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Getting the youth on target; Archery club to hold free shoot for kids this coming Saturday

A local archery club is trying to get youth on point by hosting an archery event this coming Saturday.

The 69-year-old Cedar River Archery Club, tucked in a line of woods along the Cedar River just east of Lansing, will hold a youth archery event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the hopes of attracting more youth to the sport and its club.

“The board is just trying to breathe new life into this club,” said board member Troy Hawkshead. “We want to start reaching out to these kids and their families.”

The shoot is a no-charge event and free to all kids and their family.

Troy Hawkshead and Matt Streiff pose with just two of the 3D targets at the Cedar River Archery Club. The two board members are hoping to attract more youth to the sport.

Troy Hawkshead and Matt Streiff pose with just two of the 3D targets at the Cedar River Archery Club. The two board members are hoping to attract more youth to the sport.

Bows and arrows will be provided, but people are welcome to bring their own. Hot dogs, snacks and drinks for kids will be available.

Members of the club will go through safety and shooting instruction along with target shooting and 3D target shooting. There will also be walks through woods to understand game trails, all in an effort to bring awareness to not only to the sport, but the club.

“Our big challenge is how do we let people know this is here,” Hawkshead said.

In the years of its existence, the club has seen numbers as high as 75 and as low as 25. Currently, the group stands at around 40 members, but thereare hopes to add more by reaching out not only to kids, but their parents as well.

“Even if parents want to shoot, we’ll let them,” said another board member Matt Streiff. “This is about promoting archery and shooting sports. There’s a lot of heritage out here.”

The group also hopes to promote the outdoors — to get people away from the modern aspect of life and get them to appreciate everything around them.

“It’s just a beautiful piece of property,” Hawkshead said. “It’s connecting with the outdoors.”

The Cedar River Archery Club will host a youth shoot Saturday at its scenic location east of Lansing. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The Cedar River Archery Club will host a youth shoot Saturday at its scenic location east of Lansing. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

But there’s even more than archery and the outdoors. The archery club members believe that it’s a chance to connect with kids and show them shooting sports can boost self-confidence.

“My kid shoots on the trap team and he wasn’t real sure of himself,” Streiff said. “He started shooting trap on a team and there was a boost in confidence. That’s what gets my heart. The boost in confidence a kid gets.”

It also strengthens a kids commitment.

“They got to work,” Hawkshead said. “You have to commit to get better. You can’t fake your way through this.”

But perhaps one goal is bigger than the others when the group is trying to promote the shoot and their club: Just getting families involved in something they didn’t expect to.

“It’s being part of something that’s way cooler than you thought it was,” Streiff said. “I really want to get some families out here.”

For more information people can call Hawkshead at 507-438-9079.