Lansing’s archery program aims to teach kids about nature

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) — On Tuesday evening, the Salvation Army’s Lansing Capital Region will host an open house with a twist. At the South Corps location on Jolly Rd, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mid-Michigan youth can try archery.

The open house is being held to introduce families to Impact Archery and Project Wild, a free archery and conservation program for 13-week-olds. There, families can learn more about the program, try out the indoor archery range, and sign up for the course.

Students will learn basic archery skills and safety, and participate in Project Wild, a program that aims to promote “wildlife-based conservation and environmental education.”

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The program, which is open to Tri-County area students in grades 4 through 12, will be led by certified volunteer archery instructors, such as Lt. James Beardsley. He is the Salvation Army’s Southern Corps Officer and a new archery fan.

“I’m really excited about it. I never thought I would be so interested in archery. I’m a musician!” Beardsley said. “But I really fell in love with it. I look forward to touring every day.

Currently, Project Impact is limited to 32 students and registration must be done in person.

Beardsley said: “The 32 limit is based on safety. Right now in our facility, safely, we can have four archers on the line at the same time. With 32, we are able to give each child about 20 minutes of active shooting time when they arrive.

Fortunately, expansion will be more about finding staff than finding expensive equipment.

“We got a grant that helped pay for all the equipment,” Beardsley said. “He was able to pay 75% of the overall cost. But to actually run the program, it doesn’t cost us much.

The program officially begins Tuesday, March 1 and will run every Tuesday (except during Spring Break) through May 31, from 6-8 p.m.

More information is available online at SALansing.org.

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Earnest A. Martinez