting Sports Program teaches young people the safe and responsible use of firearms, principles of archery, and hunting basics. Lifelong skill development is one of the main benefits of involvement in the 4-H Shooting Sports Program and applies to both youth and adults involved in the program. Specifically, the 4-H Shooting Sports Program is designed to:
- Provide youth proper training in the use of firearms, archery equipment, and other areas of shooting sports.
- Provide thorough instruction in shooting sports safety.
- Develop life skills such as self-confidence, personal discipline, responsibility, and sportsmanship.
- Create an appreciation and understanding of natural resources and their wise use.
- Provide volunteer instructors safe and proper instructional techniques.
- Show volunteer leaders how to plan and manage 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs.
The 4-H Shooting Sports Program is a national program with guidelines provided by the National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee. This committee is made up of Extension professionals, volunteers, and others. The committee plans, organizes, and conducts national and regional training programs to certify Level II Instructors (see definition below) in order that they might conduct shooting sports training programs. These Level II instructors are discipline-certified to provide instruction to Level I instructors within their respective states (Culen et al, 2018). For more information about Shooting Sports in Florida 4-H, please see this link.