I was hoping the proud Papa would see this and elaborate........................................but I have a feeling he doesn't spend as much time in the PA Forum as he used to! ;-)
My family and i attended the forksville bow festival this weekend as we do yearly, ive missed 2 years the last 22 years both due to the birth of my beautiful daughters in August and September.
Well, my mountain princesses have just turned 6 and 9. Last year, The then 8 year old Lily got the bug at the festival and decided she wanted a bow and wanted to shoot. We looked at some recurves at the elk ridge stand and with her age, size and not knowing whether she would stick with it, we bought her a cheap plastic type recurve. The goal was for her to practice and start saving money to buy a “real” recurve this year. She shot a decent amount at first, and saved money that she earned helping her one grandmother clean and my mother at various craft shows that she sells things at.
Still not sure exactly what her interest level would be, she shot some this summer and a month or so ago, we began talking about the prospects of getting her new bow and whether she wanted to shoot in the kids competition. She was all in all the way. I was excited.
Also thru the summer, Addie the you gest decided she wanted to shoot. So we shot sissies bow. And for a lil squirt, she impressed dad most times. When hearing about Lily shooting in the competition she voiced her desire to shoot. Big smile on dads face.
Now, the cheapie recurve sis had was tough for a lil squirt to shoot well much past 5 yards and her age group shoots between 6-8. She was downright deadly at 5, but the bow was just too inconsistent in those extra 6 feet. So i told my wife that we would see what my elk ridge had and maybe get addie a new recurve too.
Long story short, the first day at forksville was a bit of a roller coaster as elk ridge had a beautiful little purple recurve for addster but the bows he had left in stock in Lilys size were 28 lbs or more and 28 was clearly too much for her. So she was stuck with the old bow. She was disappointed, i may have been more disappointed. But such is life. We shot quite a bit, but for whatever reason, lily struggled to shoot consistently. Mentally, its just tough to be a 9 year old some days when things dont go right....;^)
She wanted to bail from the competition but we discussed the importance of accepting challenges and just doing the best you can instead of running when things get tough. Thats easy, but its not conducive to growing as a person in life. Archers understand this....
So came Saturday, we practiced awhile saturday morning before heading back to the cabin for some grub and rest. Then we went in for one more short round of practice before the shoot. Lily pounded 3 arrows inside a softball the third or so group of arrows and i said “Ur done babe. Do it just like that...” Addie shot a nice group and we ended there for her.
The competition started and after the 5 and unders shot, it was Addies turn in the 6 and 7 age group, no sights. Having turned 6 just a week earlier, im sure she was the youngest in the group. I had debated on what exactly i was going to say to “coach” them and i just decided to tell em to take their time and focus on a good aim. She did very well, firing 2 reds and a blue that was JUST off the line if the red. She ended up tying for 4th, missing a 3rd place medal by 1 point, or really, just a 1/4” or less. Very excited girl and a proud poppa.
So then after 6-7 age group with sights, lilys age group of 8-9 without sights was up. They moved the line back to 10 yards. She was the second shooter in her line and when i knocked the first arrow for her i simply told her “just do ur best n have fun babe”. First shot red...second shot just in the red, almost a blue....third shot red. Well hey i thought thats not as good as maybe we know she can shoot or what she wanted to do but thats a pretty good showing! Gave her a kiss and said, good job babe. We sat on the stage and as they went thru kids, mostly boys, i told lily that she did really well, some of the kids were shooting yellows in the center, but they were also shooting outside of the blue in the black as well. Now, i thought she was beating a good many of the kids, it never crosssed my mind that she may finish on top or even the top 3 because there were some boys in the group that could really shoot well and i guess i just figured she needed a yellow.
I had actually gone up to the head table while waiting on her group to end just out of curiousity to see if i could find out where Addie had finished. As they looked her up, i peered down and could see that lily was in first so far with only a few kids left to shoot. Man was i stoked!!! And a little sad that i knew early instead of being surprised. But i kept it quiet from her....
The last kids finished up and sure enough, they started calling names and my eldest doe fawn had won her age group in the forksville kids competition. Maybe a minor thing, but dang was i proud. I still grin ear to ear thinking about the look on her face when they called her name as the champ!
Im proud of both of my girls for how they shot this weekend. It was the first bow festival in all of the years ive attended that i didnt fling an arrow. That was due to a left shoulder injury that im dealing with the last month or more but i will tell you what, im almost happy for it. I had a blast just handing arrows to them and watching them shoot at stationaries and even the running boar and running deer. Which were both things that upon first look seemed too daunting and they didn't want attack. But that acceoting challenges thing and just having fun was the theme of the weekend and by the end, it was a challenge for me to drag them away from the very things they were afraid to do in the first place because they seemed too hard.
My girls are my world plain and simple. Even if they never wanted to pick a bow up. But ive done my best to just lay the outdoors and my passion for it in front of them and let them takes bits and pieces as they wish. There have been times that they seem interested and times they havent. We’ve even picked many a mushroom together and i fight Lily every single time to get my share of sauteed chicken of the woods.
I love the ppl they are becoming. How they treat ppl, how they conduct themselves at school and the passion they have for their favorite sports and how they play them. And tho i got to see my oldest borderline fall apart with 4 longbeards at the decoys inside 30 yards this spring, her first behind the gun, and then afterwards be filled with pride when i see that exact look in her eye that i know i still get everytime i get to experience what we as hunters experience, i felt a whole new sense of pride in both of my girls that i maybe have never felt before.
I watch some of the stuff that parents here on bowsite do with there kids. Id be lying if i said that i read ben farmer or gene’s threads about there kids and the stuff they kill and didnt get a little jealous inside. I want that. And i cant be totally sure that i ever will experience that, tho it seems like at least Lily will continue to want to hunt herself. But what i got to watch my girls experience this weekend in Forksville, man thatll never go away. Oh, and we placed an order and in a few weeks we are expecting a custom 24lb recurve from Elk Ridge with the champ’s name on it...;^)
Long winded, i know. But ive never been short on words and when it comes to my girls, there will never be a shortage of love in my heart and words from my mouth for them. Thanks for taking the time, i will post a few pics from the weekend.....
The Barrick girls dun good! (And that’s NOT a “minor” thing! ;-)
CONGRATS to the Proud Papa!
Too bad this thread won't get more acknowledgments...oh well, did they have pizza with MUSHROOMS at Forksville???