The Salvation Army Citadel Corps’ Archery Program is on Target for Youth, Families

Jan 25, 2023

Discipline. Proficiency. Self-Confidence. Safety.

All of these are the anticipated outcomes of The Salvation Army Citadel Corps’ new archery program, which starts March 1.

A certified instructor, Major Mark Martsolf started talking about and eventually planning the six-week class shortly after he arrived in 2021.

With financial assistance from The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary – which donated $4,000 to purchase bows, arrows, targets and other supplies – the class is just over a month away from helping teach youth and families the art of archery and all the good things that come from it.

“Our first two classes are about learning discipline and safety before they even pick up a bow,” said Martsolf, who became certified as an instructor during his time in Olathe, Kan., more than a decade ago. “By week three, they can start handling the bows and arrows and practicing their shooting if they pay attention and follow the rule.

“Everything revolves around the serious discipline required to safely participate. They earn the right to actually shoot.”

The Citadel gymnasium will host hour-long classes each Tuesday night in March and early April with a maximum of 10 individuals.

After learning the discipline required for archery, students will spend the next three classes perfecting their form and accuracy before a competition the final night of class.

Once they complete the beginner class, Martsolf is hoping to offer subsequent intermediate and advanced classes to those students. He’s also planning to teach individuals to become instructors to expand the offerings to more people.

He added that this isn’t just for kids or even individuals.

“In Kansas, I had a family that did the archery class together, and it proved amazing for them,” Martsolf said. “When they started, they were quite dysfunctional, but spending time together learning and practicing archery helped them become a stronger family unit.

“I want everyone who participates to understand that archery is an Olympic sport and something they can take with them moving forward. The bottom line is they are learning discipline. If they don’t take archery seriously, there can be some serious injuries, and that’s obviously something we don’t want.”

Anyone interested in participating in the upcoming archery program should contact Linda Ullrich at 402-553-5694.

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