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The archery competition is this week and we are super excited about it.

They have a limited number of space for shooters, so we found out that we had to shoot “virtually”–which is to say, shoot elsewhere a week before, and turn in our scores via scantron last week.

We’re really excited to see what happens, as Winter shot a 265, which one point higher than last year’s winner (and last year’s winner moved into the high school division this year).

Of course, we won’t know what the highest score is until after everyone has shot at the competition, but we are very hopeful!

Practicing a week before the competition. Her competition shots were better than these.

A few frugal things that we like about it:

It works with any schedule. This means we can still have dinner at dinnertime–at home.

There is no uniform expense.

We can practice at home or at the archery range. We are blessed to live really close to an outdoor archery range, which is free for those under 18. If you’re considering getting into archery, do check out places to shoot, as indoor ranges usually have a charge. If you have a place at home to set up a target, that will be an additional expense. (We only allow Winter to shoot at home at this time, as an arrow that goes astray would be very dangerous. Everyone else shoots up at the range. All of Winter’s arrows hit the target. There is 8 feet of wall behind the target as well. Everyone has to be inside if she practices at home.)

My children are all shooting Genesis bows. These are a compound bow. Ezrom is left-handed and shoots a left-handed bow (three of our seven children are left-handed, so they can also use his bow). We found out that the state and national competition (4th through 12th grade) here uses these bows. All colors but camouflage are allowed (the pattern on the camouflage can be used as a sight so it is not allowed). What is nice about these bows is that they can be adjusted as the child grows, and can even be shot by an adult (though a man will want to own a bow with a heavier draw, as these are lightweight). This means they can use these bows for a long time.

Competition arrows are these aluminum arrows. Prior to that they have been shooting carbon arrows. Right now Winter is the only one shooting aluminum arrows.

We found the lowest prices for bows and arrows on Ebay, with the next lowest price on Amazon. We found bows for about $20 less on Ebay.

Arrows do occasionally need to be replaced, but you can also order fletchings (also on Ebay) and repair your arrows yourself, which we have done.

You will most likely want an arm guard as well, and Winter asked for her own quiver last year for her birthday, though a quiver isn’t a necessity. Winter is not using an arm guard but is using a tab over her fingers in the photo above.

Are your children archery lovers? If so, where do they practice? Do they shoot for competitions? Do they hunt? Have any of your children won archery scholarships?

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  1. I never had a child into archery but I do believe it is an exceptional choice for many reasons.The work around family time with the optional schedule is massive!The fact that it is a sport that many are not doing yet is also massive/ scholarship should be an option.I had a child who was into crew during highschool her team was one of very few highschool teams. When she went on to college she was offered scholarship for the sport. So archery is an exceptional choice. Cost seems like it would be lower than many other sports, you can train alone is you like or with others. Girls and boys can do archery and if it ever comes time for survival they have learned a great skill.Many benefits. Best of Luck to Winter! She is a spectacular shot!!!

  2. We would love the opportunity for archery as many of us like it. I really loved it while I was in girl scouts and I think I had the opportunity in grade school as well. I looked into what I could find about 5 or so years ago and the only place available was an indoor location about 30 minutes away :(I may check around again, as shooting a bow and arrow in the back yard is a big no around here.Instead we try to find alternate activities for the children that are still not mainstream. I have 2 that Irish dance and one is hoping to be good enough to earn a scholarship and may even be a student helper next year at the studio. This saves us some because they have a family maximum and the shoes are tougher and can be handed down. I think it is so great that you have this archery opportunity!

  3. My dad was a hunter and used a bow and arrow to catch game. He had his 6 kids practice and learn how to use a bow and arrow (as well as a gun). We learned to hunt game like my dad did. My father did not discriminate by gender-all the girls learned how to hunt game as well as the boys. I have not practice the skill since teenage years but looking at the pictures of Winter brings back joyful memories with my siblings and father teaching us how to use a bow and arrow.

  4. Our middle daughter (12) joined our local 4H archery team (in TN) this year, which also uses this same Genesis bow. The club even provided bows for the kids to use while at 2 hr practices on Sat. mornings, but we decided to get her her own bow for Christmas so she could have more practice time, as we have an ideal place for her to practice shooting at home. It was an inexpensive sport to get started in, and has been an excellent confidence booster for our daughter. We love 4H & Archery! Good shooting, Winter!

  5. My husband got into archery over the past year and did some bow hunting this season. The kids followed along and have their own bows (not compound). We have property so they are able to practice on our land, but we also belong to a local range. They’ve all enjoyed it a great deal.I hope the competition goes well for you all!

  6. My daughter’s middle school invested in archery equipment a few years ago. It is now being used in PE classes, and as part of an after-school club. What I love about it is that it gives kids who are not traditionally athletic a chance to succeed at a sport. They don’t have to be the strongest, fastest, or tallest and can still enjoy archery and even excel at it.

  7. I like what Lady Magnolia said….”they don’t have to be the strongest, fastest, or tallest….”I, of course, don’t have kids…..but started shooting and bow hunting in 2006. (age42-ish). Nothing like it! I’m so glad to see that both your boys AND young ladies are participating. So many times you see young girls at a club shying away….probably because its not what all their friends do. A older gentleman from the club once said, “You women shoot better….you multi-task.” I’m not exactly sure what that meant, but I just go with it! I’ve fletched (get a jig if you don’t have one) and even have some custom wraps…..Those wraps aren’t real expensive and I’ll bet MOM could design one for the family. :)Mathews Genesis is an excellent bow for kids (and adults) because it is so adjustable. Pretty much everyone I know shoots Mathews and they are excellent quality (although we are in the hunting bow group).The husband’s 5 yo grandson is about to have a birthday……I’m seriously considering a bow.

  8. Thanks for your recommendations! I just started looking in to getting my kids (9 and 6) into archery. We have an indoor range that is about 15 minutes away and they have an outdoor site as well for warmer weather. We are in Colorado. My son in particular is not at all interested in team sports, so I hope to get him involved in an individual sport. It helps that he just read all of the Lord of the Rings books and Legolas is one of his favorite characters. 🙂

  9. I played it a semester in high school during PE. I was naturally pretty good (at least the best in our class) and always wanted to see how much I could improve with practice. Seems fun! =)

  10. My husband makes (and sells) longbows and has helped several boy scouts and our sons make their own bows. It is a great sport. We have targets set up in our back yard as well (we live in the country so that is an extra bonus). So glad your kids have such a great activity they can do.

  11. My son is way too young for archery yet, but my husband hunts with a bow and likes to shoot for pleasure on the weekends. We’ve found it to be fairly frugal, although we did recently buy him a better bow to increase his chances of bringing home meat. He likes the challenge, and I like that we don’t need to buy meat for a long time.

  12. What a wonderful sport your family participates in. Archery teaches responsibility, following safety procedures, has relatively no age limits, can be indoors or outdoors, builds confidence, allows for flexible practice time and place, allows for family participation not just observation and so would eliminate the out of control parent cheering (my personal objection to most team sports), improvement is visually apparent and improvement is up to the participant and archery is frugal as you pointed out so I’m guessing no ‘sell this to raise money for the team to go/buy whatever’ (another personal objection). Would love to see my grandkids doing this sport instead of the indoor and outdoor team soccer which this year will take them to games within the New England States taking up 3 nights of practice and one or both weekend days – and they are only 7 & 12!!

  13. Schwarzen Family, so Nepal? You sound excited about it. I pray you have an easy adjustment to a new culture and locale. We have missionaries there too, they do a lot with conflict resolution . Do you you pronounce your son Mathaus as mah-tay-us? We have a number of Matthaus also, but with the double T. Also an umlaut but I haven’t figured out how to type that in.

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