Outreach through archery

Posted on: August 18, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Spirit ChapelJason Lasica with a coyote target at Spirit Chapel Archery Club.

Some churches hand out pamphlets to share their message. Some visit nursing homes. Some set up booths at community days.

Spirit Chapel is flingin’ arrows and inviting others to do the same.

The non-denominational congregation in Elizabeth Township this summer launched a 3-D archery program, the Spirit Chapel Archery Club, as a community outreach effort. It’s offering regular 3-D shoots and selling memberships to those who want to be able to shoot all the time.

“We were talking one day about how we could get into the community, and there’s a group of us there that hunt and fish,” said Kevin Manko of Elizabeth, president of the club. “We came up with this idea and the elders of the church said go for it.”

The group set to work cutting trees, trimming brush and doing other work on a piece of ground owned by another church member. It’s located behind Swiss Alpine Village on Swiss Lane, off Route 48.

An open house followed in June. The club has held a number of shoots since, with the next set for this Saturday, Aug. 20.

Registration is from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids. There will be 20 to 25 targets, along with hamburgers and hotdogs and baked goods for sale.
Memberships can be had for $40 a year, too.

And as at every shoot, representatives from Creek Archery in Madison will be on hand to help with technical problems and let archers see and try some of the latest gear on the market.

“The feedback we’ve been getting, it’s awesome,” Manko said. “So far, everything’s been going pretty well.”

Partnerships are part of the reason, he said. Elizabeth Township Sportsmen’s Association lent the church some Rinehart targets to use. It bought others using donations and money from local businesses with advertisements along the course.

The club doesn’t push shooters to attend or join their church. But if they do, “that would be a total bonus,” Manko added.

“If we get people down, enjoying nature, enjoying everything around us, then the church is right there. They can come down and shoot on a Saturday, then maybe come through the doors of the church on Sunday,” he said.

The club’s last shoot will be on Sept. 24. The goal is to offer even more next year, though, with a special emphasis on youths.

Details about Spirit Chapel Archery can be found on Facebook here.

“It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be,” Manko said. “But I think in a short period of time we’ve done a pretty solid job.”

Bob Frye is the everybodyadventures.com editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or bfrye@535mediallc.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at everybodyadventures.com.

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.