Back in 2007 a coworker told me about Compton's Traditional Archery Rendezvous at Berrien Springs. I had been a bow hunter for several years, but with a compound. I owned a couple of recurves that I shot once and awhile for fun so I loaded up our camping gear and off to Compton's we went. My oldest son Cody, who was 11 at that time, could shoot my Bear Kodiak Magnum and I, a Ben Pearson. I did not have a bow that my youngest son Wyatt (9) could shoot. But after a short time there we met Chuck Jones with Black Rhino Bows. I purchased a bow, which would become the first longbow in the family. The next year I purchased a second Black Rhino because Wyatt had out grown the first one already. Needless to say, by the end of the weekend that first year, we were hooked on traditional archery. In the years to follow we learned of new traditional shoots to attend, and added those shoots to attend every summer. The people we met were always friendly and helpful. We have made a lot of new friends in the traditional family these last few years.
I started being asked from several of my new circle of friends if I was going to the GLLI. After learning what that was, I decided I needed to get a longbow! In 2013 at Elm Hall I purchased a used longbow from an MLA member. I wasn't able to attend the GLLI that year unfortunately, because of prior commitments. My boys were competing in the 4H State Shotgun shoot the same weekend. The first GLLI I attended was in 2014. I bought a membership to the MLA and as I do at all the traditional shoots, had a great time. I couldn't wait for the spring shoot! I was showing great improvement and was really beginning to enjoy shooting the longbow.
The week before the 2015 GLLI, I was asking MLA members what I could do to help. Thursday morning I was at Charlton Park helping set up 3D courses, the kids shooting area, the aerials range, and whatever else was needed. It was a great opportunity for me because I was able to get to know the MLA Council and other members better and to see what a great family they are. Then came the Great Outdoor Youth Jamboree III on Sept. 13th with another opportunity to volunteer. What a great day it was working with all those kids teaching them to shoot longbows. Also, to meet and work with other MLA members.
After witnessing the last two years at how effective the MLA is at promoting and preserving traditional archery for future generations, I knew I wanted to be more involved with the organization. I would like to be able to give back the joy that traditional archery has brought to me and my family. The weekend after the GOYJ I joined other Council members for the whitetail warm-up shoot at Tomahawk Archers. It was a great day of shooting and fellowship. Afterwards, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and dessert prepared by Caroline Wells during a MLA Council meeting. Prior to the meetings end, I was asked to join the Council. After seeing how well this group works together and all they have done for the membership, the answer was yes, I would be honored to serve.
I am proud to be a member of the MLA family and look forward to serving you as a council member.