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Ridge Riders, school partner with archery program

After months of planning, the Trout Creek School finally presented its students with a new archery program. This was made possible by two grants provided through the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) and a large donation by the Cabinet Ridge Riders (CRR).

The total cost of all the materials, including 11 brand-new right-handed and one left-handed Genesis compound bows, a bow rack, six targets, 120 arrows and a backdrop net was $3,145. CRR donated a large portion of that, pulling $1,145 from their nonprofit. In addition to CRR's donation, Trout Creek was one of seven schools in the state to receive the grant money from NASP.

The program will be available to fifth through eighth grade students and will take place during physical education classes and their new hunter's education program. School superintendent Preston Wenz explained that they would like to see their students practice shooting at least once a week. The school will have three staff, including Wenz, fully certified through the NASP available to teach students.

There are 21 students currently enrolled in the program, which will also have a competitive side. The school plans to compete state and nation-wide with other NASP school teams. Trout Creek also wants to reach out to invite other schools in the county without such a program to participate and help get a team together. Wenz, excited for his students, said, "this is just another extracurricular we can now offer." Two students in the program spoke about their thoughts on getting into archery. One, 13-year-old Trevor Peterson is enthusiastic to get into archery hunting for the challenge. Grayson Stevens, 11, has never shot a bow before, but he enjoys sports and is excited for the competitive aspect of the program.

The CRR hosts snowmobile, ATV and horse poker runs throughout the year, and maintains many of the trails through the mountains that the area enjoys. Much of the money they return right back into the community, including the funds for the archery equipment, comes from raffles at these poker runs. The organization also offers four $1,000 scholarships to high school students in schools throughout the county. For over 25 years the CRR have worked to give back. "We try to help out the kids as much as we can," said CRR President Dave Anderson.


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