Arrows will fly toward their targets Tuesday evenings in the gymnasium at Salem Church, 2150 Old Route 22, Lenhartsville.
The church is preparing to enter its fourth year of Centershot, an Olympic-style competitive archery program, this year.
Students can range in age from 10 years to senior citizens, and the program can accommodate newcomers, experienced archers and those with physical impairments. Groups and families can participate together, and enrollment for the new, eight-week session is open on Jan. 15 and 22. Each student is asked to pay a $30 registration fee, which covers all supplies needed.
In the past few years, students have included elementary students and senior adults, individuals and family groups, New students join each session, and many return multiple times to advance in archery skills.
Ethan Long, a junior at Hamburg Area High School, has participated in multiple sessions and is eager to return this month.
“When I started Centershot I had some experience with archery but was not the best,” he said. “Over the past few years, I feel that I have greatly improved. If someone who has never done it before is not sure about it, they should try it. I have seen some people with almost no archery experience become a great shot over a single session.”
Frank and Lori LaPearl, program directors, helped start a similar program both at Salem and another church and completed an intensive certification course as instructors. They are joined by a group of volunteer instructors who walk students through the steps of safe, fun competition.
“We will be having a Valentine’s Day shoot this year,” Lori LaPearl said, “and we may try a BINGO shoot. We will also be shooting a golf ball suspended in the air and shooting at a swinging rubber ball.”
Each week includes themed shooting activities, snacks and a short devotion time. Parents are welcome to stay and observe the evening program. They are also encouraged to join as adult students.
Dave Long, pastor of Salem, said that Centershot offers the chance for fun, competitive exercise. And, he notes, that’s hard to come by during many Pennsylvania winters.
“At this time of year, with the cold temperatures and winter weather, Centershot is a great activity for individuals and families to connect and spend some time together,” Long said.
Centershot is not tied to any denomination and attendance at Salem, or any church, is not required.
For details, contact the church office at 610-562-5033 or WeAreSalemChurch@gmail.com. Additional information on the Centershot archery program can be found online at centershot.org. The Salem group also has a Facebook page, www.FB.com/salem.centershot.