By: Derek Xiao ’15
Almost every weekday afternoon, while most Groton students are busy donning shin guards, shoulder pads, or sneakers for the various team sports that Groton offers, a group of four students instead head off campus. They go to a little field just outside of the Groton gates, in front of the Lamonts’ house with bows and arrows in hand.
There, they practice archery for about an hour and thirty minutes, playing games and having fun while improving their skills in archery. This year, the archery group consists of head of archery Sam Gosden ‘13, Byanka Lugo ’14, Louisa Johnston ’13, and Anthony Chu ’15, while Mr. Lamont and Mr. Levin are the faculty advisors. But as Sam Gosden adds, “There will be an extra archery practice on most Saturdays for all those who want to come join us for a day when they don’t have a game of their own,” so all are welcome.
Practice is four times per week and on Saturdays, little archery tournaments are held among the four participants. A normal practice begins with the setting up the equipment upon arrival. As Sam Gosden says, “It probably takes more practice to learn to string a bow effectively than it does to learn how to shoot it.” After setting up the equipment, however, the fun begins.
There are several games that are played during a typical archery practice, in addition to, of course, just regular archery. One such game is called “storm the castle”, in which a target is placed about 100 yards away, lying on the ground. Then, the archers shoot the arrows up in the air, over the imaginary walls and hopefully onto the target. There is also “save the princess”, where archers have to shoot all the different rings on the target in order to reach the center of “the castle”, and save the princess. Finally, there’s the classic game of “tic tac toe”, only with the twist that one has to shoot the square you want to have.
With all this practice, the four beginner archers are really beginning to develop and improve as archers, and that’s the entire goal: to have fun while learning to shoot a bow so that, hopefully, they can keep archery alive at Groton for the younger students to enjoy.