AREA YOUTH are shown here on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Shiawassee Conservation Association during their archery session.

(Independent Photo/Melissa Shepard)


  Every week from the first Saturday of January running 12 weeks, area youth practice and learn archery skills at the Shiawassee Conservation Association. Three different sessions run on Saturdays (9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.) which equals 167 youth and on Fridays, 24 home-schooled children. Ages run from 5 to 18 years of age.

  The youth archery program started 26 years ago with 18 children in the pavilion and has since grown and even seen a new building built just for archery 20 years ago. This is not a competition. Youth learn skills such as basic archery skills, math and even discipline (there are very strict safety rules so no one gets hurt) as they shoot 30 arrows for a score. They start out at five yards and once they have amassed 280 points, they move back to 10 yards, then 15 and 20 yards. At the end of their two-hour sessions, the youth then play a game round, popping balloons with their arrows to get prizes. A concession stand is also available. 

  The program is at full capacity this year. After the Covid19 pandemic, numbers were low but are building back up. In 2023, there were 100 youth participating.

  This program is such a success in part because of the many volunteers that help out every Saturday. Mike Fisher has been volunteering his time for almost 25 years and Clyde Christmas for over 20 years. Two of the assistants that volunteer both went through the program themselves and are the future of the program, Kylie and Cody Vincent.

  A hunter safety event will be held Saturday, April 6 at the Shiawassee Conservation Association. Those interested must do the online course through the DNA. To register, google ‘Michigan Hunter Safety Course’ and click the link to get started. Anytime before or after completing the online course, return to the initial Hunter Safety Course page to complete field day registration by clicking on ‘Michigan Field Day’ and then clicking on “locate and sign up for field day.” Scroll down to find the course at the Shiawassee Conservation Association. The field day portion will be held by Head Instructor Greg Gerding, who can be contacted at (989) 627-6410 or

Youth Archery at Shiawassee Conservation Association  was last modified: February 20th, 2024 by Karen Elford