The Appalachian Aces 4-H Club sends four members to a regional tournament months after forming as a youth club in Caldwell County.
Jaxson Price knocks his arrow, draws the bow and takes aim. His actions are not just for recreation. As he practices and competes, he is developing focus, discipline and good sportsmanship. He releases, and the arrow strikes the target.
In spring 2022, Derrick and Jennifer Baker of Lenoir started the Appalachian Aces 4-H Club for youth ages 9-18 as its volunteer club leaders. They attended a state 4-H training in April 2022 to become certified 4-H archery instructors. The National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee sets training standards for all of the U.S. 4-H programs, and they set rules for 4-H competitions.
The new club has been a hit with local families, and four of its club members represented Caldwell County on August 13 at the West Regional 4-H Shooting Sports Tournament.
The Bakers said the competition taught them a lot about how to prepare for future tournaments, and the kids said they had fun participating in the event. Youth from 12 North Carolina counties competed at the Polk County Gun Club.
Caldwell County youth competed in senior compound match, senior compound hunter, junior compound and junior recurve classes. For the match class, competitors shoot at 40, 30, 20 and 10 yards. For the other archery classes, they shoot at 25, 20, 15 and 10 yards.
Youth archery is not new to Caldwell County with several schools having competitive teams.
The Appalachian Aces 4-H Club has goals to expand what shooting sports disciplines they can offer as more volunteers step forward to become certified 4-H instructors and help with club activities. Too, like all 4-H Clubs, the aces will participate in community service projects together and build leadership skills through mentorship and officer positions.
Other 4-H Clubs in Caldwell County include the Saddle 4-H Club, Livestock 4-H Club, Circuit Breakers 4-H Club, Baton Elementary Bear Paws 4-H Club and Cooking 4-H Club. Details about each group are available online at go.ncsu.edu/jointheclub. Families can also contact 4-H Youth Development Agent Sarah Kocher at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Caldwell County 4-H is a member agency of United Way, and it enthusiastically supports its partnerships.
Sarah Kocher is the 4-H Youth Development Agent with Caldwell County Cooperative Extension. The Caldwell County Cooperative Extension Center, 120 Hospital Ave. NE #1 in Lenoir, provides access to resources of N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University through educational programs and publications.