Safety is the number one instruction for this activity. There must be clear and strongly upheld rules about where kids can and cannot go, when they can go collect arrows, a strong no goofing off with the equipment rule… This is no messing around, everyone needs to be on alert and watching at all times.
Getting a professional to come and give the kids a lesson is a great way to do this as it takes the burden of knowing all the rules off of you and they might have equipment they can bring.
Start the day (or do in a previous meeting) by going over the parts of a bow and arrow and some history of archery. Explore original people’s use of archery in their daily life and for food collection. What were they made out of? How effective were they?…
Once you are at a range or outside area, create a line for kids to stand on that is appropriately distanced from your targets. Explain that no one crosses that line until everyone has shot all of their arrows AND permission is given by an adult. Start with suction cup arrows (or rubber bands and sticks) if you have little kids and move up for older or more experienced kids.
Give everyone as many turns as you have time for. It is hard to wait and their turn goes quickly so try to get around the group as many times as possible.
Have the group collect ALL of the arrows. Clean them if necessary and put them back where they came from.
Feel free to use any of the following supporting comments:
May the odds be ever in your favor
Good shot Robin Hood
Your turn, Hawkeye
Nice shot, Legolas
I am Merida, and I’ll be shooting for my own hand