Earlier this afternoon, I was sitting on the couch watching some mindless entertainment on Netflix when a thought struck me – It is nice out, maybe I should run over to the archery club and shoot my bow for a little bit?
Like I always do, I asked my oldest daughter if she was up for making the trip with me. When it comes to the archery club, she can be kind of temperamental. She is usually happy to join me as long as we’re shooting together (something we can’t always do if we’re attending a Youth event) and as long as there won’t be too much of a crowd.
When I asked her, a quizzical look flashed across her face as she thought about it. She responded with a yes but only if we could shoot outside. It was a bit windy at the time but I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to shoot a Field Round with a partner.
Over at Stowe, we have two 14-Target Field Units. Targets 1 through 14 are on what I refer to as the Upper Half. The course sits on the flat portion of the property that is easy walking. To be honest, I find this course to be a bit boring.
The Lower Half, on the other hand, is situated on a hillside. Hiking up and down the hillside on dirt and loose rock can be a bit of a challenge. Despite the tough walking, I find this particular course to be a lot of fun. The angles make for challenging shots and, because it isn’t used much, it is rather peaceful – even when several people are on club property.
To my surprise, my daughter wanted to shoot the Lower Course with me. We set out and immediately started having fun. We talked, we laughed, and we poked plenty of holes in targets. We both had a fantastic time and spent almost two hours on the course.
As we walked from target to target, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. I thought back to all the times I walked through the woods at Waiti with my father and grandfather when I was my daughter’s age.
My grandfather passed away several years ago and my father hasn’t picked up a bow in over a decade. It is sad knowing that I’ll never get to relive those memories with my grandfather but it fills me with pride knowing that I can create new ones with my own kids. In fact, I’ve even had the opportunity to make some memories with my niece and nephew – who also show an interest in the sport.
Sometimes I gripe and moan about all the time I spend at the club working events or doing maintenance. Days like today make it all worthwhile – knowing that the next generation has a place to go and enjoy the sport of archery.