Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 24


S.A.F.E. and sound

Building life skills through 4-H shooting sports

BY JIM JESS

JIM
S
J ES

Emily Lovett and Sam Payne practice
Precision Air Rifle at the Bartow County
4-H shooting range.
24

KIM PAYNE

W

hen Clinton Rouse,
park manager for
Richard B. Russell
State Park in Elberton,
was in high school, he and some
friends established an air rifle team
with the school principal's support.
This led to his involvement in Georgia 4-H's Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting
Awareness, Fun and Education) program, where Rouse learned fundamentals of firearms safety and good
shooting habits.
Years later, Rouse's job as a park
ranger required that he attend police
academy courses. When his class got
to firearms training, he already knew
the fundamentals.
"Once you have a great foundation, you can carry it with you for a
lifetime," he says.
Project S.A.F.E. includes several shooting sports: air pistol, air
rifle, .22-caliber rifle, BB, archery

The Bartow County 4-H team gathers at the 2016 4-H National Championship in Nebraska.

and shotgun competitive shooting. The objective is not to develop
world-class shooters-although that
has happened on occasion-but to
develop good habits in youths, including responsibility, good decisionmaking and the ability to set realistic
goals. Participants are taught how
to use firearms safely and responsibly, with an emphasis on selfdiscipline, concentration and good
sportsmanship.
Craven Hudson, Extension 4-H
specialist at the University of Georgia Extension, oversees Georgia 4-H
Project S.A.F.E.
"Shooting sports help us reach
more young people to engage them
in 4-H," he says. "This is about youth
development."
4-H is Georgia's largest youthdevelopment organization, with
about 170,000 members statewide.
Hudson says 113 counties have 4-H
clubs involved in shooting sports,
including 60 counties with archery
programs. Combined, the programs
have about 4,300 active participants,
975 volunteer instructors and 90,000
volunteers.
Many youths find shooting sports
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

fun and engaging, but the values
learned in Project S.A.F.E. are just as
important.
On a recent Wednesday night
in Cartersville, three members of the
Bartow County 4-H air rifle team,
along with their coach and parents,
assembled at an indoor range to
practice. Once fresh targets were
in place, the guns were ready and
the coach alerted everyone that the
range was "hot," the shooters started
to aim and shoot. Loud pops could
be heard as rifles discharged small
pellets, instead of BBs or bullets,
toward a target at a distance of 10
meters, or about 33 feet.
This is a disciplined group of
shooters, and they have experience with several kinds of firearms
through Project S.A.F.E. One team
member, Sam Payne, 17, of Euharlee, began shooting BB guns in 4-H
when he was 8 years old. In the
seventh grade, he moved up to a
.22-caliber rifle to compete in the
Rimfire Sporter discipline.
In Rimfire Sporter 4-H competitions, Payne has won everything
there is to win. He went to the 4-H
National Championship in Grand
GEORGIA MAGAZINE


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2017

Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 3
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 5
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 6
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 7
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 8
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 9
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 10
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 11
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 12
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 13
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 14
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 15
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 16
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 17
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 18
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 19
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 19A
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 19B
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 19C
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 19D
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 20
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 21
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 22
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 23
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 24
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Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 37
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Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 39
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 40
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 40A
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 40B
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 40C
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 40D
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 41
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 42
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 42A
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 42B
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - Cover4
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