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Billings Launches Summer Archery Camps
When Billings, Mont., announced two summer archery "camps" for about 30 kids each, both events filled so quickly that the community will probably launch even more archery programs during the next year.
More than 60 youths aged 9 to 15 combined to fill both camps to capacity. Besides receiving archery instruction and learning how to shoot bows and arrows, the youths received basic bowhunting training with help from the ATA's "Explore Bowhunting" initiative.
The camps -- one in June and the other in July -- were a joint effort between the ATA; the city of Billings; Billings Parks and Recreation Department; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department; Montana Bowhunters Association; and the Superior Archery Inc. pro shop in Billings.
"This was a great effort on everyone's part," said Mitch King, ATA's director of government relations. "The city was real excited about the turnout and the kids' interest in archery. I think it went a long way in convincing Billings to develop an archery range and become part of the National Archery in the Schools Program. This should open several more schools to NASP."
Each class had four certified archery instructors, including Kristopher Schaff of Billings, who won a world archery title while shooting a perfect score of 120 in Poland in March during the Indoor Archery World Championships.
The archery camps were held at the Billings Rod and Gun Club's facilities, with help from club members and the Montana Bowhunters Association. The high turnout and the community's involvement makes King optimistic that Billings will build an archery range as part of the effort to grow archery in the community.
"Billings' leaders have some property in mind for an archery range, but they wanted to start with something smaller to gauge local support," King said. "The camps were successful because everyone worked together. Many good things will spring from these successes."
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