Archery was big for Christmas: Did you give lessons or equipment?

This is my 9-year-old (in red) trying archery for the first time. He hit the big white bale many times but when they put up the smaller target he didn't hit it. He was disapointed but I think he did great for the first time.

This is my 9-year-old (in red) trying archery for the first time. We gave him an introductory archery lesson as a Christmas present to see if he likes it.

Archery has been everywhere in the movies (“The Hunger Games,” “Brave,” “The Avengers”), and it seemed to play a role in many Christmas presents this year as well.

I saw on Facebook many families who gave archery equipment or lessons for the holiday. My nephew got some kid-friendly archery equipment and target for his backyard, and my son got an intro lesson at an archery range to see if he likes it.

Walsh had been begging for lessons so we gave him one for Christmas. We went last weekend to a local archery range to try it out. There were about eight kids (some were big guys like 18) learning with him. They spent a lot of time talking about safety explaining where you are supposed to hold the bow when waiting, how and when to retrieve your arrows so you don’t get shot. (They all had to set their bows down on a platform before they could cross the line to retrieve arrows.)

He wasn’t as excited about archery after the lesson as before. I think it was harder than he thought. Also, there was  a lot to remember to do, such as hand placement and not pulling the arrow past the corner of your mouth. The instructor said she gave him a larger bow that he would grow into but maybe he needed a slightly smaller bow. I also think he was disheartened when the older kids (the class was an 8 to 18) were actually hitting the targets. We had to tell him they were much older and some even brought their own equipment indicating they had tried it before.

I think he thought he was going to walk in and be hitting targets like the girl from “Brave” riding her horse through the woods. He didn’t do badly but he’s hard on himself. I hope he will go back and keep trying – maybe with a smaller bow.

Looking over several Atlanta-based websites, it looks like lessons run between $20 to $25 for an hour with an instructor (comparable with piano or singing lessons). But once you know what you’re doing you can get range time just to shoot for much less. I think it was about $8 an hour at our local place, but you had to have your own equipment for that price.

When searching archery lesson in Atlanta I found a bunch of places. A friend told me her girls took out in Snellville and really loved it. I assume it was the Archery Learning Center in Snellville.

The Archer website listed 11 clubs around Georgia will several in the Atlanta metro area including Canton, Cartersville, Covington, Cumming, McDonough.

I also found a Kennesaw Archery Club and then an Atlanta one, Atlanta Archery, that looks very similar to the one where Walsh took lessons out here.

So there seems to be lots of options around metro Atlanta if your child does want lessons.

So was archery a part of your holiday giving? Did you give lessons or equipment? Does your child want to give archery a try? Which of these archery ranges have you been to? Which ones can you recommend to the other parents?

25 comments Add your comment

mom2alex&max

January 3rd, 2013
2:45 pm

My children are in scouting. They have been shooting arrows and BB guns since they were 6 years old. My oldest got his archery merit badge last summer.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 3rd, 2013
2:54 pm

That’s awesome that the scouting does it.

Techmom

January 3rd, 2013
3:09 pm

I think Archery was one of the first merit badges my son earned in Scouts… rifle and shotgun were not far behind. I have no idea if or where there are local archery ranges since my son has usually just done it at camp. I know lots of folks who just have targets in their backyards. Maybe it will be the next thing to take over now that paintball and airsoft are starting to lose popularity.

fred

January 3rd, 2013
4:27 pm

Both of my girls have expressed an interest since seeing Brave and the Hunger Games. I think I may take it up with them. It can’t hurt for them to know a few survival skills once the zombie apocalypse hits.

ATL Born and Raised

January 3rd, 2013
4:48 pm

I took archery as an elective in high school. Remember it being fun and a damn good workout for the chest and arms.

dazed

January 3rd, 2013
5:07 pm

In this day and age…..with all of the crazy things happening…why would you give a child a bow and arrow….only in America

ArcheryMom

January 3rd, 2013
5:54 pm

My daughter took up archery about a year and a half ago. She expressed an interest after trying it at Girl Scout camp and then reading the Hunger Games. We started at Forsyth Archery Club. Great group and really good with beginners. We are now with Kennesaw Archery Club — another very knowledgeable group. We also practice from time to time at Big Woods Goods in Canton. I know with all three groups, they require you to start with an orientation. There is a bit more to archery then just picking up the bow and arrow and hitting the target!

ArcheryMom

January 3rd, 2013
5:58 pm

Georgia Archery Association has a good listing of ranges and resources: http://www.gaarchery.org/archery-ranges/

sarah

January 3rd, 2013
6:19 pm

My daughter got a kid friendly foam archery kit. She didn’t ask for it, but LOVES it and it has been her most used gift so far.

My husbnad just picked it up because he thought it was cool and it was fairly inexpensive. Until this post, it hadn’t occurred to me that it was part of a larger thing. She would love to have real archery lessons, but will have to settle for the horseback riding lessons Santa brought for her. LOL

.38 cal is better than an arrow

January 3rd, 2013
6:59 pm

What ever happened to guns?

FCM

January 3rd, 2013
7:15 pm

My kids like archery but no. Maybe some string to tie snares. LOL

I did get them both something very useful that can teach them some life skills just like archery can though.

FCM

January 3rd, 2013
7:24 pm

@ TWG….Private music or voice lessons run about $50 or more an hour. I paid $800 this fall for them for just one child. We will be paying $800 again this spring.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 3rd, 2013
8:06 pm

Rose was doing piano for $25 for a half hour (now that I am think it was a half hour)

Tiffany

January 3rd, 2013
9:21 pm

My son is a scout and became quite good at archery and earned his archery merit badge among many others. I highly recommend Boy Scouts of America.

Georgia

January 3rd, 2013
10:06 pm

Bow and arrows for children? NO! They’ll shoot an eye out!

Christmas : The Latest Fuzz

January 3rd, 2013
11:00 pm

[...] Archery was big for Christmas: Did you give lessons or equipment? – Atlanta Journal Constituti… [...]

Natasha Green

January 3rd, 2013
11:14 pm

I am so excited you gave him the opportunity to try it. Believe it or not, it is a sport that requires focusing internally on you being still and in tune with target. Great practice to calm yourself down. I expose people to archery in NYC.
@hiddengemsinc

DB

January 4th, 2013
12:21 am

What a great gift!!!! If he’s that motivated, I’m sure he’ll catch on quickly. It requires discipline and intense concentration — a VERY good thing for kids to learn early!

Neither of my kids were interested in archery, but as a die-hard Star Wars fan, my son was very excited to try fencing. He did it for about a year, and as he got more proficient, we were all surprised at how much of an active workout it is – he was always drenched and sore after every practice! He stopped after his teacher moved further away, and also facing competition/choices with club soccer demands. I was always intrigued with it, though — I’ve been thinking I might want to try it!

(Just don’t let him read “We Need To Talk About Kevin” . . . sheesh!)

Call It Like It Is

January 4th, 2013
7:42 am

Taught archery for years at a camp in North Ga. Kids love it. After the cost of the bow and arrows, thats it. No loud noises, you don’t run out of ammo. Great hobby.

Voice of Reason

January 4th, 2013
8:16 am

It takes great skill, concentration, and patience to shoot with a bow and arrow. I applaud all who try.

Patrick

January 4th, 2013
9:11 am

And a new chorus of “You’ll shoot your eye out!” shall ring from concerned mothers and fathers everywhere.

Voice of Reason

January 4th, 2013
9:18 am

This whole, “You’ll shoot your eye out thing,” only really works with BB and/or pellet guns where the BB or pellet can ricochet right back towards you. Arrows typically do not ricochet very well, they can glance off of things but typically they still follow their forward trajectory in the opposite direction of the shooter.

Now, that’s not to say that you could not still “Shoot someone else’s eye out.” That situation is still completely plausible.

LeeH1

January 4th, 2013
9:54 am

My nieces were scratching their heads over their archery equipment until their grandmother told them that I had won a state award for archery back in 1973. Suddenly the old fat uncle became popular, and it is amazing how much stuff I remembered from forty years ago. And it was fun to get out in the air and sunlight and to shoot arrows with my neices and their friends.

Once they had the basics in using the equipment and safety rules with backyard targets, we went out for some field archery, where we walked in the deserted woods, and would select close and interesting non-living targets to shoot at (sort of like Brave). The girls quickly learned that anything shot above their head height was often lost because they became caught in the tree. Anything shot at ground level in grass or leaves became lost by hiding under the debris. Different arrow heads and different types of arrows suddenly became important. A lot of equipment was used up and lost, but it was a lot of fun. And the girls rather quickly became, if not proficient, at least somewhat accurate. Accurate enough for field archery for fun. Like chess, archery is easy to learn, but hard to master. But the girls are not out to be chess champions or archery olympians. They just wanted to learn a new skill and have fun at the same time.

And I think I had more fun than they did. I certainly enjoyed it more.

Suz

January 6th, 2013
3:05 pm

My son is in Scouting and received his first bow and arrows last year for Christmas.

TrishaDishawareagle

January 6th, 2013
7:27 pm

My dad taught me archery, I have loved it every since..28 now and took my first deer with a bow at 12. It is a known fact that, on average, girls are better archers. We have better breath control and concentration.