Rural Missouri - January 2013 - (Page 12)

4-H Shooting Sports program targets youth development in a fun, competitive way education program. Youth are encouraged to choose one of dozens of projects to expand their knowledge on a topic. Projects might ogan Sappington aims downinclude sewing, cooking, photography, field at the target. Deftly, he livestock or woodworking to name a releases the bowstring and few. Projects vary by county. watches as the arrow whizzes “The shooting sports program began through the air and pierces the target. nationally about 30 years ago,” says “A little high and right,” says Gerry, who is also a Saline County Logan’s dad, Jim, watch4-H leader. ing from behind. 4-H members can participate Mindful of the observation, the 17-year-old in a number of shooting distakes an arrow from the ciplines, including archery, • quiver and prepares for air rifle/BB gun, small-bore Wilton rifle, air pistol, shotanother release. This time, gun, small-bore pistol, the arrow hits the target’s muzzleloading, cowboy center, and Logan smiles. action shooting and He’s used to his father’s hunting and outdoor skills. watchful eye, as he is the leadKids must take the 4-H shooting sports er of the 4-H state archery project. safety course or show proof of havLogan, whose family is a member ing taken the Missouri Department of of Boone Electric Cooperative, is one Conservation Hunter Education Course of more than 4,000 Missouri kids who before participating in any 4-H shootparticipate in the 4-H Shooting Sports program, and one of many who partici- ing project. Some clubs have shooting equippate in more than one discipline. ment to check out to members. How“Shooting sports are now the top ever, youth are expected to find their 4-H project in Missouri,” says Gerry own gear if they continue in the projSnapp, 4-H’s state coordinator for ect. Project workbooks are free to kids, shooting sports. “More than 300,000 but project supplies, such as ammunikids nationwide are enrolled in shoottion, are the members’ responsibility. ing projects. It’s a huge project group Gerry says the leaders must go — it’s surpassed 4-H arts and crafts.” through a stringent weekend course for According to feedback he’s received each discipline they instruct. The certifrom families, Gerry says the 4-Hers fication course was developed with the love shooting sports for a couple of help of the National Rifle Association. obvious reasons. As always, safety is the goal. “First, they’re competing against “Over the years, there’s been some themselves, not someone else. The negativity regarding kids and firearms, more targets they hit, the better they but the perception has gotten better do. It’s not about beating someone — recently,” says Gerry. “We think the it’s about doing your personal best,” positive things that come out of our he says. “They hit a clay target and program far outweigh any negatives. it breaks right then — or you miss. People have guns. To ignore it is worse Instant feedback. Paper targets — you than to be proactive and teach kids hit or miss. Instant gratification.” how to be safe around them and when 4-H is the largest out-of-school using them. Safety is first and foremost youth program in the United States, with more than 7 million members and in the shooting sports projects.” As a member of the Hartsburg Sharp 500,000 adult volunteers. Shooter 4-H club for the past seven The 4-H program began around the years, Logan has participated with start of the 20th century as a hands-on compound and recurve archery, pistol, effort to teach rural youth agricultural shotgun, muzzleloading and hunter skills. Today, it’s a global organization skills projects. Logan’s skills helped for kids, ages 8 to 18, that teaches a him place on the state and national wide range of life skills. Once thought recurve and compound archery teams of as strictly a rural program, 4-H is as well as the muzzleloading team. now open to all kids — rural, urban or National competitions are held once suburban. a year in various locales around the Currently, Missouri has more than United States. 104,000 youth participating in a 4-H IMING TO WIN O U T D O O R S L by Heather Berry hberry@ruralmissouri.coop Logan Sappington, 17, has represented Missouri at 4-H national competitions with compound and recurve archery teams as well as the muzzleloading team. Through state tryouts, Logan has garnered one of the four coveted spots to compete on the national pistol team this summer — and he hopes to compete with shotgun next year, the last year he’s eligible for 4-H competitions. “I’ve had a lot of fun competing on a county, statewide and national level,” says Logan. “4-H is a great way to make friends who have the same interests.” Logan’s parents, Jim and Ragan, say the hands-on learning is only one of the benefits 4-H offers kids. “They also learn responsibility, selfdiscipline, independence, patience, and confidence,” says Jim. “Those things translate into every area of their life.” Following a national trend of more women engaging in sport shooting, girls are choosing to participate in 4-H shooting sports. According to Gerry, nearly 30 percent of the project’s participants are female. “I had several friends in 4-H but hadn’t ever thought about joining until I heard about the shooting sports,” says Kelsey Brandkamp, a freshman at the University of Missouri. “Cattle showing and cake decorating didn’t appeal to me, but archery did.” Kelsey, whose father owns Powder Horn Guns & Sporting Goods in Columbia, had grown up with a knowledge of hunting and shooting, but she’d never thought about competing in any target sport. “I was terribly shy back then,” says Kelsey, who was a 4-H member for four years. “It wasn’t too long before I was the one in the group who would start conversations.” Her first year in 4-H, Kelsey made the national compound bow archery team, a feat that’s “hard for a female in a male-dominated sport,” she adds. When she started college last fall, she immediately joined the Mizzou Archery Team, where she currently holds the title of 3-D recurve woman national champion. “When I talk to kids about shooting sports, I always ask if they’re a member of 4-H. I think everyone should join, no matter what they’re interested in,” she says. “It’s like gaining a family when you join, that’s for sure.” For more information about the 4-H Shooting Sports program, contact Gerry Snapp at 573-882-5547 or send an e-mail to snappg@missouri.edu. To find a club in your area, visit www.4H.missouri.edu. 12 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://www.4H.missouri.edu http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2013

Rural Missouri - January 2013
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
Turning disabilities into abilities
Aiming to win
Outdoors
Enshrined
Out of the Way Eats
Missouri snapshots
Hearth and Home
Marmaduke’s first raid
Around Missouri
Marketplace
No strangers to hard work
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - January 2013

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