February 4, 2008 - Joel


New York and others join NASP efforts; bringing total to 47 states!

By: Roy Grimes, President, NASP

At 9:02 pm on February 20, 2003 a middle school technology teacher from Kingston, NY contacted us about adopting the NASP.  Since that first contact the NASP received calls from nearly four dozen NY teachers, as well as archery enthusiasts and parents wanting the program available to their students.


As has been the case in the previous 43 NASP states, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Victoria, Australia, we were reluctant to launch the program until it could be institutionalized by a government agency. In most states this has been the wildlife conservation agency.  In Nova Scotia the coordinating agency is the Ministry of Education and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation leads the NASP there.  This past spring, Wayne Jones, Hunter Education Coordinator for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reported that his agency was ready to launch and lead the NASP in New York.


We provided Wayne the school contacts we've received over the past few years.  Several of our contacts were recently acquired at the national conference of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) in Baltimore, Maryland.  Wayne invited teachers from 10 of these schools to attend NASP training in Auburn, New York on January 7, 2008.  Before the teachers could be trained, 11 "teacher trainers" were certified at Wildwood Sports Club in Elbridge, NY.  These folks came from all walks of life; archery clubs, NY State Archery Association, NY Bowhunters, Copper John Archery, and a couple were school teachers.


Basic Archery Instructor Trainer candidates (BAIT – teacher trainers) arrived at the sports club to set up the NASP archery range on Friday, January 4th.  On Saturday, the 1st day of BAIT instruction, the candidates took the same course the teachers would take on day 3.  The next day the BAIT candidates practiced teaching the basic material to each other.  They had to perform several practical exercises and take two written examinations.  At the end of day 2 we dismantled the range and moved it to a local school gymnasium so the teachers could be taught in the same environment they would present archery lessons to students.


On Monday, day 3 of the 3-day workshop, the BAIT candidates presented the Basic Archery Instructor course to 18 teachers from 10 NY pilot schools.  We divided the archery range in half and two pairs of teacher trainers presented the material to half the class at the same time.   The teachers first learned how the NASP works and why it is so safe.  Then they were taught how to set up a safe archery range in their gymnasiums.  We began teaching them how to shoot a bow by determining dominant eye, making each a String Bow training device, and then learning the Eleven Steps to Archery Success.  Before actually shooting bows and arrows the teachers were taught how to observe an archer and how to compliment, positively correct, and review an archer (CPR) and how to manage disruptive students. While training teachers are required to use only positive language.  For instance, when explaining the problem with "dry-firing" a bow, they say, "Only shoot a bow when there is an arrow nocked on the string and the bow is pointed in a safe direction towards the target.  To shoot a bow without an arrow is called a ‘dry fire' and this can damage the bow and hurt the shooter or a bystander."  Notice, words such as "never, "no", and "don't" are unsuitable.  ‘Refrain from' and ‘avoid' are high class negative words that are also disallowed.


After seeing a demonstration of the whistle commands and shooting the bow using the Eleven Steps, the teachers undergo supervised shooting.  Next, each teacher performed a practical exercise demonstrating how to safely operate an archery range, shoot the bow using eleven steps, and to supervise an archer's shooting and retrieval of arrows.  Lastly, just before the final exam, teachers are taught the names of bow and arrow parts, equipment inspection, and basic maintenance and repair of the bow and arrow.   Every teacher received terrific scores on their 100 point exam, evidence that learning-by-doing is an excellent way to present material.


This group of New York teachers was an unusual for a pilot program.  All but one of them was already teaching archery of some form at their school. One was a new teacher who took archery from another of the veteran teachers in the group.  A few of these teachers were already using NASP-style equipment but most were using fiberglass bows.  All were enthusiastic to receive NASP's standard training and to use NASP archery equipment in their future archery classes.


In a few short weeks each of these schools will receive a NASP equipment kit and begin presenting NASP archery lessons to their students.  The New York NASP is already making plans to expand their program in the next 30 days. The next states to join the NASP will be Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.  All three will join the program by undergoing an identical standard process.


Like all the previous workshops, this launch of the New York NASP was made possible due to the generosity of several companies and organizations including; Mathews Archery, Archery Trade Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pope & Young Club, Gordon Composites, Rinehart Targets, Morrell Targets, The Block, Easton Arrows, Papes, BCY, Brownell, and Archery Shooting Systems.


To learn more about the NASP please visit our web site:

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