At nine o’clock in the morning, Harrison and I walked out onto our shaded patio and watched while people gathered just outside of our campsite. A bright array of bows was laid out on the table. DIfferent colored shafts and fletchings rose up out of orange cones.
Ranger B and Charlie were leading an Archery 101 class. Harrison and I were hoping for openings.
As Ranger B checked people off the list, I waited around impatiently.
“Are there any openings?” Harrison asked Charlie. There were, so we took them and turned to Ranger B. He talked about how to hold the bow, the reasons why we should not dry-shoot it, the pros and cons between recurves and compound bows, how to put an arrow into a bow, what different tweets on the whistle meant, and your stance. Stance was very important, he said. “Don’t try to get accurate right away. If you don’t work on your form, you’ll never get accurate.”
Charlie showed us how to figure out if we were right-eye dominant, or left-eye dominant. I was right, and Harrison was left.
Finally, we were allowed to go up and pick out a bow to use. I tried a couple, but they didn’t feel right. We were called back, so I quickly jumped behind the white line, figuring I would pick a bow after the first round went. Harrison was in the first round, so I watched him while I waited around with some other people.
When the first round of people had ended, and second round was about to go, I went back up to the bow table and tried another bow. Everybody else already had their bows, so they started shooting. I wondered what I was going to do. Charlie came over and helped me pick out a bow, but when the second round was done shooting, Ranger B wrapped it up.
I still hadn’t got a chance to shoot.
“Ranger B,” I said, “I haven’t got a chance to shoot yet.”
“You’ll have to wait until the next class, then,” he informed me, so I pulled a chair up to our patio and sat in the shade while I waited for Ranger B to again go through all the steps and how-tos and dos and don’ts.
When I finally got to shoot, I picked up a light blue bow that fit me okay and straddled the white line. I fitted the string into my nock and brought the string up to my cheek. Then I let the string go. The arrow flew into the target and quivered from the force of being stopped so suddenly. I shot all of my arrows and then picked them out of the target like Ranger B and Charlie had shown me to do.
I like archery, and I hope that I will become better at it.