Meeting Plans & Ideas: ARCHERY

Archery Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Printable PDF file of Meeting Plans and Ideas for Archery

This month’s activities should:

  • Teach Scouts how to handle bows and arrows safely.
  • Explain the different types of bows and how to take care of each type.
  • Help Scouts understand the parts of different bows and arrows.
  • Instruct Scouts in the fundamentals of archery as they apply to the bow that is being used.
  • Introduce Scouts to the various styles of archery that are available to create a lifelong hobby.

As a leadership team, you may want to discuss the following items when choosing archery as your program feature during your planning meetings:

Troop Meeting Planning Form
Click above for fillable troop meeting planning form.
  • What is our unit’s current skill level?
  • Who do we know who is an archery instructor?
  • What materials and equipment (bows, arrows, quivers, etc.) do we need, and what are the BSA’s rules for handling these?
  • Do we have a copy of the current National Shooting Sports Manual for reference?
  • What location is needed for meetings—our normal meeting place or a shooting range?
  • Is there any cost factor involved?
  • What will we do for our main event, and where will we go?
  • To meet our needs, what should we change in the sample meeting plans?


Preopening Ideas on Troop Program Resources

  • Set up a display of various types of bows for Scouts to examine as they arrive. Aim for a wide variety, including recurve bows, compound bows, crossbows, and even homemade bows.
  • Show Internet videos of archery competition from the Olympics or other events.
  • As Scouts arrive, show an instructional video about archery.
  • Display several five-color targets around the meeting room that have already been shot (or fabricate such targets using photocopies and a hole punch). As Scouts arrive, have them score each target using 10-ring scoring: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.


Opening Ideas on Troop Program Resources



  • Review the range safety rules found in the Archery merit badge pamphlet.


  • Discuss why it is important to know what type of arrow is needed and where you would find this information.

Fundamentals of Shooting

  • Learn the fundamentals of archery shooting, including the 10 shooting steps described in the Archery merit badge pamphlet.

Cleaning and Storing

  • Discuss importance of cleaning and properly storing bows.


3 Categories


  • EssentialLearn the parts of a recurve bow.
  • Practice stringing a bow using a cord stringer.

  • ChallengingLearn the parts of a recurve bow and a compound bow.
  • Practice stringing a bow using a cord stringer and a box stringer.

  • AdvancedLearn the parts of a recurve bow, a compound bow, and a crossbow.
  • Practice stringing a bow using a cord stringer and a box stringer.


  • EssentialLearn about different arrow types.
  • Learn how to properly nock an arrow on different bows.
  • Discuss cracks and splinters on arrows.
  • Learn to determine proper arrow length.

  • ChallengingReview the above information.
  • Learn the difference between wooden, glass, aluminum, and carbon arrow shafts.
  • Discuss different arrow problems and what to do if one occurs.
  • Learn how to properly make an arrow.

  • AdvancedReview the above information.
  • Learn to identify different arrows and different fletchings.
  • Learn how to properly nock an arrow, make different fletchings, and use different arrow rests.

Fundamentals of Shooting

  • EssentialLearn to determine eye dominance.
  • Learn the following terms: cast, draw weight, string height (fistmele), aiming, spine, mechanical release, freestyle, and barebow.

  • ChallengingReview the above information.
  • Help newer archers determine eye dominance.

  • AdvancedReview the above information.
  • Discuss ways to improve shooting technique.

Cleaning and Storing

  • EssentialLearn how to clean a recurve bow.
  • Learn how to store bows and arrows properly.

  • ChallengingLearn how to clean a recurve bow, a compound bow, and a Mathews Genesis bow.
  • Learn how to store bows and arrows properly.

  • AdvancedReview the above information.
  • Learn how to store other archery equipment properly, including tabs, arm guards, shooting gloves, and quivers.


Discussion Topics

Getting Ready for the Main Event

  • Menu Planning (if applicable)
  • Duty Roster Planning (if applicable)
  • Patrols discuss what special items they will need for the main event.

Preparation for the meeting’s game or challenge


Library of Games and Challenges on Troop Program Resources

  • Parts of a Bow Relay
    Materials: Several bows of different types, blindfolds
    Method: Before the game starts, blindfold all players except the leader of each team. Teams line up in relay formation, and adult leaders stand at the far end of the room holding the bows. On a signal, the first player on each team walks forward to an adult (with the team leader serving as a guide). Each player examines the adult’s bow and tries to identify the part of the bow where the adult places their hand. They then return to tag the next player. Continue until all players have had a turn.
    Scoring: Players score 1 point for identifying the type of bow and 1 point for identifying the specific part.
    Variation: Set a timer and let players continue competing, taking multiple turns, until time expires.
  • Shooting Steps Shuffle
    Materials: For each team, prepare two sets of cards; one set shows the 10 shooting steps (stance, nock, set, predraw, draw, anchor, transfer/hold, aim, release, follow-through), and the other shows definitions taken from the glossary of the Archery merit badge pamphlet.
    Method: Shuffle each team’s cards (20 total). On a signal, each team must put its cards in order and match each step with its definition.
    Scoring: The first team to get its cards sorted correctly wins.
    Variations: 1) Add a relay element where one player at a time runs forward to retrieve a card. 2) Put all the teams’ cards together in a large array on the floor; teams must first find 20 unique cards and then begin the sorting process.


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Archery Information Troop Meetings Main Event