August 1st was the last 3D competition of 2015 for the Down East Archery Collation. The club sponsoring the shoot was the Roanoke Archery Club in Plymouth. Like all other competitions, I arrived early and ready to play the ‘find a group’ game.
It didn’t take long before I recognized a fellow I’ve shot with in the past. He’s a Marine that drives up from Camp Lejeune. Typically, he too is trying to connect with other shooters. When I asked if he had a group he replied he was waiting on another guy and that I could join them.
When other guy showed up and I was hoping we could get on the range. Some of these events can take a very long time if you don’t get on the course early. The other guy didn’t have the same appreciation for time. He was interested in talking. During his socializing he’d increased the size of our group to 5 – not good.
Looking around, I spied group of two. Immediately, I offered to reduce the load on our five and begged into the group of two. The shooting duet welcomed me and it turned out to be a very lucky move.
The new group was a father shooting with is 12-year-old (“Going on 13”) daughter. Along with them they had an entourage of: Mama, Granddaddy, Grandmama, and brother. Adding me made us a band of seven with only three shooters.
Mama was the official scorekeeper. Our trio of archers held a rapid pace moving over the targets. Before we’d finished, I felt almost like a cousin to this family. It was very enjoyable getting to spend time with those folks.
As we approached the final target, I passed my friend, the Marine, moving slowly in the opposite direction. His group was going to be on the range a very long time.
Back at the clubhouse, I turned in my scorecard, ate a slice of hot pizza and loaded up for the drive home. Driving home I took a slight detour to visit historic Plymouth. Part of the fun of attending archery tournaments is the journey. I was glad I’d gotten though the tournament so fast, it meant I wasn’t rushed to get home and got to see a little of Plymouth.