One fall as I was making the long, cross-country drive back from summer camp, my mind began to wander as it often does. There was talk of hiring a new archery instructor next year, and I wanted that person to have as much information as possible to help with the job. I looked on the internet, and found a few books about archery (some of them quite good), but there was nothing about how to teach archery to kids.
To me, this seems like a gross omission. Archery has to start somewhere! And every camp I have ever been to, either as a camper or a counselor, has had archery as one of its programs. Then I remembered something a professor told me a long time ago: the best topics for books are those that are yet unexplored; the best books for an author to write are those on a subject he knows a lot about. Coincidences collided, and I realized that had to write Teaching Archery to Kids.
I have been an archer since my dad taught me in the early eighties. My grandfather (who won several archery championships in California in the fifties) taught me how to make arrows and other tackle. A bowyer friend of mine taught me how to make bows. After teaching hundreds of kids to shoot over many summers at camp, I had a lot of practical knowledge about teaching archery. But that wasn’t enough to write a book on it. I spent the next two years of evenings reading, researching, drawing, writing, and testing home-made archery tackle. Not being good at flashy paintings, I asked a friend of mine who’s a professional artist (Frank Victoria) to paint me a cover. Several skilled individuals proofread, offered suggestions, and otherwise improved the book.
In the end, Teaching Archery to Kids is a home-made project that has the same soul and do-it-yourself ingenuity as most archers and camp staff I know. It’s a ground-roots project to make the the world a better place for archery, and for kids. It’s my humble bid to keep archery alive in the 21st century and beyond.