Archery Project

In the Archery project youth will:

Age: 9 and older (must turn 9 before December 31, 2023)

Limit: 8 archers per meeting due to space and equipment limitations

When: once a month weather dependent

Where: Meetings in Castro Valley near Vannoy. Target shooting at Redwood Bowmen Archery Club in Oakland.

Cost: Redwood Bowmen Club has a suggested $5 donation to use their archery range per visit. 

Project Leaders: Megan Hornbecker and Jennifer Zaretzka

Teen Leader: Fiona

Members need to attend a Safety meeting before attending a Target practice. Contact Megan at 4hredwoodclub at if you signed up but have not been receiving emails.

Tentative Meeting Plan:

Oct 1 Safety Meeting, instructions, archery practice

Oct 8 Target practice

Oct 17 Safety Meeting, skills and technique, bring manual 

Oct 29 8:40 Safety Meeting. Target practice 9:30-11:30

Nov 12 6:30pm-7:30pm CV Meeting. Make auction items.

Nov 19 Optional Turkey Shoot - (for advanced beginner and higher, sign up on your own) 

Dec No Meeting

Jan-Feb TBD Weather dependent (archery is difficult in the cold, and the wet weather and range conditions can damage equipment)
Mar 25 6-7:30pm Redwood Bowmen

Apr 8 6:15-7:15 Project meeting, leader's backyard AND/OR

Apr 16 6:15-7:15 Project meeting, leader's backyard

May 26 4-H Archery Tournament in Merced 

More dates TBA Apr May (we will practice 2 twice a month one weekday one weekend)

Requirements to complete Project: pass proficiency test

Project Plans

Help find a local space
Do you know anyone with a large enough property that we could set up a range so all members could participate at the same time? If they meet the 4-H range layout requirements all meetings would be fully covered by 4-H insurance so no homeowner risk is involved. We have volunteers that can set up and maintain the range.

Members must print PDF of Health History & Treatment Authorization form to give to Project Leader in order to participate.

1. Improves your focus

Remaining focused during a shot is important for every archer. An archer must focus on their target, focus on their form, and ignore the distractions around them. By constantly being focused, it can help you focus and keep calm in high-pressure situations.

2. Improves your hand-eye coordination

Archery trains your hands to aim based on the feedback from your eyes. With continuous practice and repetition your coordination becomes better. The better coordination an archer has, the better the aiming.

3. Improves your upper strength

The arms, core, chest, and shoulders are all used when practicing a proper draw. Similar to lifting weights, an archer usually holds their draw for a couple seconds, which allows for tension in the muscles. Repetition of this action leads to muscle development.

4. Improves your social skills

Archery can be an individual sport or a team sport. When an archer competes in a tournament they are usually grouped together with other archers for scoring. Archers can get to know each other while they walk the course together. Teams are important in archer too. Working as a team and supporting one another is important for the success of the group.

5. Improves your confidence

Archery provides a boost of self-esteem to archers when they see their mental and physical skills improving during practice and tournaments.

See all available Projects here >

Member Information

We will be using this 4-H Archery Member Manual.

The Ten Commandments of Archery Safety

11 Steps to the 10 ring

The key to becoming an accurate archer is being consistent every time you shoot. Practice these eleven steps until you have mastered your shooting skills.


Open stance and shoulder width position, with imaginary line between heals and arm-pits.


Grab below fletching, up & over a vertical bow with index fletching toward you.


Hook the bowstring in the archer’s groove - 3 fingers under using a semi-shallow hook - NOT a deep hook. Do not create tension or pressure on arrow nock. Do not leave large gap between fingers and nock.


Center the bow’s grip under the lifeline of the relaxed bow hand. Bow hand knuckles should for 30 - 45 degree angle


Hinge the bow arm and drawing arm to eye level. Rotate bow arm elbow down and away. Do not begin to draw until after bow is raised. Beginning draw while bow is down will create tension on the bottom of arrow and can cause bad arrow flight.

6. DRAW:

With draw arm parallel to the ground, smoothly pull the string towards the face.


Index finger tip at the corner of the mouth, string on nose and thumb under jaw. (or however coach and archer determine what is most suitable for the archer's face shape and hand size)

8. AIM:

Align the string and arrow point on the target


While the eye continues to aim, check string alignment, think about and maintain a tight anchor, active bow muscles

10. RELEASE: (Remember the String Bow)

Relax the hooked fingers and the back of the drawing hand all at once, slight rearward movement of the drawing shoulder, arm and elbow. It should feel like letting go of a heavy pail of water.

11. FOLLOW THROUGH/REFLECT: (Remember the String Bow)

The drawing hand continues rearward, under the ear and painting the face, until the thumb touches or is near the shoulder. The drawing elbow should relax and hinge downward. The bow arm remains steady and up until AFTER the arrow hits the target


Reflect - did the shot feel and look right? Where did the arrow go? If it went dead center, then rinse and repeat. If not, why was it not dead center? Did you drop your bow arm? Was your release clean? Did you come to full anchor? Did you get to your aim point?