Contact Us

Anne Scheel
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
509 Front Street,
Suite 4
Henry, IL 61537
Phone: 309-364-2356
FAX: 309-364-2804
amscheel@illinois.edu

Breanne Suarez
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
815 North Orlando Smith Road
Room C223
Oglesby, IL 61348
Phone: 815- 224-0889
bsuarez@illinois.edu

Toni Pienta
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
1689 North 31st Road,
Suite 2
Ottawa, IL 61350
Phone: 815-433-0707
FAX: 815-433-5454
fusinatt@illinois.edu

4-H Shooting Sports

4-H Shooting Sports

4. 4-H Shooting Sports FAQ

1. What is the purpose of the 4-H Shooting Sports program?

The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. The 4-H Shooting Sports Program stands out as an example. Youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of archery, and much more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth, and conservation ethics.

2. What do we need to have a 4-H Shooting Sports program in our unit?

Shooting Sports is a relatively new 4-H project in Illinois. Because of the equipment involved, 4-H Shooting Sports must be held within a separate club. To start a 4-H Shooting Sports Club, we need:

  • One adult volunteer coordinator and one or more instructors for each discipline we plan to offer. These volunteers may not be University of Illinois Extension staff members, and the volunteers must attend a weekend 4-H Shooting Sports Training.
  • At least five youth who are interested in shooting sports.
  • A location (hunting club, shooting range, etc.) to hold activities.
  • Ideas for funding to purchase equipment.

Marshall-Putnam 4-H already has an established Shooting Sports program, with events scheduled for the 2011-2012 year. Bureau and LaSalle hope to begin new programs as soon as possible.

3. What types of adult volunteers are needed to serve as Shooting Sports leaders?

  • A 4-H Shooting Sports program is managed at the county level by a volunteer coordinator. He/she should be organized and detail-oriented, as there are many steps to organizing and managing a shooting sports club.
  • Youth are instructed by adult volunteers who are skilled in one or more shooting disciplines. Adult instructors should be skilled in safe use of rifles, shotguns, and/or archery equipment.
  • Assistant instructors assist the certified instructors in teaching the youth.

All volunteers in the 4-H Shooting Sports program must go through 4-H volunteer screening, and certified instructors and coordinators must attend a weekend 4-H Shooting Sports training. It is important to note that the training involves some shooting skill development, but more importantly focuses on effective ways to work with youth.

4. When are the volunteer trainings? Where are they located? How long are they? How much does it cost?

Volunteer trainings are held several times per year in locations throughout the state of Illinois. Generally they are held at 4-H camps and other similar locations, where there is a shooting range available for training. The training begins on a Friday evening and ends the following Sunday. The cost of the training is $115 per person, which includes all meals and lodging as well as training and program materials. For volunteers from the Bureau-LaSalle-Marshall-Putnam Unit, the Extension unit will pay for the cost of the training and mileage to and from the training site.

Assistant instructor trainings are scheduled on an as-needed basis and take place at the local level. Newly approved assistants will receive information from their county's coordinator and discipline instructors about training procedures.

5. Is this program popular in Illinois?

Shooting Sports is a new program in our state, but already has a large number of participants, with enrollments rapidly increasing. Many counties are offering 4-H Shooting Sports, or are planning to do so in the near future.

6. What disciplines are offered/available? Are there age requirements?

Youth ages 8-18 (as of September 1) may participate in archery and air rifle. Youth ages 10-18 (as of September 1) may also choose .22 caliber rifles or shotguns.

7. My son/daughter is a member of a 4-H Club. Can he/she enroll in Shooting Sports as an individual project?

Due to the nature of the 4-H Shooting Sports activities, enrollment in these projects is limited only to those youth enrolled in an official 4-H Shooting Sports club, which meets separately from other 4-H Clubs and is led by volunteers specifically trained in leading 4-H Shooting Sports activities.

8. Can I attend a 4-H Shooting Sports volunteer training, so that I may instruct only my own son/daughter in this area?

The 4-H Shooting Sports program is designed to expose youth to shooting sports in a group environment. At this time, the best use of Extension's resources in this area is in training volunteers who are willing to lead/instruct groups of youth in this area. Parents are welcome to volunteer to lead a 4-H Shooting Sports club that is open to all youth. The Department of Natural Resources can provide information for parents wishing to instruct only their own children.

9. I cannot attend the Shooting Sports statewide volunteer training, but I still want to help. Are there other opportunities available?

  • If you are interested in working with youth, you might consider applying as an assistant instructor. These volunteers will be trained by local certified instructors and coordinators, and will help at Shooting Sports events. All direct instruction is provided by the certified instructor.
  • If you are interested in other types of volunteer roles, volunteers may also be needed to help with fundraising/fund development, marketing and recruitment, risk management, and coordination and planning of events. Please meet with Extension staff to discuss how your interests and abilities best fit with the program.

10. How can I donate funds or equipment to support 4-H Shooting Sports?

Thank you for your interest in contributing to our programs. Please visit with an Extension staff member regarding your planned contribution so we can be sure it is handled appropriately. For financial contributions, we can help you direct your donation to the fund that will best match your interests. For donations of firearms, ammunition, or other equipment, we can provide you with information on needed items and the University's policies requiring possession and storage of these items.