‘Aim’ is a particularly well chosen word to describe our focus as adult volunteers in Scouting.
Scouting has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.
One definition of ‘aim’ is “A purpose or intention toward which one’s efforts are directed”. As a shooting sports director for our camp years ago I learned a great deal about aiming. It’s not as simple as leveling a bow or rifle at the target and hoping for the best. Aiming and shooting is a complex set of actions; the goal of a good shooter is developing consistency in their aim and execution of the shot.
When an arrow leaves the bow and travels towards the target it is subject to a number of forces that effect it’s flight and where it hits the target. New archers are interested in shooting as many arrows towards the target as they can. As they progress they begin to understand the nine steps of a successful shot. They refine and practice their shot until it is as consistent as possible and watch their scores improve.
As new adult volunteers we are first interested in doing. We jump in and start where we are. As we gain experience and knowledge we begin to refine our work, to perfect our aim. Our goal is consistently hitting the target and we soon learn that the most important part of that is focus on the aim.
While archery director one Scout experienced in instinctive shooting used his own traditional longbow with incredible accuracy. I asked him about his aiming technique and he said that he concentrated on the cross printed on the center of the paper target. This cross was formed by two thin lines about 1/2 inch long that I doubt he could see from 20 yards but he knew it was there.
Our work in Scouting does not aim at a literal printed paper target, but we can picture the aim of Scouting just as this archer focused on the cross he could not actually see.
An arrow’s flight depends wholly on how well it is aimed and released. A Scout’s progress is largely dependent on how well we know and focus on the aim. Once they are aimed we let them go, we let them fly on their own and there are many influences that affect where they hit the target – the flight is out of our hands.
Our job is not the flight, but the aim.