4-H volunteers continue to expand 4-H Safety and Education in Shooting Sports (SESS), the fastest growing project offered through ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development. Whether through archery, air rifle, black powder, rifle, shotgun or wildlife skills, Iowa’s young people are learning leadership, citizenship and communication skills. Some 55 new adult volunteers spent 17 hours this fall earning their SESS certification, enabling hundreds more Iowa youth to participate in a program known for “skills for life – activity for a lifetime.” The newly certified volunteers join 370 trained instructors and coordinators already teaching the program in Iowa.
ISU Extension uses the national SESS curriculum, according to Bryan Whaley, 4-H specialist and shooting sports coordinator. The national program is a product of extensive testing and has been offered to states since the mid 1980s. Iowa is in its fourth year of participation.
The national curriculum undergoes continual scrutiny, with revisions made as appropriate, Whaley said. Original curriculum writers included National Rifle Association instructors and training counselors, hunter education instructors, National Bow Hunter Education instructors, National Archery Association instructors, National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association instructors and Extension specialists.
The next three-day certification training will be April 4-6, 2008, at the Iowa 4-H Center in Boone County. To find out more, contact a local county office of ISU Extension or check the SESS Web site.