The 4-H youth shooting sports facility west of Eckert last Saturday hosted its second competitive event this month.
The annual County Fair Shoot, one of the first events held for the Delta County Fair, took place there with 63 participants competing in several areas of shooting skill.
Results of the competition will be used to help determine which of the young county archers and marksmen will have the chance to compete at the Colorado State Fair in August.
Event organizers said that after results are tallied, applications for participating at the Colorado State Fair would be going in first thing Monday morning.
Competing at State Fair is an honor, and one where local 4-H’ers have found success. The Delta County 4-H muzzle loading team took grand champion honors at the State Fair six years running. The State Fair is the segue to competition on the national level.
Local 4-H access to the Eckert shooting sports facility for practice sessions and competitive events has helped make the program one in which local youth have competed and placed high in national shooting sports events also.
The Fair Shoot event and the local shooting sports program are all about the youth who participate in it. Safety is the main aim, and at Saturday’s shoot there were over 20 trained adults serving in various supervisory roles including safety instructors — one adult for every three youth participating.
The program teaches responsibility, self control and skills disciplines. These elements, when acquired and mastered by the 4-H’ers, produce top performers in their disciplines. And the lessons learned become good habits leading to character development and success in meeting life challenges of growing into a healthy adult life.
The program is funded by the parents, youth, and families who participate. The county and Orchard City have contributed land and infrastructure to the Eckert facility. But maintenance, many improvements, and costs of participation in the program, including travel, are the responsibility of those who participate in it.
Almost one-third of the county’s some 300 4-H members participate in the shooting sports program as a 4-H project or on some competitive level, say Extension officials.