My son, R, has been fascinated by archery for about a year now, so when I was invited to a complimentary class at Ace Archers, an indoor archery range in Foxboro, Massachusetts, I knew I had the makings of a perfect mother-son adventure.
Archery demands control, eye-hand coordination, and precision. Concentration, too. It’s not for everyone, I would imagine, so I was intrigued when R expressed interest in learning more about it. I’m keen to find activities my kids enjoy doing—especially unique ones like archery—and appreciate ways for us to have meaningful one-on-one time around shared experiences where we can learn new things together.
Ace Archers offers classes to adults and children alike, starting at eight years old. On a recent Sunday afternoon, R and I joined an hour-long range session that had a mix of kids and adults—all of us new to archery. Our group was on the larger side—there were seven of us—but with several instructors on the floor, we had a good amount of attention and feedback.
Safety is a critical element of archery, and about 30 minutes of our session was spent sizing up the students for the right quiver, bow, and arrows, reviewing the proper way to stand and hold the bow, and teaching everyone the correct commands for beginning (“you may begin”), stopping (“hold”), and moving onto the range (“clear”).
Once we had the archery parameters mastered, the members of our group stepped up to the line. After receiving the go-ahead from the instructor, we let our arrows fly. I shot a few over the targets, ending up on the other side of the range—in other words, about as far away as possible from the bullseye.
R had taken archery during summer camp and impressed me with his quick understanding of the instructor’s guidance and his commitment to getting the arrow into the center of the target. He was so pleased when he hit it! And I was thrilled to see him so happy and proud of his accomplishment.
We had several turns at the target, and with each attempt, we got a little bit better, though I would still categorize us in the “beginner” category. I’d be up for trying archery again, and could see another trip with my son’s Boy Scout troop in our future. Group classes are $12 to $14 per person, depending upon whether or not you have your own equipment. Private lessons, archery leagues, and space for birthday parties are also available.
On the walk through the parking lot afterward, R asked, “Mommy, on a scale of one to ten, what would you say today was?”
“Ten, because I got to spend it with you,” I replied.
He smiled at me and took my hand. I got my bullseye after all.
Disclosure: My son and I received a complimentary lesson at Ace Archers. All opinions shared here on Red Shutters are, as always, mine alone.