Practices start for new archery club at Brownstown

BROWNSTOWN — The first after-school archery club practice for Brownstown Central Community School Corp. was Monday night.

The club is open to boys and girls in grades 4 to 12, and practices will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays in November and December in the gymnasium at Brownstown Elementary School, 612 S. Base Road.

If a student didn’t get registered during the callout meeting Oct. 27, forms are available in the offices at the elementary, middle and high schools or by emailing BES Assistant Principal Marty Young at [email protected].

“We’re excited to be here and to offer this opportunity to the students,” Young said during the callout meeting. “There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to get everything lined up.”

The sport is new to the corporation after it received a National Archery in the Schools Program grant for equipment, including bows, aluminum arrows, targets, an arrow curtain, a bow rack, a repair kit and quivers. Training for 12 staff members also was included.

The grant goes for five years, and then a school corporation can apply for funding again.

NASP is an in-school program aimed at improving educational performance among students in grades 4 through 12, and through it, students learn focus, self-control, discipline, patience and the life lessons required to be successful in the classroom and in life, according to

One of the grant requirements is for schools to teach archery a minimum of 10 days in a school year. Last spring, it was taught in physical education classes at all three Brownstown schools. For this school year, it started at the middle school last week, began Monday at the elementary and will start soon at the high school.

Now, the after-school club has started for students interested in participating in competitions, which will start in January.

At practices, students are provided bows and arrows, and there are 10 targets.

“So when they practice, there is a lot of time there will be 10 kids up to shoot at one time,” Young said. “We’ll try to maximize our practice, maximize our space and maximize our equipment.”

While the equipment is available for kids to use for practices and competitions, Young said bows can be purchased on the NASP website if students want to practice on their own at home.

Safety is the priority at practices, so the doors to the gymnasium are shut once students start shooting. NASP guidelines are taught by the coaches and volunteers who completed training.

For the archery club, the coaches and volunteers are Landon Sons, Matt Roberts, Jeff Settle, Susie Alstatt, Kim Baxter, Dawn Edwards and Jennifer Foist. The first five attended the callout meeting and introduced themselves.

Sons said he started shooting a bow at a young age, while Roberts previously taught the NASP program for four years in Indianapolis.

“Me and my wife decided to move back home, raise our kids here, and so I was excited that we could get the NASP program to come here,” said Roberts, a 2008 Brownstown Central High School graduate.

Settled retired from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources after 43 years, taught bow hunting for about 40 years, was a hunter education instructor and is a football assistant coach for Brownstown.

“I just really enjoy working with kids and giving them something else,” he said. “Not every kid is going to want to play ball, so I think this provides a great opportunity to do stuff and get involved.”

Alstatt is a fourth grade teacher at BES, and she said she completed the NASP training last school year because she wanted to make a connection with kids outside of teaching.

Baxter, who also works at BES, said her son wanted to do archery, so she thought it would be a good idea if she learned how to do it, too. She completed the NASP training last school year.

Edwards and Foist, both aides at BES, also completed the training and are assisting PE teacher Jennifer Schneider in the gym while students do archery at school.

At the callout meeting, Young also had a signup sheet for parents and other adults interested in coaching or volunteering with the archery club. Anyone interested in helping may contact Young by email. He said he’s going to try to set up a Saturday morning training with NASP for those who sign up.

Competitions around the state will be in January and February. Young said they are offered at schools in southern Indiana, including several at Southwestern (Hanover).

The goal is to have Brownstown students qualify for the state tournament in March in Indianapolis and the U.S. Eastern Nationals and Open Championship in May and June, respectively, both in Louisville, Kentucky.