The Shooting Sports curriculum uses the resources of the land-grant university and the time, talent, and dedication of Cooperative Extension agents and certified 4-H leaders, instructors, and trainers who instruct 4-H members in firearms safety and marksmanship. The shooting disciplines include archery, muzzle loading, pistol, rifle, shotgun, and hunting. Each discipline is taught by a National or State Certified Instructor.
4-H members have opportunities to test their shooting, hunting, and sportsmanship skills in county, regional, state, and national competitions. In fact, they could ultimately set the Olympics competition as their goal. There are seventeen Olympic shooting sports events that continue to draw the third-greatest number of countries.
Local 4-H Shooting Sports clubs are open to all youth from ages 8 to 18. Each year, 4-H teaches a shooting sport to more than 300,000 boys and girls. Shooting sports can be gratifying for youngsters, especially those who aren't athletes. The program provides a supportive environment in which young people can experience fun, hands-on learning experiences.
Volunteers are needed to coordinate county programs and to work at the local level. Individuals who are interested in shooting sports and are willing to learn about them can become involved in an existing program or club. If none exists, they can work with 4-H youth staff to help establish a program.
All instructors are trained by state instructors certified to teach courses. Adult volunteers receive training in shooting sports at state and regional workshops to become qualified instructors. 4-H teen leaders may wish to assist with instruction. Shooting sports leaders act as role models and must impart the 4-H philosophy and youth development objectives to 4-H members.
Clubs need meeting places and sites such as sportsmen's clubs, community ranges, and privately-owned facilities where they can meet, learn, and practice the disciplines.
There are so many ways to become involved or to support 4-H Shooting Sports. For more information on the National 4-H Shooting Sports program, contact your local Cooperative Extension Office by looking in the government section of the phone book.