MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas 4-H Youth Development program coordinator Shannon Rogge said the state’s shooting sports program provides an opportunity for caring adults to assist kids in positive youth development.
Level one instructor training, which will take place March 25-27, is facilitated by level two instructors, who have received national-level training.
“(Level one participants) are being taught directly by other volunteers that know exactly what they’re going through,” Rogge said, “They are familiar with all the guidelines that need to be followed as well as what makes for a great experience for the kids.”
Rogge said one key component to shooting sports is making sure kids have fun while learning about the sport and safety protocols. Instructors are taught to teach first shot fundamental safety, and then get the kids practicing with their equipment.
“So, they spend a lot of time learning what we like to call first shot fundamentals, where they go over safety with the kids. But within 30 minutes or so, we get them on the line with the equipment,” Rogge said.
During training, instructors will learn how to keep kids engaged and how to use their instruction time as positive youth development with the students.
“We are creating what some may call soft skills,” Rogge said, “So we are building those skills, and the matches are just the icing on the cake.”
Spring shooting sports — including air rifle, air pistol and BB — are qualifying events for the state spring match that will be held in Great Bend on April 23. Participants that receive a qualifying score will have the opportunity to move on to the national competition.
Rogge said youth can also qualify over the summer for fall competitions in archery, shotgun, western heritage, muzzle loading, hunting skills, and small-bore rifle and pistol.
— Emily Halstead, K-State Research and Extension news writer