Bow N’ Arrow Club?

Why the School Needs an Archery Club

More stories from Gabriel Rader

Micah Partee

More stories from Micah Partee

Our school offers about 40 clubs and student organizations that students and staff can participate in. With a list that seems so inclusive, how is it we do not have an archery club? In a hunting-heavy rural area like the one we live in, would it not make sense to provide students with an outlet and opportunity to better craft their hunting and sport skills?

A survey (link here) conducted in 2015, claimed that almost 24 million Americans enjoy archery. This is due to archery becoming more mainstream as evidenced in a 20% increase in popularity from 2012-2015. In fact, in 2019, in the state of PA, there were 34,540,061 archery licenses sold according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The rise in popularity is no surprise, as many found new hobbies and interests during quarantine. Even after Governor Tom Wolf lifted stay at home orders, the presence pandemic still limits activities that require groups of people to collaborate. Archery can be done with a single person; competitions can be spread outside. It’s the perfect sport for social distancing.

It’s no secret that we are home to many hunters, so having a club, or eventually a sport, for the school would be extremely fitting. Senior Brooke Ashenfelter said, ““I feel like I’d try it; it sounds fun, plus, we’re in an area full of people who hunt, so there could be a lot of people that are interested.”

One of those interested is senior Marleigh Miller who hunts archery every fall. “I hunt and I think that would be fun to do with other people. I don’t practice near as much as I should, so I could have the opportunity to be able to practice more.”

Due to the popularity of the sport already, if we chose to have a practice or create a team many students could bring their own equipment to the school which saves money. There are also plenty of archery stores nearby and available to the school that we could potentially partner with for discounted items.

The sooner we start this club, the better chance we have at producing champion-level archers such as our very own Emma McCarthy. There are countless young archers here that possess untapped potential waiting to be unlocked. Sophomore Carter Wolf said, “I would really like someplace to learn how to hunt with a bow.”

We can lead the area in recreational archery through school and start something truly special similar to that of the bowling team.

Another benefit is that this would be an opportunity to bring in more scholarships for students, who may not participate in traditional sports that we do offer. This could reduce the cost of college, like McCarthy who got $15,000 in scholarships from this sport.

According to National Field Archery Association, there are many other, personal, benefits archery offers: improved focus, improved hand-eye coordination, improved social skills, and best of all, an improvement in confidence. Archery provides us all with not just an enjoyable activity, but the important life skills required to live a happy and successful life. People of all walks of life embark on this century-old art.

To put it simply, having an archery club would just be cool to have. It is not too expensive, provides fun and education to students, and gives the school a chance to lead the area in an exciting activity that is currently booming in popularity. There are already tons of students interested, so spreading the word will not be difficult.

While there might be some safety concerns, coach Andrew Loucks teaches students archery every year as part of gym class; it is even required as a grade.

Archery would be a beneficial implementation to our school’s long list of activities. Students and staff alike can enjoy its benefits and obtain its advantages-and there are many. This school has an opportunity to be a trailblazer in the archery community, an opportunity that should be taken.

Sophomore Ben Cessna said, “I have always wanted to learn how to use [bow and arrows]; they look sick.”