The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program stands out as an example. Youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth, and conservation ethics.
The Shooting Sports curriculum uses the resources of the land-grant university and the time, talent, and dedication of Cooperative Extension agents and certified 4-H leaders, instructors, and trainers who instruct 4-H members in firearms safety and marksmanship. The shooting disciplines include archery, muzzle loading, pistol, rifle, shotgun, and hunting. Each discipline is taught by a National or State Certified Instructor.
4-H members have opportunities to test their shooting, hunting, and sportsmanship skills in county, regional, state, and national competitions. In fact, they could ultimately set Olympic competition as their goal. There are seventeen Olympic shooting sports events, which continue to draw the third-greatest number of countries.