NEWBERRY — Russell Warren and his son Zachary have been participating in 4-H for a few years, but have recently started working to establish a 4-H archery club in the county.
“Archery, from what I understand, is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation, and we had an interest meeting a couple weeks ago, and we had a huge turn out,” said Russell.
Warren attributes the growing interest in archery to the fact everyone can participate, from the most athletic person to the least athletic.
Mid-Carolina Middle School, the school Zachary will attend in the fall, currently participates in the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) through the Department of Natural Resources, which brings archery to schools as a club, giving youths a group setting to participate. Most of the youths who came to the interest meeting for a 4-H Archery Club were already apart of NASP.
The Clemson Extension (4-H) follows some of the same rules that NASP does, with a few differences. For instance, 4-H archery participants shoot at moving targets and 3-D targets, like deer and turkey decoys. They also establish courses for participants to go through and shoot at targets and decoys.
With MCMS being apart of NASP, Zachary will be part of the club when he enters sixth grade in a few weeks, giving him added practice for a future 4-H team.
Zachary would like to participate in other sports like football and wrestling, but sixth-graders are not permitted to participate in any South Carolina recognized sport. However, since archery is not a recognized sport, Zachary can join the club with no issue.
Russell got involved in archery when Zachary’s older sister Whitney joined the Archery Club. Russell and Whitney would later involve Zachary when he was in third grade, allowing him to join in fourth grade.
Whitney helping teach archery to her brother would eventually lead to her assistance in the formation of a 4-H club.
“She (Whitney) is certified to teach in archery. She will actually be helping with the club,” said Russell.
Before getting involved with archery, Zachary was with 4-H for three years. During that time, he was a member of Kitchen Club (his first 4-H program), attended 4-H summer camp (which allowed him to hone his archery skills) and was in the Robotics Club.
Of all the programs, Kitchen Club is where his passion truly lies.
Zachary, who watches Food Network and cooking competitions, said his favorite celebrity chefs are Guy Fieri and Robert Irvine because they were the first chefs he saw cooking on television. Zachary’s goal is to attend the Culinary Institute of Charleston and become a professional chef.
When Zachary was cooking at home, he would just cook whatever was around. Now that he is in the Kitchen Club, he has broadened the type of dishes he makes.
Zachary is also looking to combine his love of cooking and archery. For his birthday, Zachary was given a hunting bow, and he hopes that hunting will not only help him acquire a better shot, but cook things like deer jerky from the animals he hunts.