BB Guns and Archery Program
Maple Valley Day Camp has added BB guns to our camp this year 2023, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about our Archery and BB gun programs in case anyone has concerns.
Girl Scouts is very safety focused. We were required to be range safety officer trained prior to implementing the new BB gun program. Our camp sent 8 people to get trained so that we will have plenty of coverage.
Our Archery instructors must be USA Archery Level 1 instructors and we also have one Level 2 instructor. Archery is a traditional activity for Girl Scouts.
We have 4 staff members on the BB range. We purchased new, high-quality equipment, backdrops, boxes for catching the BBs, and eye protection. The guns are very quiet so we will not be using ear protection unless someone requests it. There will be no more than 8 girls shooting at a time and they will be seated at tables.
Both activities will start with a safety talk where we go over the clear safety signals and range commands which the scouts must show understanding of before stepping onto the range. The range will be clearly marked with caution tape and the shooting line clearly define. The units will be split in half so the girls that are not shooting will be in the spectator area well behind the shooting line. Bows are always pointed down range when they have an arrow ready to shoot. BB Guns are always pointed down range and they have a safety that will stay on until it is time to shoot.
There may be some campers that aren't able to handle the responsibility and we will tactfully and quietly remove them from the range and redirect them to another activity. Our BB guns only hold one BB at a time, and they are not very powerful, so the range is designed for accuracy of about 20 feet. We are using non-lead BB's. We are also using the same range commands on the BB range and the Archery range so that the scouts get very familiar with them.
This is our first year introducing BB guns so I am sure we will learn a lot, but our intent is to talk to the scouts about the danger of guns and never touching a gun that they see whether they are at home or somewhere else. We will direct them to tell an adult if they see a gun or if someone says they have a gun. We will be offering BB guns to third graders and above and the Archery activity will be for fourth graders and above. We have offered Archery at camp for more than 30 years and it is always one of the favorite activities at camp.
Both are traditional activities at local Cub Scout camps, and we want the girls to have the same opportunity. Both activities are completely optional so if a camper is not comfortable participating that is totally fine.
Safety and education will be our primary focus for both activities.
If you have further questions, you can e-mail us at email@example.com