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Archery Lessons

After cleaning up all the wrapping paper and candy-cane bows, Stephen's gifts still littered the floor. There was moldable clay, remote cars, an iPod…and among other things that scared me just a little, a bow and arrow set. 
Since Legolas took the silver screen, the bow has been a popular, ah, weapon. 

There, I said it. Weapon. 

We gave our son a weapon. For Christmas, no less.  

Along with the bow, we also gave Stephen five rules: The arrows must stay off the floor; the bow must never be dropped; there was to be no target practice in the back yard; there was to be no target practice in anyone’s back yard; and in fact, the bow should never be used at all.  


We all know a parent can make up five rules and one of them will always be broken.  It’s best to simply decide in advance which one you want it to be and stick it in there.    

So, yes, I knew he was going to have to shoot the bow at some point in time.  But sending my son out to wreak havoc with a misaimed arrow, even in the open forest, seemed risky. Most towns will have a shooting range, but limit them to guns. And who wants to put a gun in the hands of a kid?  -Hubby! Put your hand back down! 

I was very concerned about how to teach Stephen how to safely use his new bow. And happily surprised when I looked up archery ranges and found one close by.  Turns out Legolas was REALLY popular!

That very first Saturday he went to the range with his cousin Dylan, who had experience.  He learned all the basics, like how to hold the bow, how to release, and most important: to wait for the call of, “Pull!” before stepping out to get any spent arrows.  But he was frustrated at not actually hitting the target. 

It turns out that it is surprisingly common for people who are new to shooting to miss the center, or even the entire wall.  
Who would have thought?  Stephen did his own equation to figure where he should be at this point and came up with a slightly skewed figure.  He was supposed to be that one in a million who just whipped out his bow and hit the bull's-eye on command.  No matter how many times we had him re-figure it he always came up with the same answer. 

 Lucky for us, they had an instructor, Kay, come over and give him some pointers- She he listens to.
We scheduled a session with  Kay Gaido at The Bow Zone for the following Saturday; She had him hitting the paper target consistently by the end of the hour.  

And now it's a pastime he can share with his friends.  He and his friends, Gage and Marco, made an afternoon of it at the range.  And on this day, his fifth day shooting, he starting hitting the center of his target.

As a side note: The entire ride over to The Bow Zone, Stephen and his friends discussed what they would do if Zombies took over the world.  Weird, because I know Stephen is not allowed those kind of shows, and we never watch them ourselves until after he has 'lights out'.  And yet, I found myself mildly pleased that for once in a car ride, there were no fart jokes. Go Zombies, and yay to the hippest way to save the world.

 I’m just so glad he has found a way to replace the TV remote as his sole way to exercise his right arm.  

As a bonus treat, this week I am including a video.  A quick sample of before and after lessons. 

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