The kids shoot in the local archery JOAD  (Junior Olympic Archery Development) program at Lakeside Archery in Yarmouth here in Maine. Steve Dunsmoor who runs the program does a great job of keeping it fun for the kids and takes a no pressure approach to teaching them. They practice archery with other kids their age, which I think helps as they can see that not everyone shoots perfect all the time, they get to share their success and their challenges, as they learn the sport.

Dakota shooting a compound bow at 20 yards in the indoor range at Lakeside Archery.

Shooting downrange

The kids shoot both recurve and compound bows, below is Alistair shooting a recurve bow.

Shooting a recurve bow at 10 yards

Every 3 weeks the kids get to qualify and have the opportunity to move up a level, when they do they are given certificate which they can present at any other JOAD program and not have to start again from zero. They are also given a JOAD star pin, most kids wear their pins proudly on their quivers or somewhere on their gear.

JOAD Star Pins

They can progress up through the levels all the way to the Olympic recurve team. I think that JOAD has been great for our kids, it is a solo endeavor where in some sense you compete against yourself, yet they are in a group atmosphere with their peers, so they’re in it together. There are JOAD programs all over the country, many archery pro shops/ranges have them or will know where to go.


1 thought on “J.O.A.D.

  1. It seems great for the kids and their self esteem which in the case of yours need no incentive. Remember to tell all of us that do not know about archery what the terms mean…I wish I understood more about it. Love you…and admire what you are doing.

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