– Sara Davis – Archery has always been a social activity for me. I’ve had many enlightening conversation behind the waiting line and heard many whispered jokes in between shots. I’ve been lucky to have met many wonderful people through archery, but one story sticks out more than others.
Such is the story of how I met one of my now best friends, Hailey. We met in 7th grade, my second and her first year at our school. I was still a shy child learning to come out of my shell, and Hailey had just moved to Oregon from California. Both of us were a little alone. I had joined the archery team last year as a 6th grader, and Hailey was quick to sign up. And so it began.
We saw each other at a couple of practices, but I was committed to avoiding and scared of talking to new people. Hailey was the opposite. She was very bubbly, still is, and has always had no qualms whatsoever about going up to a new person and striking up a conversation. We didn’t really meet until the annual 7th-grade trip. This trip, affectionately and less-than-affectionately known as Hancock, is when the entire seventh-grade class is loaded into a big yellow bus and driven out to the middle of the desert for a few days of fun, sun, and no indoor plumbing at Camp Hancock. The trip itself was memorable in its own ways, owing to the harsh climate and the sheer amount of scorpions we found, but it was not braving the desert that brought Hailey and me closer.
It was archery and the riding in the back of Mrs. Delgado’s car. That big yellow bus I mentioned didn’t have enough room for all the students, so 5 had to ride with one of our chaperones, Mrs. Delgado. Hailey and I volunteered. I sat in the back, Hailey in the middle. On the way there, I remember the conversation as tepid and little. We soldiered through the desert for a few days, and then we made our way back. That was when we really hit things off.
Feeling a little awkward and a little brave, I actually made conversation of my own volition. I asked Hailey about her interest in archery, and the rest was history. We talked the whole way home, about the archery team, our mutual interest in The Hunger Games, and our pets. We found out we had a lot in common, and when we returned to our school, Hailey invited me to her house to practice archery. We started talking to each other at practice, and we practiced on our own at Hailey’s house. Almost 4 years later, we are both varsity archers, still hanging out at practice and outside of it, all because of our mutual interest in archery, and the wonderful friendship it spawned.