Some time, but not too long ago, a great friend introduced me to the longbow. A gift I can never repay, but it reignited my love of archery, and reconnected me with my equipment. Even though I participated in archery hunting and shooting, it was with modern equipment. After one week of shooting, said equipment left the house, as I was "all in" to dedicate myself to becoming proficient with traditional and primitive gear. The first step into a long journey. My only regret is not having done so sooner. Instead of investing money in equipment that would be outdated in 4-6 months, I could have been investing efforts into becoming an adept archer with equipment that would stand the test of time.
The return on investments can only be magnified by how much you put in. And for me, I have realized that in order to preserve the spirit of "Longbows Forever", an investment must be made - not just in our practice - but into those that will follow in the path of the Longbow. Kids and adults (like myself) alike.
After seeing how important it was to the MLA to preserve traditional archery for future generations, I decided to get involved. The amount of satisfaction I felt after helping the youth archery day's at West Kelloggsville Elementary and the Barry County Outdoor Day at Historic Charltan Park was immense. I was able to witness several kids (and some adults) have the "spark" of traditional archery ignited. It glowed very bright, and we gently fanned it, hoping to keep the embers glowing.
The return on the time invested with these youth shoots is intangible...at least for now. Like trying to plant a forest of Loblolly Pines, it will take time before we see the seeds as tall towering tress, standing steadfast.
The fire, the passion for the longbow, burns hot with in the Michigan Longbow Association, and great many have worked hard and long to keep the fire fed, and from time-to-time, coax the embers back to flame. What better way to keep the fire going than to sit on this council and serve this organization.
I'll see you all very soon!