Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) Superintendent, Dr. John Sample, announced today that Whitetails Unlimited of Merrill provided the Merrill Area Public Schools a $3,369 donation for the creation of an archery range at the school forest. This donation was approved at the MAPS School Board meeting on Wednesday.
Founded in 1982, Whitetails Unlimited is a national nonprofit conservation organization that raises funds in support of educational programs, wildlife habitat enhancement and acquisition, and preservation of the hunting tradition and shooting sports for future generations. This cooperative project will assist MAPS with the purchase of educational materials and supplies for student use, not to mention that it compliments hunter safety/education.
MAPS currently instructs archery units in Physical Education (PE) at PRMS and have previously instructed archery units as part of the Outdoor Education PE curriculum at MHS. Staff members are required to be certified via the National Archery in Schools (NASP) program in order to instruct archery training, ensuring safety protocols are followed.
Furthermore, the archery range will comply with NASP standards, including a backdrop safety netting. The archery range will not function with MAPS students at the school forest until NASP certifications are on file, the range set-up per guidelines, and safety procedures are posted.
“I want to thank Whitetails Unlimited for their generous donation providing the school forest staff with the means to implement archery into our current program at the Merrill School Forest. We currently have plans for one archery camp to be offered this summer at the forest, and are working on developing an archery club that would meet throughout the school year,” stated Russell Noland, MAPS School Forest Director.
Reacting to the donation, MAPS Superintendent Dr. John Sample said, “This is such an excellent opportunity for our students. As a certified NASP instructor myself, I understand the benefits of archery for our students. I am excited for them to engage in a fantastic sport!”
For further questions about ways to support the School Forest, contact Russell Noland at 715-536-8248.