4-H expands with an archery club

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 hits his arrow, shoots the bow and takes aim. His actions are not just recreational. As he trains and competes, he develops his focus, discipline and sportsmanship. He lets go and the arrow hits the target.

In the spring of 2022, Derrick and Jennifer Baker of Lenoir launched the Appalachian Aces 4-H club for youth ages 9-18 as volunteer club leaders. They completed 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 US 4-H programs and establishes rules for 4-H competitions.

The new club was a hit with local families and four of its members represented Caldwell County on August 13 in the West Regional 4-H Sport Shooting 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 participated in the Polk County Gun Club.

Caldwell County youth competed in Senior Compound Matches, Senior Compound Hunter, Compound Junior and Compound Junior Classes. For the match class, competitors shoot at 40, 30, 20 and 10 meters. For other archery classes, they shoot at 25, 20, 15 and 10 meters.

Youth archery is not new to Caldwell County, with several schools having competitive teams.

The Appalachian Aces 4-H Club aims to expand the shooting sports it can offer as more volunteers come forward to become certified 4-H instructors and help with club activities. Additionally, like all 4-H clubs, aces will participate together in community service projects and develop leadership skills through mentorship and officer positions.

Other 4-H clubs in Caldwell County include 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 of each group are available online at go.ncsu.edu/jointheclub. Families can also contact 4-H Youth Development Officer Sarah Kocher at [email protected] for more information.

Caldwell County 4-H is a member agency of United Way and enthusiastically supports its partnerships.

Sarah Kocher is Caldwell County Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Officer. The Caldwell County Cooperative Extension Center, 120 Hospital Ave. NE #1 at Lenoir, provides access to NC State University and NC A&T State University resources through educational programs and publications.

Three Caldwell County archers, Elijah Dillon, Jaxson Price and Cora Baker shoot at the West Regional 4-H
Sports shooting tournament on August 13 in Polk County, North Carolina.

Four members of the Appalachian Aces 4-H Club pose together before competing at the West Regional 4-H
Sports shooting tournament on August 13. From left to right are Derrick Baker, Elijah Dillon, Jaxson Price,
Cora Baker, Lawson Baker and Jennifer Baker.

Earnest A. Martinez