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4-H Shooting Sports & SCTP

If your 4-H Shooting Sports Club has a few members who LOVE to break clay targets, a natural progression for the coach/coordinator to take your club to the next level is through the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). The SCTP is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It is a well run organization and it is very easy to register a new club.

SCTP allows clubs to choose which shooting discipline they wish to participate in – trapshooting, sporting clays or skeet. Each program is run under the auspices of the national governing body for each sport and team members are junior members of said organizations. The rules governing the programs are available on–line at www.nssf.org/sctp, as are all of the necessary forms. New York State 4-H certification as a shotgun instructor meets the qualifications to lead a team.

In many states, the Scholastic Clay Target Program functions as part of a high school sports program. Several Western New York State counties are attempting to promote the development of high school teams. In the meantime, our club (Allegany County) has been able to successfully put together a 4-H team with 15 to 20 active members shooting trap. For the past three years, Allegany County has sent three 4-H squads to participate in the New York State Trap Championships held each year in Cicero, NY.

SCTP is charging a slight fee ($75 for a trapshooting club) to participate in the 2008 season. These fees pay for a hat for each team member, trophies at the State level and coach/assistant apparel. The only commitment necessary is to send at least one squad to the appropriate State Championships. Each team member shooting at the State level must be an enrolled member of the ATA, NSSA or ASCA. Junior shooters are given substantial price reductions in membership fees.

Each SCTP team must be affiliated with a local Rod and Gun Club or other shooting facility. In conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SCTP program, a newly formed club is eligible to apply for a one time grant that will provide start up ammunition, etc. This is a very easy to apply for source of funds and a good time to practice grant writing skills. This opportunity is spelled out in the online handbook.

The alliance with a sport shooting organization such as a local Rod and Gun club, is a win-win situation. We have found that it has brought many youth shooters (and their families) from a three county area, onto the trap field weekly for over a four month practice season. We have developed a pool of excellent trapshooters from the club who love to work with the youth and might not have otherwise had the opportunity to do so – we provide 4-H certified instructors to make sure all is run safely.

Our host club, the Wellsville Rod and Gun club, provides our team members with reduced round fees. They have provided us with the facilities to hold fundraisers as well as fun shoots and award dinners. In return, the increased numbers of youth shooters has helped the club receive media attention and most recently, allowed them to meet requirements to receive a “Friends of the NRA” grant.

Have you been wondering how well a 4-H shooting team might fare at a State championship? Absolutely! We were told that our team was the only team representing the NYS 4-H Shooting Sports Program from 2005-2007. Our junior and intermediate novice teams have brought home gold, silver and bronze trophies from the New York State trapshoot. I hope more 4-H clubs will look into the SCTP program as a supplement to their program.

As a coach, I am proud of the accomplishments of our kids. As a coordinator, I am thrilled to have our 4-H program participate in the high class SCTP program. As a parent– it was priceless to hear one of the judges compliment our kids with: “I love to watch this team. No matter what, they are smiling and having a great time out there!” That is what encouraging sport shooting is really about.

Debbie Paden, Allegany County

The 4-H Name and Emblem are a Federal Mark and are protected under 18 USC 707 and subject to regulations that prohibit the 4-H Name and Emblem to be used in any way that implies endorsement or exclusivity of any firm, product or service.  The inclusion of entities, websites or other sources cited on the New York State 4-H Shooting Sports website, or New York State 4-H Shooting Sports affiliated online or media outlets, is representative of a cooperative partnership with 4-H and does not imply endorsement or exclusivity.