Tom Cowden Youth Shooting Sports
WHAT IS 4‑H?
In 4‑H, we believe in the power of young people. We see that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us. We are America’s largest youth development organization—empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S. with the skills to lead for a lifetime.
4‑H is a Community
4‑H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country—through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps.
National Reach, Local Programs
4‑H’s reach and depth is unmatched. Through our community of 100 public universities, 4‑H reaches kids in every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. Our network of 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4‑H professionals provides caring and supportive mentoring to all 6 million 4‑H’ers, helping them grow into true leaders today and in life.
North Carolina 4-H Shooting Sports began in it's current form in 2002. 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs are found throughout North Carolina from Mountains to the Coast. Currently there are 3 Regional Shooting Sports Tournaments open to all 4-H Shooting Sports Club members who reside in the 3 regions, West, Central and East. Top Competitors from those 3 Regions go on to compete in the NC State 4-H Shooting Sports Tournament. The State Tournament has been held since 2004. Competitors may compete in Smallbore Rifle, Recurve Archery, Compound Archery, Shotgun (Trap), Air Rifle, Air Pistol. Muzzleloader and ages 14 up may compete in Smallbore Pistol. There are divisions for Juniors (ages 8-13) and Seniors (14-18) Rules are based off of NRA, CMP, FITA, NMLRA and other governing bodies.
In January 2017, NC 4-H Shooting Sports added a NC 4-H Hunting Skills Competition that includes, Shotgun (5-Stand), Smallbore Rifle (Small Game Paper Targets out to 80 yds), 3-D Archery, a Hunter Decision Making Challenge, General Hunting Skills Trail and Game and Wildlife Identification.
The Winners and top finishers in the State Tournaments are invited to tryout for the NC 4-H State Team to Compete in The National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships held in Grand Island Nebraska in June each year. We compete in all 9 National Competitions.
The national 4-H organization was formed in 1914. 4-H is a global network of youth organizations whose mission is "engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development", Its name is a reference to the occurrence of the initial letter H four times in the organization's original motto ‘Head, Heart, Hands, and Health’, In the United States, the organization is administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a Positive Youth Development . Though typically thought of as an agriculturally focused organization as a result of its history, 4-H today focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering, and technology programs. The 4-H motto is "To make the best better", while its slogan is "Learn by doing"
The Tom Cowden Memorial Davie County 4-H Shooting Sports Club was Chartered in November of 2012. The first year we had 6 Members, In 2022 we had 115 Members registered along with 11 Adult and 2 Youth 4-H Trained Instructors. Since 2017 we have taken at least 23 Competitors to the Central Regional 4-H Tournament and most Qualified in one or more events for the State Tournament. We have had Individual and Team State Champions in Jr Shotgun, Sr Shotgun, Jr Muzzleloader, Match Compound Archery, Air Pistol and 3 HOA Overall Champions in Hunting Skills. We have 3 National Champions to date, one in Smallbore Pistol (HOA) and 2 in Hunting Skills. (Skills and Decision Making) See the "Wall of Champions" in the menu for more details
The 4-H National Shooting Sports Championships has been in existence for the past 20 years. It was originally held in Louisiana and Texas and moved to it's current location in Grand Island, Nebraska 7 years ago. It is held at the Fonner Park-Heartlands Event Center and the City of Grand Island - Heartland Public Shooting Park. This is the Premier 4-H Shooting Sports Event in the United States. In 2019 there were 41 States Represented. The overall winner is known as the "Sweepstakes Champion". Texas and Missouri had combined for all of the Sweepstakes Champions until 2019 when Louisiana won and NC was a Close Second finishing above both Texas and Missouri, Unfortunately, due to Covid, there was not a Championship in 2020. Hopefully we will resume this year. The current 2021 NC 4-H Nationals Team has 6 Members of the Davie County 4-H Shooting Sports Club. We had 6 going to the 2020 as well, unfortunately one of the 2020 members, Chandler Carter aged out and did not get to compete.
"4h isn’t about the shooting. It’s not about the competitions or the ribbons. 4h is about family. It’s about going out of your comfort zone to meet new people and complete new tasks..." -Zoe Staley 2018 (DC 4-H Alum-2013-2019)