Extension News

4-H Volunteers Earn Shooting Sports Certification

Youth learn air rifle skills


AMES, Iowa--4-H volunteers continue to expand the 4-H Safety and Education in Shooting Sports (SESS) program, the fastest growing project offered through Iowa State University (ISU) Extension 4-H Youth Development. Some 55 new volunteers spent 17 hours this fall earning their SESS certification, enabling hundreds more youth to participate.

The newly certified volunteers join 370 trained instructors and coordinators in Iowa who teach young people “Skills for Life – Activity for a Lifetime” as part of the National 4-H SESS program.

Instructors not only teach shooting sport skills, according to Bryan Whaley, 4-H specialist and shooting sports coordinator, but also teach positive youth development, including leadership, citizenship and communication skills.

4-H trained and certified instructors conduct classes and programs in the various disciplines (air rifle, archery, black powder, rifle, shotgun and wildlife skills) using the national SESS curriculum.

Two of the 55 volunteers are from Humboldt County, according to John Eveland, ISU Extension county education director. "We've been talking about the program for two years; now we can get started."

The national program is a product of extensive testing and has been offered to states since the mid 1980s, according to Whaley. 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 Muzzleloading 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 Web site at www.extension.iastate.edu/4H/SESS/shootingsports.html.


Contacts :

Bryan Whaley, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development, (515) 332-2201, bwhaley@iastate.edu


Carol Ouverson, ISU Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-9640, couverso@iastate.edu