GSUSA created a new Archery badge in 2015.

Picture this: A Girl Scout Cadette nocks (or places) an arrow onto a bow, hooks her fingers around the string, draws it back, eyes her target, and release! Bull’s-eye! Archery is an exciting sport that takes strength, focus, good form, and practice. Get ready to challenge yourself as you build your archery skills and learn how to shoot on a range.

When a Girl Scout Cadette has earned this badge, she will know how to take aim outdoors with her archery skills. Made possible by a generous grant from the Elliott Wildlife Values Project

Step 1: Get to know archery equipment Edit

Proper equipment leads to a better performance. Find out what gear you need and how to get it properly fitted.

Here are four things you need to know about archery equipment: 

• Parts and types of bows. What’s the difference between a long bow, compound bow, and recurve bow? Do you need a left or right-handed bow? What size bow will you need? 

  • Parts and types of arrows. What are different types of arrows, and what are they used for? What’s the proper arrow length for you? 
  • Gear you need to wear. Find out about protective wear. Do you need an arm guard, nger tabs, or a chest protector that keeps clothing out of the way? 
  • Archery equipment maintenance and care. Find out how to store, care, and repair bows and arrows. Learn how to
    wax a bowstring and tighten strings. Find out why you need spare strings and arrows, and how to test the tension on your bowstring to make sure it’s right. 


Visit an outdoor out tter or a sporting goods store. Ask an archery expert to show you the di erent types of bows, arrows, and protective gear. Find out how to test and take care of equipment. 


Invite an archery expert to talk to your troop. It could be an older Girl Scout who is experienced with archery, or an instructor from a Girl Scout camp or local range. Ask her to give your group a show-and-tell and teach you the four things you need to know about archery equipment. 


Work with an archery expert at a range or Girl Scout camp. Spend time with an archery instructor to nd out the four things you need to know about archery equipment. 

FOR MORE FUN! Learn how to string and unstring a bow. Ask an archery expert to show you how. 

Step 2: Learn about archery safety Edit

Archery is lots of fun, but like any other sport, it has rules to keep you safe. Make sure to know them before you get started.

Here are important safety rules to know:

• Range rules. Every range has its own guidelines. You might nd that all archers load, aim, shoot, and retrieve arrows at the same time. But wherever you shoot, no matter what, never stand in front of a person with a loaded bow.

• Whistles and voice commands. When the range leader or instructor blows the whistle or shouts out a command, know what it means! Common whistle commands are:

o 1 whistle means OK to shoot o 2 means you can approach the shooting line o 3 means OK to retrieve arrows o 4 or more means stop shooting immediately

• How to safely retrieve an arrow. Most archery accidents tend to occur during arrow retrieval. Find out the range rules for where you’ll be shooting. Do archers wait for a signal to retrieve arrows? Is it OK to bring your bow to retrieve your arrows, or should you set it down rst?

• Range-safe attire. Find out what you should wear and what not to wear. For example, avoid rings or bracelets, dangling earrings, loose clothing, scarves, hoodies, and anything else that can get caught while you shoot. If you have long hair, tie it back and get it off your face.


Visit an archery range. Spend time with an archery instructor to nd out what you need to know about safety, and ask her any questions you may have.


Invite an archery expert to talk to your troop. This might be someone who teaches archery at a range, at a community center, recreational facility, or a campsite. Find out the things you need to know about safety and ask any questions you may have.


Take an archery workshop at a Girl Scout camp. Ask your instructor the things you need to know about safety, and ask her any questions you may have.

Step 3: Practice archery before you  go on a range Edit

It takes a lot of practice to land that arrow smack in the middle of the target! Even if you can’t get to a range, you can still sharpen your skills.

Things you need to know for your archery practice:

• How to judge the distance to your target. Throw a ball underhand, see where it lands, and measure the distance. If you can, use a range nder or measuring tape to see how far you threw.

  • How to have good form. Leave the arrows at home, and use just your bow to practice your grip, pullback, and ring stance.
  • How to shoot accurately. Practice target-less shooting using a rubber band. First draw a bull’s-eye on a paper or set up a target, such as an empty water bottle. Hook one end of the rubber band over the tip of your thumb. Point your thumb in the direction you want the rubber band to go. With your other hand, pull the rubber band as far as it will go, then release! Make notes and improve your distance, accuracy, and power over a series of days.
  • How to score. Learn how to score your own target practice. How do they score for the Olympics?


Work with an instructor or older girl with archery experience.

Have her help you gure out your stance, how to judge distance, shoot accurately, and learn how to score.


Join an archery class at a community center, range, or Girl Scout camp. Practice your form, how to judge your distance, shoot accurately, and learn how to score.


Practice targetless shooting outdoors by yourself. Research instructions for proper shooting. Practice good form by getting into your stance. Learn how to score, then score your target practice.

For more FUN! Have a friend or family member take videos or photos of your practice. It’s a great way to spot mistakes and x errors

Step 4: Shoot on an archery range Edit

You know the safety, the rules, and the proper equipment for you. You’ve even started to practice and know some archery lingo. Now it’s time to get out on a range and take aim at a target!


Take an archery class on a range, in your community center, or at a recreational facility.


Work with an instructor or archery expert.


Take part in archery at a Girl Scout camp.

Step 5: Create an archery challenge Edit

Once you get the basics down, take your archery skills to the next level.


Challenge yourself. Move the target back farther. Make a balloon target (balloon animals, candy in balloons), or design your own target.


Take part in a group challenge. Create an archery challenge of your choosing with your friends or join an archery tournament.


Create a contest for a younger group of girls. Design an archery game for beginners and help younger girls with their skills.