A good club supports its members, nurturing and developing their skills and interests. I believe it should also be somewhat of a social gathering.
Learn from the past
Many years ago, I was a member of the Black Arrow club in Derby. In fact it was the first ever archery club we joined. Kevin the club chairman and Cherrie the Secretary organised a making and doing session for all the new members who had joined. It gave all present the opportunity to learn the basics of arrow making, string making and how to serve strings. It proved a great success being both instructional and social with Cherrie and Pete (her partner) providing food for all.
Over the Christmas holiday of 2014 Sharon and I organised a similar event at our house, with the objective of giving a few of the newbies some guidance on making or repairing arrows and a variety of other topics.
It proved to be a very sociable afternoon and evening, helped by the contributions of everyone who came and Sharon’s expert cooking. Yes, not only is she a cracking shot but also a great cook.
We covered topics of how to make wooden arrows including fletching arrows, attaching piles and nocks. Having a number of experienced archers there proved really useful as each explained how their technique was slightly different from each other enabling a great spectrum of knowledge to be displayed and discussed. The discussion on whether to varnish the arrow prior to fletching or fletch then varnish was one hotly debated topic. An equally debated topic was the merits of different glues for attaching piles to wooden shafts with some preferring hot melt over epoxy glues. All the advice and comments were provided freely and in a relaxed atmosphere.
Whilst arrow making was going on in one room, arrow straightening of aluminium arrows using our straightening jig was being demonstrated in another. There was also just enough space to demonstrate applying serving to a bow string.
With everyone at the wood the following day even more discussions took place, this time with archers showing off their arrows they had made previously and again citing the merits of varnishing first or other such topics.
Thanks for reading and to all those that attended. Special thanks to Kevin and Cherrie who set the bar so high all those years ago.
Oh, Kevin if you are reading this remember the glue.