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Archery camp is right on target
Submitted on Thu, 07/23/2015 - 3:39pm
By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer
DELHI - A new Norfolk County youth camp has hit its mark.
Archery is the focus of this week's gathering held at the Delhi Belgian Club for the first time. A total of 16 kids between the ages of 9-14 are attending.
“It was really great to have them come out and show them what to do,” said Mary Ann Pieters, head instructor along with her husband George. “We were really impressed, on their second day of shooting – we hardly had to teach them anymore.”
The first few days focused on the need for proper technique, and safety above all else. Ultimately, the Pieters – who also run the Delhi Belgian Archery Club – are aiming to groom the next generation of shooters.
“You're helping the kids because it's a cheap sport ... (and) you're keeping them off the streets,” Mary Ann explained.
“They come out here and they really enjoy it – they really enjoy their shooting. We hope that our next generation will take over because we're not younger anymore.”
Pieters stressed that kids of all ages and abilities are welcome to shoot. The club is currently raising money to purchase a wheelchair so anyone that wants to can take part. That philosophy is welcomed by campers.
“Me and Oliver, my cousin, we always do a camp together and this is the camp we went to this year - I like archery,” said Otterville's Riley Brackenbury, 11.
“I think it's just fun, the fact that so many people have done it and I want to learn.”
The first day of shooting was a little touch and go for some, but like Pieters said, things have been all downhill from there.
“The first time I shot, I wasn't quite sure how to hold the bow or how to position myself, but now it's a lot easier,” said 10-year-old Alex Harris of Delhi, who has improved thanks to a few key techniques.
“For me, it's just getting my arm up high, but not too high, and putting my leg back.”
Though camp sessions last just over two hours each morning, Pieters said the kids are getting a workout.
“You can see by the end they're getting tired, but they still want to keep going,” she said.
“We find that archery gives them development of their strength, and they're using their minds more.”
Anyone wanting more info on the camp, or club can contact the Pieters residence at 519-582-3108.