Archery, the most popular sport in Hollywood and pop culture right now, is coming to Ramapo College.
Last semester, sophomore Christopher Volk posed the idea for an archery club at the College. He got the wheels rolling last spring, recruiting over 15 members, including an e-board of experienced archers.
The club is currently established but not yet recognized by the Student Government Association. The last step for Volk is to finish writing up the archery club’s constitution. He said the club should be approved by early October.
Katniss and Merida, the female protagonists of the recent blockbuster hits “The Hunger Games” and “Brave,” must have had a big impact on the girls here at Ramapo. Volk said, so far, more girls are interested in the archery club than guys.
“I did archery for a few years at Girl Scout camp and loved it,” said senior Caroline Harvey. “It would be great to practice again.”
Volk stressed last semester that anyone and everyone is welcome to join the club, experienced or not. Volk is an Eagle Scout and has been involved with the Boy Scouts since 2005, where he learned how to shoot a bow and arrow.
Volk says he and his trained e-board are all about safety. They will teach new members how to properly and respectfully shoot a bow and arrow at the target boards. The Archery Club e-board has one trained EMT and one trained lifeguard.
“It will be fine,” Volk assured. “No one’s going to get hurt; safety is my number one priority.”
So when will meetings and activity start? Volk’s goals are, once the club is officially recognized by Ramapo College, to host interest meetings this semester and move to the field for range sessions next semester. Volk also has a plan to get the new club its archery equipment: he found a new organization, United States College Archery, that will provide grants for equipment and insurance for the students.
“Basic bows that everyone can use,” will be provided, “and the only fee should be for insurance, around $2,” he said.
For now, this unique athletic club on campus will be purely recreational. But as time goes by and members become comfortable and experienced with a bow and arrow, Volk said he would like his club to compete against other colleges.
Todd Lizzo, director of intramurals at Ramapo, acts as the club’s advisor. Lizzo, the rest of the athletic department, and the Center of Student Involvement, especially director Rick Brown, have been extremely supportive and enthusiastic about getting the archery club on its feet, Volk said.
“The process of starting a club on campus has been pretty easy,” Volk added.
The only thing that seems to be an issue is gaining access to Ramapo College’s athletic fields. Volk said that while he understands the sport raises concern, he wants to make it known that equipment will be used solely for safe, recreational range sessions. He hopes that the club will be able to use Ramapo College fields, but has Campgaw Park in Mahwah as a back up practice area.
Volk said he hopes Ramapo College will trust the archery club to practice safely and encourages all students to try something new.
“Archery is a great sport because it’s a classic, worldwide sport rich in culture,” says Volk. “It’s a great way to unify students.”