• Archery class a hit at Harrold Youth Center

  • A new month-long beginning archery course is now being offered to post youngsters.

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  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    A new month-long beginning archery course is now being offered to post youngsters thanks to a grant from Kansas Outdoors, a program of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
    Christy Allie, assistant director of Harrold Youth Center, said arrows, six bows and two targets were putchased through the grant.
    “Alaine Hudlin, a wildlife education district coordinator at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, conducted the first archery classes on post,” Allie said. “Jacob Abel, who is one of our child and youth program assistants, taught the class to a co-educational group of students age 7 to 12.”
    Allie said the free archery class is part of the SKIES Unlimited programming that is available at Fort Leavenworth. She said Abel is an excellent instructor.
    “Jake did a demonstration of the archery classes at (Post Activities Information and Registration Day) and it was well received. There was a constant line,” Allie said. “He ultimately stayed for four hours, rather than the original two hours we had scheduled, to accommodate as many people as possible. It was great to see such interest.”
    Abel said the Introduction to Archery class provides a foundation of necessary techniques and ingrains positive habits. He said learning basic nomenclature and doing repetitive fundamental drills are essential to establishing excellent archery skills.
    “This class teaches students how to hold the bow correctly, set the arrow and aim to shoot it at the target,” Abel said. “Safety is a fundamental part of it, too. In addition to the proper way to retrieve arrows from targets, when beginner students see an arrow has been dropped we want them to know what to do.”
    Maj. Trent Talley, a School of Advanced Military Studies student, has two 5-and 9-year-old sons were enrolled in the class.
    “This (beginner archery class) is a good way to establish a baseline of skills, so dad can keep going with them,” Talley said from teh class sidelines. “I’ve been shooting archery since I was 5. Being here also helps keep the kids focused on what the instructor is teaching.”
    Abel said the instructors are certified. He said this is the first year the class is in the SKIES catalog of programs.
    “Participation is high. We’ve got great equipment, and we are learning what works and what doesn’t in the class,” Abel said. “In a year or two, it might be possible to offer an advanced level program, too.”
    Lisa Roby, whose husband Maj. Joshua Roby is a student in the Command and General Staff Officer Course, said their family recently moved to Fort Leavenworth from Fort Bragg, N.C. Their 7-year-old son enrolled in the class because he thought it seemed interesting.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We had never been a part of (Child and Youth Services) because we lived off-post while assigned at Fort Bragg,” Roby said. “So, this is the first time we enrolled in CYS, and I was very excited. The prices are fantastic, and the activities (offered) were neat.”
    Roby said the beginner archery class seemed perfect for her son. She said youth services programs are a good way to provide her children with a variety of positive experiences.
    “He is happy about taking the class. It’s different and new experience for him,” Roby said. “We look for activities and opportunities that present well-roundedness and exposure to various types of sports to participating in the arts.”
    Harrold Youth Center, 45 Biddle Blvd., features a 9,000-square-foot multi-purpose gym, a dance studio, technology lab and homework center, a television lounge and a game room. The center offers classes and sponsors age-appropriate activities as well as youth leadership and development programs for its members.
    SKIES Unlimited stands for “School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills” with the word “Unlimited” denoting the unlimited possibilities that this program provides children and youth. Visit https://leavenworth.armymwr.com. To register and access required forms, visit https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil.
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