Phelps Trap Club Expanding Into Scholastic 3D Archery

Phelps Trap Club

In fall of 2014, the Phelps School Trap Club approached The Wilderness Reserve about using their facility for Phelps students to begin trap shooting as a club sport. This was developed for students to enjoy the shooting sports in hopes to keep students engaged in the outdoors. The club has been self sustaining for its four years of existence, only using The Wilderness grounds and some storage of the gate house. Within the next year we hope to partner with The Wilderness Reserve to trim back some of the brush and sapling trees within the field, and hopefully supply a storage shed for all the shooting supplies to be stored. We hope that the students can provide the work for the maintenance of the trap field, and the construction of the shed, not to take resources or time away from the Wilderness team.

For the students to participate they have to pay a minimal fee of $20 each year to cover their costs of insurance through the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). The rest of the money is raised each year through one fundraiser to supply targets, ammunition, and participation in other larger state and regional shoots. These types of activities are important for students as they teach accountability, responsibility, self discipline and gun safety, which is very important in todays world. It also gives students an opportunity to be competitive in a sport that is not a traditional school sport as we compete each week against another participating school virtually. This virtual competition allows schools to compete without travel to one another’s locations giving it the competitive feel each week, yet the safety and convenience without the travel.

Man Aiming Bow At Deer

Man preparing to shoot deer with arrow

In addition to the trap club, Phelps is looking into expanding into the Scholastic 3D Archery (S3DA) program, and continue to work in a partnership with Wilderness Reserve, and offer a 20 target 3D archery course within the Reserve for both the schools benefit, and public. The club is rapidly approaching its target goal of purchasing the 20 targets needed to build the course, and hopes to begin to build the course in the summer of 2018, if we can obtain the targets after the costs of the trap season. This program would offer the same core values that trap shooting does, just in a different form. We would make it available in the fall, to coincide with the hunting season.

Wisconsin Youth Embrace Shooting Sports

Phelps School will soon be adding shooting sports to their extracurricular programs, and The Wilderness Reserve is proud to provide the shooting ranges needed. The team will participate with the nation-wide Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) for some good-natured competition, beginning this spring. Shooting sports are a wonderful opportunity for youth, with many benefits and a growing popularity, especially here in Wisconsin.

Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation

SSSF is committed to their mission “to help young athletes reach their potential of becoming the best athletes – and young adults – that they can be”. This organization, and several other around the country, are working hard to inspire an appreciation for the sport, as well as increase youth knowledge about proper safety handling techniques.

In addition to the Scholastic Clay Target Program, which encompasses trap, skeet, and sporting clay shooting, the SSSF also sponsors a Scholastic Pistol Program. There are many benefits to starting a SSSF team, as the group offers scholarships for seniors, hosts tournaments, gives awards to teams and coaches, and provides Junior Olympic Development Camps. Any school or area has the opportunity to start their own team, as long as there is an interested adult willing to receive training and guide the young shooters.

Trap Shooting Encourages and Educates Youth

Trap shooting, and all shooting sports, can be very beneficial to youth in many ways. The SSSF specifically seeks to inspire leadership and strong teamwork, while highlighting the safety practices that young shooters need to understand. Everything from improved hand-eye coordination, a healthy respect for guns, and a stronger sense of self-confidence can be achieved from participation in shooting sports like the Trap Shooting Club.

This youth program is perfect for the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where hunting and outdoor sports are often family traditions that are passed down through the generations. Kids in Wisconsin can get hunting licenses as early as 10, and the more done to ensure responsibility and knowledge, the safer each will be.

Trap shooting and target practice can do wonders for instilling a higher sense of responsibility and self-discipline in students, and is even known to improve focus, which can help throughout high school and life. The benefits are huge, and more importantly, each youth shooter can gain huge personal rewards while enjoying a team sport that highlights their individual abilities. As Wisconsin schools are proving, trap shooting is a growing attraction to both boys and girls of all ages.

Youth Trap Shooting in Wisconsin

Phelps is not the only school in the area to embrace the sport of trap shooting. Merril School will also be adding a shooting club this year, and Northland Pines of Eagle River has been enjoying their competitive team for several years now. In fact, the Eagles Trap Team had a youth shooter place third in the entry-level intermediate division of the Wisconsin Trap Championship. Boulder Junction, Antigo, and several other local schools have also added this extracurricular sport.

The new Phelps School Trap Shooting Club will meet for 10 weeks, shooting rounds of 25 twice each week at The Wilderness Reserve’s newly designed shooting ranges. As they will be participating through the SSSF program, weekly scores will entered into the online database, giving the Phelps youth shooters the chance to compete against similar teams. The Wilderness Reserve is pleased to be able to participate in this rewarding youth program. Those interested in volunteering or participating should contact Mr. Pertile through the Phelps School.

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