groups which have donated equipment or funds to NASP schools. Retailers are beginning to carry official NASP equipment, and Bass Pro Shops started a NASP grant program for Missouri schools. Archery shop owners often give NASP kids discounts for shooting at their range. More and more cities are building community archery parks and ranges, which provide additional shooting opportunities for NASP kids and their friends and families.
NASP provides unlimited opportunities to succeed
Addressing the hundreds of students, teachers and parents at Missouri NASP’s first state tournament, Conservation Commissioner Don Johnson, who was instrumental in bringing NASP to Missouri, opened the awards ceremony with these words: “You are all a dream of mine ....” Moments later, screams of excitement and tears of joy flowed when kids were awarded medals, trophies and scholarships. The top boy and girl shooter each won a new chrome-finish bow. The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation provided a grant for $5,000 to help winning teams pay for their trip to Kentucky to compete at the NASP national tournament in May. As the winning archers filed up to the awards platform, Commissioner Johnson personally handed each medal and trophy to the students.
While competition can motivate some kids to a higher level of achievement, it is not the goal of the program or even its best measure of success. NASP is successful when it helps kids stay in school and get better grades, when kids share archery at home with their friends and family, and when they benefit from one-on-one coaching and attention from a caring adult.
Archery teaches you to slow down, concentrate and fine-tune the coordination between mind and body. These are key elements in NASP and in life.
“Success breeds success,” says Commissioner Johnson. “Once kids succeed in archery, they find they can succeed in other parts of their lives.”
How to get NASP started at your school
- The Missouri Department of Conservation certifies teachers with the required NASP Basic Archery Instructor training at no cost to the teacher. The hands-on training takes eight hours. Contact your local MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist to schedule your Basic Archery Instructor training. A listing of all MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist can be found at www.MissouriConservation.org/8820.
- The next step is to buy archery equipment, which must be official NASP equipment. A full set of equipment costs around $3000, though you can get the program started with less than a full set. A $500 grant for equipment, offered by MDC and the Conservation Federation of Missouri is available to schools starting NASP.
For more information, including a video clip of the first Missouri NASP state tournament, visit the links listed below.
A National Winner
Jordan Lewis and her coach, John Ponzar. Jordan won second place in the Elementary Girls Fifth Grade Division and third place in the overall Elementary Girls Division (score of 279). Her team won 22nd in the Elementary Division. Jordan attends George Guffey Elementary in Fenton.