Things you didn’t know about SoCal: one free Archery class

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Archery is one unique activity that you just have to add it to your list. You might not believe this, but there is a free archery class in Pasadena.  It is called “Pasadena Roving Archers.” It happens every Saturday early in the morning at 8:30 am to 10:00 am. It is completely free for first timers, then they will charge $5 after that. It is first come, first serve class and no reservation or sign up is necessary. Therefore, it is recommended to show up really early to get a guaranteed spot. Please take a look at this website for more information.

Lilo and I went during the summer of 2013. We got up early at 5:50am and arrived at the site at 6:45am. We were the third group in line. Soon enough, by 7:15, there was a long line.

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After this photo was taken, the line became longer. Again, I strongly suggest you to arrive at least 6:45am or earlier to get your spot guaranteed. If you missed out, they might guarantee you a spot for next time.

While I was in line, an instructor cheerfully asked all of us, “how are you, everyone? It’s a beautiful morning!” Lilo and I needed to inform him that we’re deaf, but he already started instructing. When he finally looked at us,

“um -“ I stuttered.

“um.” he jokly replied, “I can’t hear you” (cupped his hand on his ear)

“um – we’re deaf. We can’t hear you,” I said awkwardly. Well, that was awkward, I thought.

“OHH! okay, okay, what can I do for, you girls?” he asked nicely.

“we’re interested in archery; we’re deaf, but – but we can read lips. If we miss anything, we’ll ask you questions.” I somewhat stuttered again.

his lips mouthed, “alright, sure!”  then he left to start instructing about putting us into groups. We didn’t catch what he was saying but decided to just patiently wait and see how the class will be. We didn’t request for interpreters since it was a spontaneous plan.

A woman, who was working along with the instructors, asked me to raise my arms and put my palms together. She was checking the length of my arms to find the bow & arrows that were compatible for me. Additionally, they gave me the finger guard/tab for pulling and letting go the string. These were the necessary equipment that you will be given, and it must be worn at all times.

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the arm guard
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finger guard/tab

They would assign you to a smaller group among with 5 or 6 other people with different instructor. Once Lilo & I were assigned to a group, another instructor came up to us and started signing “are you deaf?” Lilo and I felt lucky to find an instructor who know some sign language to help us out, although we relied on vision to watch how to do archery.

“You know sign language!?” I signed back.

“yeah, well, I’m still learning!”

The instructors saw how he signed, “you take this group! you got this!” Our newly assigned instructor’s, who know sign language, name is Eric. He moved us to another site in the area and explained the rules & techniques of using the bow. Instruction took about couple of minutes, then we began.

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Back when Lilo had long hair.
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our instructor, Eric

You’ll be shooting arrows for about an hour & half, like we had. You’ll get better and better as time passed; additionally, your arm might get more tired as well. We had exhausted our arms afterward, and it even became a little hard to sign. When it was time to finish up, they gave us a small certification which stated we had completed the introduction to Archery and Basic Range Safety.

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So, before you head to the free lesson, be aware of the weather. Sometimes it will be canceled due to weather conditions or other issues. So, go and grab this opportunity! 

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