4-H shooting coach stresses fun, safety
Published 9:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017
A lifelong passion for the outdoors and hunting led to a volunteer career for Teddy Marcum.
For the last two decades, Marcum has helped coach the shooting sports clubs for Clark County 4-H.
“I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad,” the Owsley County native said. “We shot clay targets for quite a while. We enjoyed the outdoors and that piqued my interest in being a conservation officer.”
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Marcum retired in 2005 from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, after moving to Clark County in 1984.
In addition to his professional career, he’s been a hunter safety instructor for 32 years, he said.
Two decades ago, there was no shooting sports club in Clark County. That’s when Marcum decided to get involved.
“When Roy Turley took over as the agent for 4-H, I went to the training for shooting sports,” Marcum said. “My son was 10. We got some money from the Clark County Fish and Game Club. We bought air rifles, a .22 (rifle) and some shotguns.”
Marcum said both his son and daughter participated. Once they aged out of 4-H, Marcum stayed involved.
“I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been good for me,” he said. “I got committed to it. I love it and the other coaches I work with.”
In recent years, the club added archery as well. Each of the four disciplines has a its own meetings, and the children don’t necessarily participate in all, he said.
Some only come for the archery, which has become popular in schools, he said.
Part of the appeal, he said, is anyone can participate.
“You don’t have to be a super athlete to do it,” he said. “It’s a little bit of an alternative to mainstream sports.”
The addition of an annex building behind the extension office a few years ago helped extend the practice season, he said, by allowing them to practice indoors during poor weather.
“I just like to see something different for the kids to be involved with,” he said.
The joy in coaching, he said, is seeing how much the children can achieve.
“When that kid hits their first clay target or hit 10 in a row… Seeing those kids and that look on their face, that grin,” he said. “It’s their accomplishment, not mine.”