The foundation of the 4-H Program is the club. A club consists of young people whose families see value in teaching the basic elements that 4-H stands for: belonging, mastery of skills, generosity and independence (leadership). While members are indeed necessary for a successful club, the heart of a club is the leader! A leader is a person who gives time and talent to guide and teach. While there are many active and energetic clubs on the Peninsula, the Young Guns 4-H Club is a prime example.
Three leaders, Jeremy McKibben, Simone Owens and Patty Miller Hauptman have combined their efforts to teach eight boys gun safety, ethics, generosity and the ins and outs of archery and shooting air rifles. The team has been meeting weekly at Wilderness Way in Soldotna. They have studied the hunter education course and five of the eight boys in the club gave public presentations and entered educational displays in the annual 4-H contests. Some of the subjects covered were "Different Shooting Stances," "Safety with Rifles," "Eviscerating a Moose," and "Willow Ptarmigan." When 4-Hers stand in front of a panel of judges and present a talk, their commitment and willingness to learn shine! Any young person with that attitude is a winner!
The Young Guns Club members have a heart to help also. They plan to spend time cleaning the Snowshoe grounds and help at the Safari Club fund raiser. Member Tyle Owens constructed arrows for the 4-H Shooting Sports Program.
This is a group bonded together: sharing a sport they love, having fun and helping others -- an example of a thriving 4-H club!
The group will be learning to shoot pistols at Snowshoe Gun Club this spring. A Kenai Peninsula Shooting Match is also being planned for the end of May. Clubs from Homer, Moose Pass, Kasilof, Ninilchik, Soldotna and Sterling are invited.
The Kenai Chapter of Safari Club International and Friends of the NRA have provided funds for equipment and training so these clubs can flourish.
-- Submitted by Nacy Veal, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Peninsula 4-H agent
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