Participants in the Kansas 4-H Shooting Sports program resumed practices July 5 in anticipation of having a Fall season. | Download this photo.
4-H shooting sports team eyes fall season
Virtual Quiz Bowl highlights summer activities
July 7, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Anissa Jepsen had to figure that there was little or nothing the Kansas 4-H National Shooting Sports team could do once the global pandemic forced most Americans inside in March.
To refine your marksmanship, you really need to be outside shooting at targets, you know.
Yet nearly two dozen Kansas 4-H youth and their coaches were able to put their skills to the test in a first-ever virtual shooting sports quiz bowl recently.
“The process was a little complicated just because it’s something we haven’t done before,” said Jepsen, an instructor with the Kansas 4-H Youth Development state office. “But of course our Kansas youth and families were able to navigate that and participate.”
Listen to an interview with Anissa Jepsen on Agriculture Today
Nineteen Kansas youth participated in junior, intermediate or senior divisions of the quiz bowl, which is essentially a test of participant’s knowledge. Each participating state formed teams to answer questions in competition with teams from other states.
It wasn’t the same as lining up and taking aim at targets, “but I believe it was a very good experience, and we’re looking for more of those opportunities in the future,” Jepsen said, noting that results will be posted soon on the Kansas 4-H Natural Resources Facebook page.
The quiz bowl, Jepsen said, symbolized 4-H members’ ability to adjust to the abrupt shift in plans for this year’s 4-H shooting sports program.
“Across the country, we’ve all been struggling with ways that we can adapt and overcome the challenges we faced,” she said. “One good thing about our 4-H kids is they are resilient. We will handle the challenges we faced this year and come back stronger.”
That process starts now. As of July 5, Kansas 4-H shooting sports participants are allowed to resume face-to-face contact with their instructors. Jepsen said returning and new 4-H members should contact their local K-State Research and Extension agent, if they haven’t done so already.
“Each county’s health department has specific guidelines that we will need to follow,” Jepsen said. “And, we have over-arching best practices we follow as a state program in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Kansas. Our shooting sports volunteers need to make sure they are in contact with their county health department and doing what is needed to keep youth safe.”
Jepsen said the state’s 4-H program plans to hold qualifying matches for the state shooting matches that will occur in the fall. The state matches are as follows:
- September 26 – archery (Lindsborg).
- October 3 – hunting skills, muzzle loading and small bore (Topeka).
- October 10-11 – shotgun (Wichita).
- Oct. 17-18 – Western heritage (location TBD).
Information on those contests is available from local Kansas extension agents.
Jepsen said the state’s shooting sports program has scheduled a training session Nov. 7-8 in Cimarron for those interested in becoming instructors. She said instructors must be qualified and trained, and each local program requires a ratio of instructors to participants for safety purposes.
Those interested in becoming instructors or volunteers for their local shooting sports program are encouraged to contact their local extension agent. More information also is available on Facebook, and the Kansas 4-H Youth Development website.