Bill Stinson instructs the group as they begin archery camp last Thursday.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Bill Stinson instructs the group as they begin archery camp last Thursday. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Shooters take aim at archery camp

Chloe Cranch, now 12, got hooked on archery after watching the movie “Brave” when she was 9.

“The protagonist was a girl and she liked archery,” Cranch said. “I thought it was cool.”

When Cranch’s mother suggested Chloe attend South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District’s archery camp, Cranch “was all for it.”

This year’s edition of the long-running camp finished up last Friday under the direction of Bill Stinson.

Stinson, like Cranch, was drawn to the sport by a childhood experience.

Growing up in Great Falls, Mont., Stinson watched the 1972 Olympics and was intrigued by archery. A neighbor was one of the top shooters in Montana, and Stinson and his friends would race to the fence to watch him practice.

Soon, it was Stinson who was one of he best in the state. From 12 to 20, he never lost a match in Montana.

Twice Stinson placed at the National Field Archery championships and qualified for the 1980 Olympic trials.

When the United States boycotted the Moscow games, he decided it was time to turn pro (only amateur athletes competed in the games at that time) and “get on with his life.”

He began working at a sporting goods store and teaching the sport.

This is his fourth year running the South Whidbey camp, taking over for his coach, Glenn Harris, who is now busy helping with the Olympic team.

Stinson’s goal as a teacher is to get kids to fall in love with the sport the way he did while peeking over his neighbor’s fence.

“I want them to have fun.”

Stinson coaches a team at Ebenezer Christian School in Lynden, leading the squad to the state title in 2007. At that time, he said, there were 2,000 shooters. The number of competitors has grown to more than 15,000.

The growth, he said, has been spurred by the National Archery in Schools program, which took off with the development of the Genesis bow, which allows “any P.E. teacher or student to shoot a bow and shoot it safely.”

Stinson would like to see the sport grow even more in schools around the state and into serious club teams.

The nearest competitive team, he said, is in Mountlake Terrace.

This year’s camp at South Whidbey attracted 22 students.

Griffin Arndt, 11, got a taste of archery when he received a bow for his birthday.

“I like shooting, so I came to archery camp,” he said. “It is something cool to do.”

Ben Cone, 9, is being taught by his father, who is a bow hunter, as well as Stinson.

“I came to camp because I like to shoot; I just like the feel of a bow,” he said.

“Camp is fun; a lot of people like it. It is fun getting bull’s-eyes.”

Cranch likes experimenting with different technique and experiencing the results of using proper form.

She pointed out that once she started shooting with her dominant eye, she began hitting the bull’s-eye.

Just like Princess Merida.

Caleb Arndt checks out the result of his latest shot.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Caleb Arndt checks out the result of his latest shot. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Instructor Bill Stinson helps Ben Cone with his technique.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Instructor Bill Stinson helps Ben Cone with his technique. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Chloe Cranch prepares to take a shot.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Chloe Cranch prepares to take a shot. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Daniel Lueken focuses on his next shot.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Daniel Lueken focuses on his next shot. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Griffin Arndt zeroes in on the target.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Griffin Arndt zeroes in on the target. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Hugh Evans tries for a bull’s-eye.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Hugh Evans tries for a bull’s-eye. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Liam Akhtar gets ready to let an arrow fly.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Liam Akhtar gets ready to let an arrow fly. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Oliver Ehlers plans his next shot.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Oliver Ehlers plans his next shot. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Targets are filled with arrows from as the campers fire away.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Targets are filled with arrows from as the campers fire away. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

More in Sports

Monstars win 3-on-3 basketball tournament title

The Monstars prevailed in the ninth annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament hosted by… Continue reading

Cisney wins world championship / Taekwondo

Just over three years ago, Jenny Cisney took up taekwondo. Last weekend… Continue reading

3-on-3 tournament begins Saturday / Basketball

Three-on-three basketball returns for the ninth year to South Whidbey Saturday, July… Continue reading

Phay takes 2nd at national tournament / Powerlifting

Whidbey Island’s Sherry Phay finished second at the United States Powerlifting Association… Continue reading

Burlington blanks SW in district title game / 10-12 baseball

South Whidbey lost 10-0 in four innings to Burlington in the championship… Continue reading

SWPRD hosts 3-on-3 tournament / Basketball

The LM Premier 3-on-3 basketball tournament takes place Saturday, July 20, at… Continue reading

South Whidbey to play for district title / 10-12 baseball

After defeating Central Whidbey 3-2 Friday, July 12, South Whidbey will play… Continue reading

Cisney wins world championship / Taekwondo

Just over three years ago, Jenny Cisney took up taekwondo. Last weekend… Continue reading

South Whidbey blanked by Burlington / 10-12 baseball

Unable to generate any offense, the South Whidbey Major Little League baseball… Continue reading

Most Read