Michigan 4-H shooting sports begins regional training

Regional training for Michigan 4-H shootings sports is now a reality. See why this came to be and how you can host a workshop.

The Michigan 4-H Shooting Sports Advisory Board recently approved regional training for workshops that train and certify 4-H volunteers. This means additional workshops will take place around Michigan to train 4-H volunteers in specific shooting sports disciplines. This is great news for those who have a conflict with the annual shooting sports workshop held at the Kettunen Center the last weekend in April. It is also helpful to eliminate long distance travel for those who do not live near the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.

Regional training is not a new concept, but one that has been shelved for many years in Michigan. The growing popularity in Michigan 4-H shooting sports necessitated the investigation to regional training by the advisory board. After some deliberation, it was determined to be a positive move to accommodate 4-H volunteers and county shooting sports programs. Regional workshops are not expected to diminish attendance at the annual Kettunen Center workshop.

Two initial regional trainings are scheduled and will take place the same weekend of March 28-29, 2015. One is a rifle workshop that will be held in Montcalm County and the other is an archery workshop that will take place in Wayne County. Both of these workshops are the first of their kind to take place in Michigan for a long time. Those involved with the planning and implementation are very excited to host a regional workshop! Click on the following links for more information on these workshops: Michigan 4-H Shooting Sports Rifle Regional Training Workshop and 4-H Shooting Sports Archery Regional Training.

Regional workshops are discipline specific, meaning that only one of the five shooting sport disciplines (archery, hunting and wildlife, muzzleloader, rifle and shotgun) are offered during a single workshop. The annual workshop at Kettunen Center will continue to offer all five disciplines during that weekend workshop. A set of criteria has been established in order to host a regional workshop. Contact your local 4-H office to get more details.

Attending a workshop does not automatically grant certification as a shooting sports instructor. Participants must complete four online e-modules prior to a workshop and then must successfully pass a written exam. In addition, participants must demonstrate competent mechanics of shooting and safety.

Bottom line is that shooting sports is about youth development. It is not different than any other 4-H project area where teaching youth valuable life skills is the main objective and the project is the tool to accomplish that goal. With that in mind, now is a great time to get involved with the popularity of shooting sports and help youth develop their potential!

Please visit the Michigan State University Extension 4-H Shooting Sports website or contact Nick Baumgart at baumga75@anr.msu.edu or 906-774-0363 for more details.

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