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Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports
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County Program

(Revised July, 2013)

This sample Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports (SS) plan is intended to provide counties an idea of how a (SS) program may look in a county situation. As discussed at previous occasions, each county can develop their own plan as long as rules and guidelines are met as established by the National 4-H Shooting Sports program and the Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports State Policy and Risk Management guidelines.

Attaining Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports Program Requirements – the following requirements are necessary in order for a county to become involved in the Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports program:

  • Approval of the county to have the 4-H Shooting Sports Program
  • A county/unit must have an adult volunteer attend and complete a State sanctioned training in the discipline of Coordinator.
  • County - must have a minimum of one adult complete a State sanctioned training in one of the offered shooting disciplines (archery, rifle and or shotgun) that they wish to offer. Multiple adults are encouraged to become trained for each county/unit.
  • Qualified County (meaning that a county can proceed with a county program) – a minimum of a volunteer adult, state trained, Coordinator and at least one state trained adult in one of the three offered shooting disciplines.

County Initial Meeting

  • Qualified County trained adults need to meet with their respective 4-H contact person including the County Director if so desired. It is very important that everyone that is interested in the (SS) program have the opportunity to be involved if so desired.
  1. The initial meeting topics could include: developing a county committee – could include: trained instructors, county/unit 4-H/Extension staff, business people, interested adults and YOUTH.
  2. Developing a Mission Statement for your county.
  3. Developing County Goals – short term and long term.
  4. Discussion of how to enroll the youth – SPIN and/or Community Clubs. Discussion of funding – how much will we need for the shooting disciplines that we will be offering, who to contact for assistance in funding? County Directors are responsible for fiscal matters in counties/units and need to be involved in the funding process.
  5. Establishing county goals – how many youth will be involved in each discipline – 1 adult to each 10 youth while instructing.
  6. “All 4-H Shooting Sports shooting activities must be directly supervised by an Illinois Certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor. Groups must be under the on-site supervision of an Illinois 4-H Certified Shooting Sports Instructor.”
    Assistant Instructors – must be a minimum of 19 years old and have been accepted as a 4-H volunteer and completed all screening procedures. Assistant Instructors may assist the Certified Instructor as long as they are under the direct supervision of that Certified Instructor. The Certified Instructor must be present while providing instruction on the firing line – assistants may help/work with youth while the Certified Instructor is there providing instruction. Commands from the Certified Instructor take precedence over those of the assistant in all cases except for a ‘ceasefire’ – anyone may call for a ceasefire if the situation deems necessary. If the Certified Instructor must leave the range for any reason all shooting activities must stop and shooters must be taken off the firing line.

    Identifying and training assistantsEveryone needs to follow the guidelines of the 1 adult to 10 youth ratio and decide on how many youth each discipline can/wants to accept. Recruitment and training of the assistants (19 years of age or older) prior to their involvement with the youth will also be critical – Certified Discipline Instructors (CDI’s) will need to provide instruction to the assistants to the point that they (CDI’s) are comfortable with the assistant’s knowledge and overall performance capabilities.

    What will your county plan look like? Will you be meeting monthly, every two months, during a certain time of the year, weekly, etc. Remember that there is a requirement to meet a minimum of 6 times with at least 5 - 4-H members.

    Publicity/Marketing – how will you promote the program in your county – again – Be Careful What You Wish For - but marketing for potential assistants for discipline instructors, additional discipline instructors, funding, equipment and youth are areas for thought.

    Possible Interest Survey – to determine potential youth involvement which would lead to additional adults being trained to accommodate the youth and funding needs for equipment.

Risk Management Program Planning

Coordinator CHEAT Sheet (Separate CHEAT sheet attached/included) – the following forms and procedures will need to be completed, kept in the appropriate location. It is suggested that each Shooting Discipline (archery, hunting, wildlife and outdoor skills, rifle and/or shotgun) have a 3-ringed binder in which the required forms for each youth participant can be kept. Coordinators may want to keep a Master copy in a separate binder. The bolded found below need to be in the 3-ring binder.

  • 4-H Shooting Sports Liability Insurance Application
    This liability policy is now being managed by the State 4-H Office – County programs do not need to pay for this premium of their 4-H members enrolled in the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Counties do need to make sure to provide an accurate enrollment of all members.
  • All necessary information for becoming an adult 4-H volunteer which includes – U. of I. volunteer application form completed and approved, CANTS form, Conviction Information, and Name Check request Form (ISP) on file at local Extension Office – I would recommend the 4-H contact person taking the lead in this area with assistance form the Coordinator.
  • Agreement and Acknowledgement of Risk Form – Youth has also been updated and can be found at the 4-H website– – upon entering the site go to the 4-H & Youth option – then to Illinois 4-H option top left – from here go to the Volunteer option – from here scroll down to Volunteer Support – then go to Risk Management Resources then to Acknowledgement of Risk Forms to 4-H Shooting Sports (for 4-H members). The local 4-H contact person can also assist here. Each 4-H member and parent guardian must sign and date – local Extension Office is to keep these on file.
  • U. of I. Extension 4-H Program Youth Emergency Medical Information – completed and signed – needs to be copied for the local Extension Office the original needs to accompany the Certified Shooting Sports Instructor to each activity – These forms are confidential. Found in the curriculum manual and at the 4-H website – above.
  • Accident Insurance – it is highly recommended that each youth enrolled be covered by the year-long accident insurance - $1.00 per member per year – a copy of the policy should be in the 3-ring binder. Local Extension staff will have application forms.
  • Risk Management Activity Plan – Found in your curriculum manual – Risk Management Section – needs to be reviewed and completed for each activity – also kept in the 3-ring binder. If a county will be using the same shooting facility time and again, unless there are changes made to the facility, then the Risk Management Activity Plan needs to be completed, accurately/completely, the first time of using the facility. Updating of the plan will need to be done upon changes to the facility.
  • Emergency Plan/Procedures – Risk Management Section of curriculum manual. First aid kits, equipment safety checks, handling equipment, lost child, etc. - a check list for each would be appropriate – also in 3-ring binder.
  • Incident Accident Report – will need to be in the 3-ring binder in case of and accident that needs to be reported.
  • 4-H member Enrollment – the 4-H staff person is asked to provide the lead with this area with assistance from the coordinator – 4-H Shooting Sports youth can be enrolled in either SPIN (Special Interest Clubs) or Community Clubs. A list of 4-H members should be kept in the respective discipline and coordinator 3-ring binder. This list can also be a very good instrument for instructors to use for attendance at shooting activities.


  • It will be up to the county/unit and each shooting discipline as to the extent they want to be involved with competition. We do foresee competitions that could be organized as such: Clubs; County; Regional; State; National Invitational.


  • It is very important to acknowledge and provide an action of recognition for youth, volunteer leaders, funders, committee members, etc. Various methods of recognition can occur – the county 4-H staff member can provide assistance with this topic.


  • An evaluation can only strengthen a program – receiving constructive and sometimes negative feedback heightens the awareness of possible changes that are needled for a program. It is “on the back burner” to initiate an evaluation program that will measure various life skills that the youth would be attaining. It is recommended that each county complete an end of the year evaluation for each discipline and overall program.

Dan Dawson, 4-H Youth Development Educator
Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator
Springfield Extension Center
November, 2009
(Revised July, 2013))