By Jason A. Smith
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Office, in McDonough, wants young people in Henry County to know the finer points of archery.
"For numerous years, we've offered a shotgun discipline," said Heather Dunning, the 4-H agent for the Extension Office. She said feedback from 4-H participants, and their families, led to the addition of archery to Project S.A.F.E., an acronym for Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education.
The next scheduled meeting for participants in the program is Thursday at 6 p.m., at the Extension Office, which is located at 97 Lake Dow Road.
"The [archery] program promotes responsibility within the youth, as well as allowing them to improve their decision-making skills and set personal goals," Dunning said.
The program is open to boys and girls in Henry County, from ages 9 to 19. Participants may elect to compete with others at their level of ability, according to Dunning.
Robert Foster, of McDonough, will serve as one of the instructors for the program, along with his wife, Jennifer.
Robert Foster has been an archery enthusiast since he was 10 years old. The activity, according to him, appeals to people of varying backgrounds.
"It's something you can get into fairly inexpensively, and something the whole family can do," he said.
He plans to teach the fundamentals of the sport for those who wish to compete against their peers, along with the history of archery.
"I've got some [friends] who still build bows from a hickory stick," Robert Foster said. "I'm hoping to have some of those people come in and teach the kids."
Dunning said the archery program has "strong links" to natural resources, wildlife, outdoor recreation and safety.
"The content is drawn from sports medicine, psychology, education, biological and physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, technology, as well as American traditions, folklore and history," Dunning said.
The cost to participate in the archery program is $35. For more details, call (770) 288-8421.