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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension




The what, why, who, and how of a 4-H Shooting Sports Club.

What is a 4-H Shooting Sports Club?

A 4-H Shooting Sports club is made up of five or more young people and two or more trained adults who meet at least six times for each shooting discipline. Because of the nature of the activities, we recommend that youngsters be 9 years before they start. At meetings, members learn and practice important safe shooting habits, like:

  • basic shooting fundamentals;
  • range commands;
  • using eye and ear protection;
  • cleaning and maintaining firearms and archery equipment.

When and where will the 4-H Shooting Sports Club meet?

  • Clubs may meet whenever it is convenient for everyone and whenever there is a safe shooting range available. Often meetings are held at established ranges, in armories, on ranges which the group sets up in fair buildings, or at adapted outdoor ranges set up by the club. Some clubs meet throughout the year, while others schedule their learning experiences during a one or two month period.

What do 4-H members do at club meetings?

  • Club meetings typically consist of a short program and an hour or more of shooting practice. Many clubs go on field trips and invite guest speakers to share special talents with club members. Business meetings, fundraising activities and special community service projects are sometimes part of the club's yearly plan.

Who leads the club?

  • 4-H Shooting Sports clubs are led by one or more adults from the community who are interested in working with young people on shooting skills. These adults receive special training at weekend Shooting Sports Workshops. Leaders who receive certification at these workshops may train assistant instructors to help with their club.

What shooting activities can 4-H members explore?

  • Archery (Recurve, Compound, Cross-bow)
  • Living History
  • Hunting and Wildlife
  • Muzzle loading (Flint, Cap, In-line)
  • Pistol (Air, Rim fire, Center fire)
  • Reloading (Shot-shell, Metallic)
  • Rifle (Air, Rim fire, Center fire)
  • Shotgun

Clubs may elect to specialize in one of the disciplines, or if certified leaders are available, clubs may choose to offer two or more disciplines to its members.

Clubs can add to their learning by adding programs in:

  • Wild Game/Outdoor Cooking
  • Taxidermy
  • Trapping
  • Wildlife Habitat Improvement
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Gunsmith / Making Equipment
  • Outdoor Living Skills
  • Any other area of interest to members

What does it cost?

  • The Ohio 4-H Program has no membership dues. Individual clubs may collect dues or hold fundraising events to help cover the cost of supplies.

Can parents be involved?

  • Yes! 4-H is a family program. Parents often come to the meetings and act as range safety officers or assistant instructors.

What support is available for club leaders and members?

  • Certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors receive teaching materials when they complete a weekend Shooting Sports Workshop. Each county should have one or more Shooting Sports Coordinators to help leaders with club organization, promotion, and fundraising. In addition, the State 4-H Shooting Sports Committee works to promote the program across the state, and to identify corporate sponsors.

How do you start a 4-H Shooting Sports Club?

  • Contact your County Extension office. Ask the 4-H Educator for more information about 4-H Shooting Sports.
  • Find a team of adults who will attend a state Shooting Sports Workshop. Two workshops are held each year -- one in the spring, and one in the fall.
  • Identify five or more boys and girls (age 9 to 18) who are interested in shooting.
  • Enroll the club with your County Extension office.
  • Meet with the club and plan a year's program.
  • Have fun learning together.