Author Topic: Shoot me now? I'm leading a bow making workshop for a bunch of 8 year olds  (Read 10878 times)

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Offline Gordon

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Re: Shoot me now? I'm leading a bow making workshop for a bunch of 8 year olds
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2012, 12:25:29 pm »
I'm with George on this. I've helped many people build their first bow including children. 8 years is just too young to tackle something like this. Pre-fabed board bows are the way to go - the kids and you will be much happier with the outcome.
Gordon

Offline footfootfoot

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Five minutes till showtime!
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 03:14:28 pm »
Here we go, let the cat herding begin!
Bring me my Bow of burning gold; Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire!

Grunt

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Re: Shoot me now? I'm leading a bow making workshop for a bunch of 8 year olds
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2012, 05:17:44 pm »
I've had a 12 year old working on a red oak/linen board bow for a couple of two hour sessions. He has a 8 year old brother that his mom is waiting a year or two before we start on his bow. I usually have them start by making a bow string. If they can make a bowstring then we can get some traction on bow building.
Good Luck

Offline footfootfoot

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Young Bowyers update
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 08:21:45 pm »
We are at week three or four of the workshop and there are a few corrections from my end. There are seven kids altogether, four are ten y.o., two are 8 y.o. and one is nine y.o.

We start out with some target shooting using a 20# glass bow, covering safety, drawing the bow, nocking the arrow and so on. After everyone gets to shoot 3 arrows twice (I've only got two glass bows) we repair to the shop and make wood chips. I initially thought they could focus for only about 45 minutes but they have been clamoring for more and after an hour of archery practice we spent an hour and a half in the shop. 

The 8 y.o. kids are far behind and are making a good show of it and having fun but you wouldn't want them as armorers... The nine y.o. is a girl who is on a mission from god and is channeling Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pocahontas, Cochise, and probably Chuck Norris. I swear she is part sled dog, thank god she's got a sense of humor too.

The older girls are all kicking ass and taking names. Initially they were all hesitant with the drawknives, tapping away at the little shavings they began to lift, after a few reminders about body position and visualizations (most of them have chopped firewood) along the lines of "aim for the bottom of the log don't hit the top of the log" They began to see how they could draw the knife through the chips.

Most have gotten the bark from the log and have gotten to within two or three rings on the back, a couple have laid out the markings for the face of the bow and are shaping it down to rough dimension.

Today we talked about cresting arrows and why we do it.

I'll put a few photos up in the next day or two.
Bring me my Bow of burning gold; Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire!

Offline fishfinder401

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Re: Shoot me now? I'm leading a bow making workshop for a bunch of 8 year olds
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2012, 10:20:37 pm »
for people that young that's very impressive, good job spreading the knowledge
warbows and fishing, what else is there to do?
modern technology only takes you so far, remove electricity and then what

Offline Del the cat

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Re: Shoot me now? I'm leading a bow making workshop for a bunch of 8 year olds
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2012, 10:55:25 am »
Great to get an update.
Kudos to you for the work you are putting in.
I love the description of the gal being part sled dog, paints a great picture of a real feisty gal.
The boys had better watch out when she grows up.
Del
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Offline footfootfoot

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Nearing the clubhouse turn...
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2012, 02:55:58 am »
The Young Bowyers, I think they are calling themselves "The Star Shooters," are moving right along. A few of them are at floor tillering stage. They are really impressing the hell out of me with their skill and determination. Oddly, the only slacker among the girls is the super high achiever. I think she tends to back away from any activity in which she can't excel.

Here are some photos from the bark scraping stage and some shots of their staves as of last week.
Bring me my Bow of burning gold; Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire!

Offline footfootfoot

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Here are their staves. The last picture shows the pores on the back of the bow. They run continuously from handle to tip with no ring violations!
Bring me my Bow of burning gold; Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire!

Offline dmc

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Those look awesome! Good on you for taking this project on. About 15 years ago, I went to a First Nation's school on an Indian Reserve, and with the help of a friend, helped teach the whole school from grade one to high school on how to shoot the bow and arrow. The school had bought about 15 fiberglass bows, and a zillion arrows. I had my recurve, and he had the wheels. After the first day, I barely had a voice, partway through the second day, I totally lost my voice. Could not speak a word!! It's amazing how many times a person can say "no, that is not a toy, it is a weapon; Will you quit pointing that at him; Hey.... Look at me when I'm speaking; That is an arrow, not a hairbrush; GIVE THAT BOW BACK TO ME.... GO BACK TO YOUR TEACHER!!!"

The bows look great, all the best to you and your class room.

Carpe Diem- Seize the Day!!

Offline burchett.donald

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   Looks like they have handled the staves and hand tools well...  Looks like a good Primitive Archer Magazine article in the making! This is interesting as well as inspirational to see these children learning about archery.
Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

Offline rkeltner

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give thet high achiever some extra encouragement. high achievers tend to be ultra-perfectionists, and if their achievement has come easily to them, any failure, even a minor one, is an enormous setback! the result is that they would rather not try than fail. believe it or not, you are in a perfect position to help this young lady learn the value of failure, and then trying again!

Offline Del the cat

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Great pics, good to have the update.
Bravo .
Del
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Offline Badger

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  Did the kids take it to the stage you are at now by themselves or did you help them a bit? I have run a few boy scout teaching classes and about the most productive thing I could get out of them was sanding and bark scraping.

Offline MetisLifeguard

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This is actually wonderful to read about and watch! I wish I had this chance to do these kinds of things back when I was their age. Maybe I'd be a lot further into the bowmaking and arrowmaking aspects of archery!

Andre
A leopard never changes it's spots. It just learns to hunt a different way

Offline footfootfoot

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@ DMC and others:
Thanks for the encouraging feedback. This is an unusual group of girls (and one boy, my son) I'm not sure I could pull this off with a "typical" group of girls, and certainly not boys at this age. The difference between boys and girls is profound. Partly it is age, my son is 7 1/2 and is the youngest. He can work on the bow for about 30 minutes at a crack, conversely he can read or play Legos for three hours straight. If he's not doing that he's running around the yard at full tilt, yelling battle cries.

The girls are  8, 9, 10, 11, 11, and 11. All of them but one are being homeschooled (secular, FWIW) and none of them watch TV or play video games. Most all of them spend a lot of time in the woods, have taken numerous "wilderness" classes learning about animals, and plants and camping and so forth.  I'm pretty sure their upbringing has informed their characters. Mixed ages, encouraging inclusiveness, discouraging clique-ishness, and generally promoting confidence has been a consistent theme throughout the group.

@ rkeltner:
That's great advice for the over-achiever. The first time she picked up a bow after watching a few of the other kids who have shot before, she was surprised it wasn't as easy as it looked. When her arrow fell off the rest and she dry fired she practically dropped the bow like it was a wasp nest and withdrew in tears. IT wasn't until then that I realized how intensely self critical she must be. (And I've known her since she was an infant.) It's surprising because in so many other ways she is very confident. Her mom points out that she is self-competitive. She and my son are on the same rock climbing team and at a recent competition my son was incredibly proud that he scored 115 points doing 5 climbs after seven or eight attempts at 50 and 65 point routes. This girl wouldn't even consider a route worth less then 150 points. Never the less, she was very supportive of my son and congratulated him on his score. She didn't feel the need to lord her 900 points over him.

I'll take your advice and work with her and show her how far she has come from when she has started.

@ Badger:
They did 90% of the work with the shaves. I split the staves out of the log, then they took them from pie wedges to rectangular blanks. I had them scrape the bark just past the cambium. I showed them how to find the center line and take off measurements from the drawing and transfer them to the stave. We did that part together. I even made them figure out how to read 16ths and figure out, e.g.,  if the limb is 1 3/4 inches wide then how far from the CL is each edge? After laying out the lines, I had them take the wood down to the taper and square up the sides. Once they had done that I band-sawed off some of the belly meat for the younger kids, the older ones I had them take off the belly meat themselves. For the younger ones I band-sawed close to the line around the handle and will let them go at it with a spoke shave and rasp on Wednesday.

@burchett.donald: Some of these kids are particularly articulate and thoughtful. I could see interviewing them and asking them what they think about it...

I really can't wait to see them shoot their own bows. That will be something for the cameras.

Thanks, again for you words of encouragement and suggestions.
Bring me my Bow of burning gold; Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire!