Andrew Ford, a Scout from Long Beach, Calif., who learned to shoot a bow and arrow at Cub Scout camp, has been named to the USA Archery Team.
Andrew, 15, competes at the Cadet level, which runs through the calendar year of his 17th birthday. He shoots in the Barebow division, which uses a recurve bow like you’d see in the Olympics — but without the stabilizers, sight, clicker or any other shooting aides.
In September, he’ll represent Team USA at the 2018 World Archery Field Championships in Cortina, Italy.
It started in Scouting
It seems like just yesterday that Andrew first picked up a bow and arrow at a Pack 67 camp in June 2010. He tried it again at more Scout camps and realized he had a knack for it.
In 2013, Andrew was at the archery range at a Webelos Weekend event when something amazing happened. All the other Scouts were done shooting for the day, and just a handful of people were still around. The rangemaster saw Andrew’s technique and noticed his remarkable accuracy.
“I’ll keep feeding you arrows until you miss,” the rangemaster told him.
Andrew didn’t miss until more than 12 arrows later.
A birthday wish
In May 2014, Andrew told his parents he wanted a bow for his 11th birthday. His parents had a better idea.
“We told him we would get him proper archery lessons, and he joined a club and has been shooting ever since,” says Andrew’s dad, Gary.
Andrew got the bow he wanted in November 2014 and competed in his first big tournament in January 2016.
He started breaking records in youth competitions and got so good that he started competing against adults in certain tournaments.
He joined the Cadet division — for anyone 17 or younger — at age 13. This year, his results have been good enough to earn him a spot on the USA Archery Team.
A summer break? Not for Andrew.
He’ll spend the next weeks preparing for a big Junior Olympic Archery Development event in North Carolina before resuming practice for the world championships in Italy.
He is giving himself one week off — kind of. He’s heading to summer camp with his troop, but even at Scout summer camp, Andrew plans to practice archery.
Maybe they’ll let him help teach the Archery merit badge.
This September, find results from the World Archery Field Championships at this link.
Thanks to Marc Bonner of the Long Beach Area Council for the blog idea.