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Archery - A Closer Look at a Summer Camp Staple

Summer is for trying new things. At camp, archery can be one of those things.Archery has been around for thousands of years and remains a fun, challenging activity at West Ohio Camps to this day. 

History of Archery

Archery is one of the oldest arts still practiced. Although archery probably dates to the Stone Age (around 20,000 BC), the earliest people known to have used bows and arrows were the ancient Egyptians, who adopted archery at least 5,000 years ago for purposes of hunting and warfare.

Civilization continued using archery for various reasons until the mid-1500s. The invention of firearms eventually rendered bows obsolete in warfare. Despite the high social status, ongoing utility, and widespread pleasure of archery, almost every culture that gained access to even early firearms used them widely, to the relative neglect of archery.

The British initiated a major revival of archery as an upper-class pursuit from about 1780-1840. They formed archery societies and enjoyed archery competitions.

The 1840s saw the first attempts at turning the recreation into a modern sport. The first Grand National Archery Society meeting was held in York in 1844.  Archery was eventually recognized as a sport and added to the Olympics in 1900 in Paris.

In modern times, mounted archery continues to be practiced as a popular competitive sport. And, it is a staple of summer camps across the United States. This includes Camp Otterbein, Camp Wesley and Camp Widewater.

Safety First

West Ohio Camps takes safety seriously. That’s why we follow basic safety to protect the safety of all of our campers.

Before shooting, an archer should:

·      Check equipment for damage

·      Keep clothing and jewelry out of the string’s way

·      Make sure the range is clear

While shooting, an archer should:

·      Point arrows toward the target when they are nocked on the string

·      Shoot at the same time and in the same direction as other archers

·      Wait until everyone finishes before going to the target

When retrieving arrows, an archer should:

·      Approach the target slowly

·      Ask permission before pulling someone else’s arrows

·      Brace yourself with a hand on the target near where the arrow hit

·      Check over your shoulder to see if the coast is clear

·      Pull the arrow straight out to avoid bending it by accident

Shooting Your Arrow

To shoot a drawstring bow, start by lining your body up perpendicular to the target, making sure your back is straight and your feet are shoulder-width apart. Then, point your bow toward the ground and attach the back of an arrow to the bow string via the nock. Place 3 fingers on the string around the arrow, then pull the bow up and hold it out toward the target. When you’re ready to shoot, draw the string toward your face, aim, and relax your fingers to release the arrow. 

Archery is a popular choice of activities at West Ohio Camps. Camp Wesley, Camp Otterbein, and Camp Widewater have their own archery ranges. Instructors are trained to teach campers this exciting sport in a safe and fun way. To experience archery at one of our camps visit