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Alabama 4-H Western Heritage Project; image of cowboy boots

The 4-H S.A.F.E. Western Heritage Project includes rifle, shotgun, and pistol disciplines. In addition to progressive shooting in old West attire, youth learn about arts, crafts, and survival skills that Americans practiced as the young nation grew westward. Leathercraft, soapmaking, whip braiding, wheelwright, cowboy ethics, campfire and dutch oven cooking, frontier fashion, wagons, mule teams, and more are included in the 4-H Western Heritage Project.

Two opportunities for competition currently exist in this program:

  1. Progressive shooting match where youth move from different venues such as a livery stable, jail, or saloon, and shoot stationary targets under the watchful eye of a trained 4-H coach.
  2. Costume contest whereby youth adopt an old West persona, choose their attire, and are interviewed.

 

Competition has a place in 4-H S.A.F.E. as a celebration of the life skills (teamwork and communication) and essential elements (mastery, independence, belonging and generosity) that have occurred within the context of a 4-H S.A.F.E. club setting. Education and positive youth development, not competition, should drive 4-H S.A.F.E. clubs. Each discipline offers a state championship event, and the first place senior team may be eligible to attend the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship. Alabama 4-H also offers a summer invitational tournament series as part of the Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery.

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