Archery class is right on target

Deborah Prescott | Daily Press Drew Allgeyer and Bella Busick shoot targets at the Great Lakes Sports and Recreation Club recently. The Delta Sure Shots 4-H Club is designed for youth ages 8 to 19. The club currently has 14 members and has had as many as 30.

ESCANABA — An area 4-H club has been teaching youth shooting skills since the 1980s. The Delta Sure Shots 4-H Club meets every other Monday evening from October to May in the Great Lakes Sports and Recreation Club (GLSRC). Youth from eight to 19 years old shoot targets in an indoor archery range. The club teaches youth safety and shooting techniques for shotgun, rifle, airgun, musselloaders and archery. 4-H Cloverbud members, ages five to eight, can participate in BB gun and basic archery training if accompanied on the range by an adult.

Travis Blume and Dave Radloff share archery range responsibilities. Blume and Radloff get support from other volunteers, some that have been involved close to 20 years.

“The club currently has several instructors, range masters,” said Radloff. “Al Pfesister is the .22 range master. I run the BB gun line, and Travis and I share archery. We also have extra help from Randy ‘Doc’ Allen, who works one on one with kids in archery.”

Every instructor has to be certified. 4-H offers certifications to volunteers in rifle and archery disciplines. On May 18 and 19, the club is hosting a rifle instructor certification at the GLSRC.

Equipment is available to the club members. Donations were received from the U.P. Whitetails, Bay de Noc Gobblers and the Delta County 4-H Council.

“They are great supporters of our program,” Radloff said. “We also utilize some equipment from the Great Lakes Sports and Recreation Center program.”

Recently the organizations assisted Radloff and volunteers in purchasing ‘mini bows’ for younger members.

Bella Busick is a young archer and enjoys going to the range with all of her sisters.

“It’s a lot of fun and I’m going to continue it for a long time,” said Busick.

The Delta Sure Shots 4-H Club was created in the 1980s.

“Dusty Destrampe and Dave Talbert originally started it,” said Radloff. “Alicia (Destrampe) Standerford, a previous member, was the leader through the 90s. Barb Guindon and I took over the club about 15 years ago, and Barb retired as a 4-H leader about 10 years ago. Doc Allen and I initiated the archery program about 10 years ago.”

Volunteers teach life skills to the members, and promote the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior. The club environment teaches safety on the shooting lines first and basic skills for the discipline and have the opportunity to develop their skills at there own pace over time.

“We record our scores and use them to see our progress,” said Radloff. “The members also set goals, whether it is a higher score or a focus on mastering a technique.”

Radloff noted the regional tournament is a great way to measure how they have improved over the course of the club year.

“Jerry Peterson, a member of the Great Lakes Recreation Center is also a certified 4-H archery instructor and runs a JOAD/USA Archery Program on Mondays,” said Radloff.

JOAD, Junior Olympic Archery Development, is open to any youth archer ages eight to 20. They compete in tournaments and can earn a seat on a youth world team that competes against other countries.

Anyone can become a volunteer with the program by meeting with 4-H staff, completing a volunteer application and attending a discipline specific 4-H Shooting Sports certification workshop.

“There is the regional rifle training coming up May 18 and 19, here in Escanaba,” said Radloff. “We will also be offering regional 4-H Archery Instructor certification on October 11 and 12 at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay.