Archers learn lifelong skill

archery_competitionEach year, at schools around Minnesota, nearly a quarter-million students aim and release arrows at targets through an Archery in the Schools program, a figure that appears to be growing, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“We have some great momentum going in Minnesota as more and more schools are figuring out what a positive experience archery can be for students and teachers,” said Kraig Kiger, who oversees the Archery in the Schools program for the DNR. “Archery is truly a lifelong skill and students can continue on in a variety of ways whether it be target shooting, competition or hunting.”

Nearly 1,600 students from 83 schools, competed in the 2017 State High School Archery Tournament, March 31 to April 1, in Duluth. Participants included elementary through high school students.

The tournament was sanctioned by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and run by the North Country Bow Hunters Chapter of Safari Club International. To see results, visit www.nasptournaments.org.

In the schools, NASP aims to train teachers and provide students with the best equipment, training and curriculum available for the lowest price. Most schools with archery programs hold activities during the school day, but about 20 percent have an additional after-school archery program that develops into a competitive team.

“If schools are at all interested in learning more, they shouldn’t hesitate to call, because we have ways to help them start a program, whether through information or grant funding,” Kiger said.

Through the DNR, schools can receive grant money for archery programs. The DNR can help match a school’s contribution toward starting an archery program, with the school’s minimum financial contribution set at $1,800.

For more on the DNR archery grants, visit www.mndnr.gov/grants/epr/archery.