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Bullseye! Archery Club takes off at SCC

St. Croix Central Middle School fifth-graders practice holding and shooting their bows during a practice for the district’s newly formed National Archery in the Schools Program. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
A St. Croix Central High School student gets ready to fire an arrow at a target across the gym during a practice session for the district’s newly formed National Archery in the Schools Program. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

All it takes is one great idea.

Community member Eric Smith had one of those great ideas last winter, according to St. Croix Central High School physical education teacher Matthew Langman: to bring the National Archery in the Schools Program to Central.

What is the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP)? According to, the NASP was developed to serve specific educational and conservation purposes through archery, such as improving student motivation, attention, behavior, attendance and focus; achieving state and national educational standards regarding development of micro and macro motor ability and listening and observation skills; helping students learn outdoor skills that will inspire them to spend more time outdoors; teaching shooting skills; and fostering growth in character and self-reliance development.

NASP was co-created by the Kentucky Departments of Fish & Wildlife Resources and Department of Education, and Mathews Archery in the late summer and fall of 2001. It gained national attention and NASP is now a nonprofit educational foundation bringing archery to students across the country.

Langman credits Smith with doing much of the legwork to get the program up and running at SCC, including procuring loaned archery equipment, some of which came from the Wisconsin DNR.

A-1 Archery in Hudson has also been a major supporter of the program, Langman said.

Five teachers and community members were certified as Basic Archery Instructors by NASP last June, including Smith, Langman, middle school and high school phy ed teacher Becky Sundeen, Paul Kusilek and Mike Nielson.

“The BAI class focused on teaching us everything that we need to teach our students,” Langman said. “It ran through vocabulary, range setup, whistle commands, 11 steps to archery success, running the range, how to teach the process of shooting, what to watch for, how to observe, repairing broken equipment and different games to play.”

Both Sundeen and Langman teach archery units in their respective phy ed classes. The NASP Archery Club practices outside of school hours. Except there is one hitch.

“We no longer have the equipment that we were loaned,” Langman said. “We were borrowing all of the equipment necessary to run a NASP program. SCC does not own NASP approved equipment.”

The NASP Archery Club, which is for middle and high school students, is now on standby as it awaits word on a grant to purchase its own equipment.

“Members in the club practice shooting after school once a week and will eventually get to compete against other schools and individuals at tournaments.”

@sub:How does archery benefit students?

@t:According to Langman, the Archery Club reaches students who many not usually be involved in extracurricular activities like team sports.

“It is no secret that the students who are involved in extracurricular activities at school get better grades,” Langman said. “The reason for this is because the students are in a competitive and supportive social setting. They feel the support from their teammates and success every time they shoot.”

This helps students form new bonds, have a positive outlook on life and bring that positivity back into the classroom, Langman said.

The interest in the club continues to grow as archery is many students’ favorite gym unit, Langman said.

For more information about NASP, visit For more information about the SCC NASP Archery Club, contact langman at

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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