The Archery Box

19 Aug 2010 by Jim Gibbons, No Comments »

Ready for an afternoon at the archery range.

I’ve blogged a bunch about archery in the past, but here’s the first photo I’ve posted of the rustic shack where we kept the arrow-slinging equipment all summer. As I’ve stated before, Kodak one-time-use cameras are unfortunately not the best way to take excellent photos and this one is a bit wonky for that reason. Either way, this would have been exactly what a camper in 2001 saw if they came down to the range for an afternoon of archery—though, if it was a nice day, I might not have been smiling.

So, where to begin…

The Archery Box was fairly ancient. Constructed out of wood at some point in camp’s history, it kept rain and woodland creatures away from the equipment but was chock-full of tiny holes, plenty of chipped paint and even had bits of moss growing on the roof. Despite its age, the A Box (The archery portion was only half of the box. The other half had equipment for A-Field games. The entire structure was known as the A Box.) got the job done. The Box was down on the A-Field and, to the right of the picture, you can see the plastic trash bin full of lime for marking the field for games like Capture the Indian Clubs or Dodgeball.

Full of camp’s collection of recurve bows and wooden arrows, as well as campers who had brought their archery equipment (usually compound bows and graphite arrows), this was the place where each archery lesson would begin. In order of seniority based on how accomplished an archer they were, campers would get to select the bow and set of arrows they’d use for the afternoon. (To my left, in the photo, are camp’s arrow sets.) Instead of wearable Robin Hood-esque quivers, we mostly used metal holders that could be stuck into the ground. A bit like a long nail, twisted at the top to form a ring that would hold the arrows, the in-ground quivers could be flung down into the soft sand around the Archery Box, driven directly into the ground, in an impressively cool way. Probably the biggest perk of teaching archery? Only instructors were allowed to toss the quivers, thus experiencing the satisfying sensation of flinging sharp, dangerous objects into dirt with great speed in front of bewildered youths.

Other than that, this photo is another prime example of the impeccable style demonstrated at camp. Sneakers with yellows laces, tube socks, jean shorts and neon green tees! Flawless! That shirt came from a restaurant called The Satisfied Frog in Carefree, Ariz., where my grandparents (who sent both their sons to Shewahmegon) lived. At the end of the summer, I traded it to Chris Arnold for an orange shirt that said “Camp does kids a world of good.” (T-shirt trading was kinda big at camp. I’ll probably get into that in a later post.)

Note: Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. After Comic-Con, things kind of got away from me. Life, it’s busy—what can I say? I’ll be getting back into the swing of things now, but big thanks goes out to my cousin Ryan Bergstrom, Brent Parker, Adam Kwasman and Chris Arnold for their kind words about my blogging and their “encouragement” to get my ass in gear and start writing more about camp. Thanks, gents!

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