Friday, April 10, 2009

3-D Archery

The kids have been going to archery every Sunday evening with Uncle K for the last several weeks. I was not sure what 3-D archery was. I guess in my head I imagined it was something like lazer tag with some kind of electronic images around a dark room with kids running around shooting arrows while wearing the cheap paper glasses they hand out at 3-D movies. That was not it at all. We went to awards night to see what they were all doing. It was much more structured than I had imagined. 3-D meant they were not shooting at paper targets with a giant bulls eye. The things they shot at were those giant fake animals you sometimes see in people's yards. When Pepper and I were up in Traverse City a while back we actually saw this great buck from the road and stopped the car to check it out. It was beautiful. Just what you would expect to see up there with the snow falling and the woods in the background. I took about 5 pictures of the thing through the car window before I realized he was mighty brave... and still. It was one of those 3-D fake ones. We both laughed and chalked it up to too much wine sampling!

Actually 3-D archery is very well monitored. Those hunter types are much smarter than most of us give them credit for. The kids had learned that a series of loud whistles meant specific things. One blow meant shoot, two whistles meant stand on the line and prepare to shoot. 5 whistles meant "Freeze" etc. Pretty smart considering that arrows do inflict quite a bit of damage... especially in the 'free for all' setting I had imagined. So the adults were expected to shoot on the night we were there. The head coach asked if any parents had never shot (or had a desire to even learn). I raised my hand figuring they would appoint me head cheer leader for the kids. Nope..... that made me the poster child of parents that didn't know what the hell they were doing! Luckily Pepper and a couple other parents raised their hands too... so we became the instant special ed class.

It actually is fun. Hitting the thing you aimed at (or told everyone you aimed at after it was what you hit) does give a little rush. It was a lot of direction following, turn taking and listening... but in a fun, rewarding way. There was also a complex scoring system that I do not understand, but I clapped when each of the kids got their certificates for their scores and pins. They also have competitions and events throughout the summer. Uncle K was very excited that the kids all enjoyed it so much. He actually went out and bought himself a bow and lots of equipment to use with the kids in the yard. He really is just a big kid himself.

My kids are very lucky to have so many adults in their lives with such a variety of interests. I don't think that any of them will ever become great hunters or anything.... but hopefully they will learn to spot a fake 3-D buck a lot faster than their slightly tipsy Mom did!! :)

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