FOR DIANE SHARP AND MELISSA STOCKENBERG, the 4-H shooting clubs in Central Florida started out as an activity for their children, but it turned into a family affair.
“Growing up, I always thought that 4-H was just about raising cattle and those types of activities,” says Stockenberg, who got involved in the Highlands County 4-H shooting Club through her daughters. “But it is so much more.”
The shooting clubs give participants skills that translate to all areas of life, says Sharp.
“They learn patience, concentration and goal-setting skills; they learn to compensate and adjust on the fly when things aren’t going exactly right,” says Sharp. “But the cool thing is that they don’t have to be the most physically fit individual in order to compete and succeed. They can just be themselves and do well, and that boosts confidence.”
The national 4-H Shooting Sports programs started in 1980. Since that time, more than 3.5 million youth and adults have been involved in the program, according to the National 4-H Shooting Sports office. In 2020, there were 500,000 youths and 20,000 adult volunteers in 47 of the 50 states in the 4-H shooting sports programs.
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