Summer is for trying new things. School’s out, you aced your exams, and you have time to master hobbies. When friends ask, “What did you do this summer?,” you can reply enthusiastically, “I learned archery.” Better yet, “I mastered shooting bull’s-eyes.”
If you’re considering an archery camp, or if you’re looking for archery camps for your kids, the possibilities are endless. But before choosing one, determine what you want from a camp. Do you want to try many activities? Do you want to learn how to bowhunt or bowfish? Maybe you want to compete in a tournament. Identify your goals, then choose a camp that fits you.
“Try Everything” Camps
If you want a diverse, comprehensive camp experience, Camp Hi-Ho is for you. It offers various activities, including paddle-boarding, basketball, slip n’ slides, tie-die, zip lines and – you guessed it – archery. This camp has no agenda. You can try any activity at any time for as long as you want.
Archery Only Camps
USA Archery, the national governing body for the sport of archery, offers short-term summer archery camps for beginners, competitors and adults nationwide. Top level coaches help you master barebow, basic compound, recurve or compound bows. Read more about USA Archery’s camps here.
Parks and Recreation Camps
Parks and recreation departments offer archery as a supplemental camp activity or as a main focus. This adventure camp lets campers pair archery with canoeing, surfing, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking and more in a one-day or overnight setting. Many Park and Recreation departments also offer Explore Archery, one of USA Archery’s nationwide programs.
The values of 4-H are head, heart, hands and health. Archery engages all four attributes, so it’s no surprise that many 4-H programs and camps include archery.
The University of Maine’s 4-H program has five program paths, each offering unique activities. The woodcraft path combines archery with trapping, ax-work, fly-fishing, blind-building, hunting techniques, and firearms and hunter-safety education. Archers looking to hone their skills can attend camps dedicated to archery and bowhunting.
Millstone 4-H offers beginner and advanced “Fur, Fish, N’ Game” camps. The beginner curriculum includes archery, rifle shooting, canoeing, taxidermy, snake identification, and hunter-safety certification, to name a few. The advanced course teaches campers about dendrology, prescribed burning, wildlife surveying, endangered-species management, and fish-and-wildlife population dynamics.
Click here to find a 4-H near you.
Archery and Shooting Sports Camps
Many camps offer archery and rifle shooting. Camp Wildlife has age- and skill-level-based courses on archery, rifles, BB guns and sporting clays.
4-H programs offer archery and shooting sports through camps and an annual Shooting Sports National Championship. The tournament includes three events each for compound archery, recurve archery, air pistols, air rifles, hunting disciplines, muzzleloading, shotgun sports, small-bore pistols and small-bore rifles. Compound and recurve archers compete in target, field and 3-D archery.
So you tried archery at camp. Now what? Stay tuned to Archery 360 for tips on bringing the sport home.
If you’re past the camp-going age, and want to share your passion with other archers, consider becoming a certified instructor. As a certified Level 1 USA Archery instructor, you can pass along archery traditions at summer camps and events for Scouting, 4-H, and parks and recreation departments.