When did you first participate in NASP® as a student, and in what grades? I first participated in NASP during our Physical Education Class as a sophomore in High School.
- What were your thoughts about NASP® and archery? At the time I was an avid outdoorsman so getting the chance to shoot archery through NASP really helped introduce me to the sport and convince me that it was something I wanted to pursue. No one else in my family was currently bow hunting or shooting so I had never really considered it. My dad and I hunted Rifle Season and spent the rest of the fall chasing grouse. Those couple arrows in P.E. ignited a passion for Archery and bowhunting that sometimes borders on obsession. My dad is also involved in the sport now which allows us more time together in the woods!
- What are any take-always that NASP® gave you toward your future? One of the most important things NASP taught me was to always try new things. You never know what could become your next passion in life so take 30 minutes and try anything, it might just be life altering! On the flip side of that I also learned that by volunteering your time to help teach people about the outdoors you can help someone else find their new favorite activity.
- When did you know you wanted to make a career from your interest in archery or the outdoors? I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in the outdoors. As a youngster I’m sure I imagined following in the footsteps of Bill Dance or Jim Shockey, and while I realized a bit later on that I likely wouldn’t be a TV celebrity I could still find a way to work and enjoy the outdoors. I originally went to College to become a Wildlife Biologist but after working in the Archery Department at Gander Mountain during my first years of school I realized working with and helping people become better outdoorsman was my true calling.
- What is your current position, and what do you do in that position? I currently work as a Product Specialist for Feradyne Outdoors. Every day I get to come to work and talk bowhunting and archery with Dealers and end users of our products all across the world. It’s pretty tough to beat swapping hunting stories for a living! I’m also the NASP Coordinator for Block Targets so I’m involved with setting up our NASP events and making sure everyone has the targets they need to shoot.
- What is it like being a former NASP® student, and now working for Feradyne? Being a NASP student and having an early interest in Archery has driven me to where I am today. When work/life get stressful I can always pick up my bow, send a few arrows at the target and center my focus. Working with the NASP program is truly a blessing because I get to give back to the community that has helped shape me into who I am.
- What advice do you have for students that are in NASP® and may want to think about a career in Archery, Conservation, or the outdoor industry? The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to pursue a career in the outdoor world is to talk to as many people as you can who are already in the industry. Volunteer your time and work events that are related to what you want to pursue. If you’re interested in archery spend time at your local archery shop, learn how to work on a bow and talk with customers from all walks of life. Just like anything in life work hard to obtain your goals and you’ll be successful.
- Do you have any additional advice to all the NASP® shooters out there? In archery and life you’re going to have success and failure. Enjoy your success and don’t dwell on your failures, learn from them and better yourself to get to where you want to be. Most importantly have fun and enjoy everything life has to offer.