Area youth will soon have a chance to string up their bows and channel their inner Robin Hood. The Valley City Parks and Recreation Department is once again offering a youth archery class for kids ages 10 to 18 in the basement of the City Auditorium.
“We’ve got a 10-yard range for beginners and a 20-yard range for more advanced shooters,” said Neil Pederson, Barnes County Wildlife Club member and Archery Club Chairman. “We’ve been running (the range) for about 4 years now.”
The class will teach bow and arrow basics as well as rules and safety, and will be led by instructors Jill Christensen and Randy Bostrom beginning March 6 and going each Tuesday night until April 10. Participants are asked to pre-register at the Rec Center office by March 6. The fee for the class is $21.
Participants do not need to provide their own equipment, Pederson said, as all materials will be provided.
“We do have bows, especially for youth to shoot,” he said. “4-H has some bows, and the Wildlife Club has long bows and compound-type bows.”
The Wildlife Club also opens the range to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m.
“Basically, people can come a few times to check it out,” said Pederson, “but after that we ask that they pay a small fee.”
The fees are students $20, college students $30, and adults are asked to join the Wildlife Club with a yearly membership.
“If somebody comes down who’s never shot before we can give them some pointers,” Pederson said. “We’re only using it two nights a week, so it’s good to have (the youth class) in there. Hopefully this year, they can do it the full term. The past few years they haven’t been able to because of the flooding.”
Pederson said that archery is an excellent skill to learn as a kid, because it can become a lasting hobby.
“They can do it their whole life,” he said. “There’s people in their seventies out there who are still shooting bows. They use it not just for sport, but for recreation.”
For more information on the youth archery class, call the VCPR Rec Center office at 845-8008.