What I Learned at Summer Camp: Archery
It may be the last week of summer vacation, but for about 20 kids gathered in a wooded area in Dayton, class is starting early.
We’re not talking about the kind of class where you’re sitting behind a desk. No, this is a class where the primary goal is to hit targets with arrows.
“So in this camp, the kids are getting a real basic introduction to the lifelong sport of archery,” said Tom Knisely, media relations specialist for the Three Rivers Park District.
Movies Help Drive Popularity
Three Rivers offers about half a dozen archery camps every year. Knisely says they fill up quickly because it’s a family-friendly activity and there’s a genuine interest in the sport.
“Since the advent of ‘The Hunger Games’ and watching ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies, kids want to unleash their inner Legolas or their inner Katniss,” Knisely said, referring to characters from those popular films.
Yet for the kids we spoke with, popular culture wasn’t the driving for behind their attendance.
“Well I’m preparing for hunting season for turkeys,” said 9-year-old Jeremiah Resey of Maple Grove. “And then for Thanksgiving, we’re going to be prepared.”
“There’s a bunch of different ways of hunting, and archery has been one of them that has been passed on from different cultures and has been here for a very long time,” said Annika, another 9-year-old from Maple Grove.
Gateway to Outdoor Recreation
The sport has staying power because these instructors teach these kids the fundamentals.
“How to be safe, how to handle a bow, how to aim, how to shoot, how to have a good experience with a bow,” Knisely said.
A good experience helps make it fun. Instructors say archery is a gateway to outdoor recreation, and the hope is that this sport hits the target. That way, the kids keep at it for the rest of their lives.
“I actually get to spend time with my family. That’s what I enjoy most,” said Resey.
Archery camp is for children ages 9 through 13. It’s one of many summer camps Three Rivers offers. Equipment is provided and the cost is $113.