Shooting Stars: How To Expand Your Summer Camp's Electives With Glow-In-The-Dark Archery

Many summer camps recognize the health and social benefits that archery can offer children, and archery programs are fairly common throughout the country. Although many campers will enjoy an ordinary day at the archery range, you may wonder what activity you can offer older campers who have been to your camp several times and are no longer enthusiastic about ordinary archery lessons. You should consider offering more unique archery sessions, such as nighttime lessons, for your more advanced campers. 

Get the Right Equipment 

Most of the equipment that your camp will need for nighttime archery is the same equipment that you use during the day. You will need a variety of bows to accommodate the varying strength and size of your campers. Younger campers, in third and fourth grade, may use training bows. However, older campers with some experience shooting will be ready to move on to a recurve or compound bow

You will need arm guards in various sizes, plenty of arrows, and targets. Paper targets pinned to hay bales work particularly well for nighttime archery as they are easy to paint with glow in the dark paint and can be discarded after they are no longer needed. 

Besides your regular archery equipment, you will need glow in the dark paint to paint targets and glow bracelets or necklaces to mark each participant. Your instructor should have a powerful flashlight to use for emergencies and to help locate lost arrows between rounds. 

Train Your Staff 

Only your staff that has been trained in basic archery skills at places like Wilcox Bait Tackle should lead nighttime archery. The process of glow-in-the-dark archery will follow the same process of daytime archery. First, your leader should discuss safety hazards. Next, they should give a demonstration and divide campers among the targets. They should then give out equipment, including a glow-in-the-dark wristband for each participant, and diligently guide each round of shooting, allowing campers to shoot 4-6 arrows each round before stopping the shooting and collecting the arrows.

Before your leader gives the command to fire, they should use their flashlight to make certain that the range is clear of all campers. It may be a good idea to count the number of campers who are behind the firing line to make sure everyone is accounted for before letting children fire. 

You should make sure that all of your staff members know there will be nighttime archery on the archery range. Often times, staff members make a habit of cutting through or behind the archery range when they think it is not in use, so you should remind them that the range is now active at night. 

Get the Campers Excited

Your campers will be excited about glow-in-the-dark archery without much effort from you. However, there are some things you can do to make them even more excited. During arts and crafts you can have the campers paint their own targets with glow-in-the-dark paint. Instead of simply painting circular targets, encourage them to get creative and paint various designs and shapes. You can also let your campers add glow-in-the-dark paint to the shafts of the arrows they will be using. 

Always Put Safety First 

Safety is especially important on the archery range, and even more so at night. For this reason, you should only offer glow-in-the-dark archery to older campers that are able to follow instructions. All campers and leaders should have glow-in-the-dark marking when they are on the range at night. Also, your archery leader should take extra caution to make sure the range is clear between each round of firing. 

Glow-in-the-dark archery is a fun and easy way to spice up your camp's ordinary activities. With some creativity, your leaders can implement a safe program at very little cost to you.