Of all the program areas and activities, we do at camp, parents question the marksmanship ranges the most. They want to know why we do it? Do I believe we will go back to hunting for our food? In a camp designed to teach lifelong skills and learning why would we spend time teaching an outdated skillset as shooting? The answer: Self-Regulation or the internal strength to control urges.
Most parents do not know our marksmanship program includes, pitching horse shoes, throwing darts, corn hole, bocce, marbles, ping pong, archery, and yes BB guns. All these activities include a projectile, target, velocity, trajectory, eye hand coordination, muscle memory, mathematical skills to keep score, accepting defeat and winning gracefully, competition and cooperation, team and individual efforts, communication skills (we try to avoid taunting and trash talk of your opponent) and last but not least they are fun.
Most our campers struggle to stand still, so the ability to control your body to limit the number of variables in releasing a projectile to hit the target is remarkable for these children, but as you gain control of your body you can begin to repeatable hit the target with regularity and if you can control your body in a marksmanship activity you can transfer those skills to a classroom or home.
Self-regulation is “a broad set of skills that allows kids to bounce back from strong emotions … and manage difficulty in their day-to-day lives,”
Self-regulation is the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It is a set of skills that enables children, as they mature, to direct their own behavior towards a goal, despite the unpredictability of the world and our own feelings.
Most animals in camp know the safest place is behind the target!