WEST PLAINS, Mo. – For the past two years, Nick Rowland has worked at slowly building the Howell County 4-H archery program in West Plains. Having started a youth archery program at his church and area summer camps, Rowland was the right fit when the previous 4-H archery instructor retired.
Rowland, a 1999 West Plains graduate, has led the program for the past two years. At the age of ten, Rowland picked up his first bow, which ignited a passion for the sport that has created a desire to share his sport and his love with others, especially children.
“I love sharing my passion for this sport with kids of all ages,” Rowland said. “Archery is such a universal sport because your size, strength, or gender does not limit your ability. Getting to share the experience of watching a kid hit their first bullseye is pretty amazing.”
Rowland appreciates the fact that archery is a lifelong sport as well as the life lessons it teaches and strengthens.
“Archery requires patience, persistence, focus, determination, drive, practice, and learning,” he said. “These are all skills that are beneficial in every aspect of life. Though teaching archery skills, we end up teaching life skills that will hopefully help shape their future.”
Rowland’s philosophy makes him the perfect fit as a 4-H volunteer.
The goal of 4-H is to provide opportunities for students to learn by doing. As members are learning, the hope is for them to find their “spark” which they can use in their future careers. 4-H strives to help children become successful and confident members of society. Having adults who are passionate about the subject spills over and causes a greater interest in the student.
“Nick is a wonderful archery instructor,” stated Howell County 4-H Youth Development Specialist Dr. Krista Tate. “He cares about his students and wants them to be successful in archery and life.”
The focus of the Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports program is the total development of the young person. The shooting sports and related natural resource activities are used as a vehicle for human growth and development. Archery is a sport that enables students to learn to tune out all distractions while building self-esteem in a fun and rewarding way.
“Kids these days are bombarded with demands from extracurricular activities,” said Rowland. “While many of these activities are great, the pressure that they can put on children and demands on time can be overwhelming for many families. 4-H allows kids to take what they learn in group times home and practice their craft right along with their families.”
For more information about the Howell County 4-H archery program or questions regarding 4-H in general, contact Dr. Krista Tate at 417-256-2391.