Izaak Walton League Chapters Offer Archery Programs for Youth
Gaithersburg, MD -- The release this weekend of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” should bring with it a renewed interest in archery, especially among teen and tween girls. Many Izaak Walton League chapters across the country offer archery programs and facilities to engage youth in healthy outdoor activities.
The need to engage youth in the outdoors and nature has never been more critical. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Fund, young people ages 8-18 spend more than 7½ hours a day on smart phones and computers and watching television. That’s more than 53 hours a week plugged into electronic media! It may not be surprising, then, that their time spent in the outdoors continues to decline. Children today spend half as much time outdoors as their parents did. And according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity, girls spend even less time outdoors than boys, particularly older girls (ages 10-12).
That’s unfortunate for all of us. Not only does time spent outdoors improve children’s physical health, it is proven to decrease children’s stress, improve cognitive function, and help children with ADHD concentrate. According to the National Archery in the Schools Program, archery can improve student motivation, attention, and behavior plus help children develop character and self-reliance.
Can Katniss inspire more girls to pick up a bow and get outdoors? If she does, many of those girls – and boys – will need places to shoot their arrows. The Izaak Walton League can help by providing not just a place to shoot but access to mentors and highly qualified instructors through community partnerships.
Visit the Izaak Walton League Web site at www.iwla.org/findachapter to locate a League chapter near you. And take aim at improving girls’ lives.
Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America (www.iwla.org) protects America's outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promoting outdoor recreation.