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Florida 4-H Shooting Sports Level 1 Instructor Training & Certification—Volunteer Leader Training Series

Julie P. Dillard, Heather C. Kent, and Julia S. Kelly

Successful 4-H shooting sports programs are not possible without screened and trained volunteers to lead clubs. A potential adult volunteer must meet the following requirements to be on the range in an instructing, coaching, or assisting role:

  1. Be 21 years or older
  2. Complete the Florida 4-H youth protection screening requirements
  3.  Complete Level 1 certification in a shooting sports discipline

Level 1 trainings are discipline-specific in air rifle, small-bore rifle, archery, shotgun, muzzleloading, and hunting.

Figure 1. 
Figure 1. 
Credit: Julia Kelly

Florida 4-H Shooting Sports Level 1 Instructor Training

The Level 1 Instructor Training provides 15 to 20 hours of training. The two parts of the training are:

PART ONE—4-H SHOOTING SPORTS BACKGROUND:  Training in the policies and procedures of Florida 4-H shooting sports, the role of shooting sports in positive youth development, risk management, and youth teaching techniques. Part One is available in 4honline as an e-learning module and as a face-to-face class. It should be completed before volunteers participate in Part Two-Range Training.

PART TWO—RANGE TRAINING:  Discipline-specific, hands-on field/practicum experience that covers safety, equipment use, range rules and procedures, setting up a range, putting teaching techniques into practice, and first-shot fundamentals. Part Two is a face-to-face session. Homework assignments may be part of the course depending on the discipline and instructor. Homework must be submitted within two weeks after the training.

Valid Certification

Level 1 Shooting Sports Instructor certification is valid for three years from the date of the hands-on practicum. Once a volunteer completes the certification course, the Florida 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator will record that date in their 4honline profile. The 4-H Agent will be notified before certification expires.

Certification can be extended for three more years if the volunteer assists at a state match and/or is observed at a practice by a Level 2 Shooting Sports Instructor.

Becoming Certified in Other Shooting Sports Disciplines

Once volunteers completes Level 1 Shooting Sports Instructor Training in a specific discipline, they can earn certification in other disciplines by completing the appropriate hands-on field practicum.

Recruiting Volunteers

Each year, a limited number of instructors from each state can be nationally certified as Level 2 instructors. Level 2 instructors must "train the trainer," or the Level 1 instructor. Volunteers must be recommended for Level 2 certification by their county 4-H agent. The 4-H agent should contact the Florida 4-H Shooting Sports specialist to recommend a volunteer for Level 2 certification.

4-H Volunteer Job Description

JOB TITLE: Florida 4-H Level 1 Shooting Sports Instructor


TIME COMMITMENT: One year. Must re-enroll annually through 4honline.

JOB SUMMARY: Provide quality educational opportunities for youth utilizing the 4-H Shooting Sports Curriculum in a safe and appropriate manner.

PEOPLE SUPERVISED: Adult and/or teen instructors as deemed appropriate. Other adult volunteers as needed or available. Minimum of 4 youth. Adult:Youth Ratio—1:4 Muzzleloading, 1:5 Shotgun, 1:10 Archery, 1:10 Air Rifle/Small-Bore Rifle


  1. Attend all shooting club meetings and activities.
  2. Always be present when youth are actively using the shooting range.
  3. Teach the program following the provided National 4-H curriculum.
  4. Coach members on proper shooting techniques.
  5. Stress shooting sports safety.
  6. Actively encourage and support members.
  7. Supervise, direct, control, and counsel youth and volunteers in a safe, effective, and efficient manner.
  8. Delegate authority to other volunteers.
  9. Supervise and control the operation of the shooting sports facilities, range, and equipment, including firearms.
  10. Regularly inspect all shooting sports equipment, including individual or personal firearms and archery equipment.
  11. Help plan the yearly program.
  12. Help secure needed equipment and facilities.
  13. Administer an approved Risk Management Plan within established guidelines.
  14. Resolve complaints related to the shooting sports program. Refer unresolved complaints to the 4-H agent.
  15. Recruit club members and volunteers.
  16. Maintain club records and submit to the 4-H agent as requested.
  17. Publicize 4-H shooting sports activities and events.
  18. Encourage members to participate in other 4-H events and activities.
  19. Be familiar with current government and safety regulations on safe handling of firearms and related equipment.
  20. Participate in additional county or district volunteer trainings.
  21. Communicate regularly with the 4-H agent.

JOB REQUIREMENTS: Must maintain current discipline certification to be renewed every three years. Must be able to fulfill the duties described above.

AGE: Adult Instructor: 21 years and older. Young Adult Instructor: 14–20 years old


●      Firearm operations and practices

●      4-H policies and procedures

●      Safety and risk management procedures

●      Age-appropriate learning experiences


●      Interpersonal skills with other instructors, volunteers, and participants

●      Management skills sufficient to perform proper inventory control, risk management, record keeping, and other duties as deemed necessary

●      Willingness to work hard to get the job done properly


●      4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Training

●      4-H Shooting Sports Curriculum

●      County and district volunteer training programs


●      Leadership training

●      Program and resource materials

●      Print or electronic communication to members and volunteers

●      County-wide activities open to all 4-H members

●      Grant writing support

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Must have a working knowledge of firearms equipment, a desire to help youth develop, and successful completion of the Florida 4-H volunteer screening process.

DISCLAIMER: This job description indicates the general level of work expected and is not designed to cover every activity. Instructors may be asked to perform other duties as needed.

Publication #4HFSV371

Release Date:October 21, 2021

Related Experts

Dillard, Julie P

County agent

University of Florida

Kent, Heather C.


University of Florida

Kelly, Julia S.

County agent

University of Florida

Related Topics

Fact Sheet

About this Publication

This document is 4HFSV371, one of a series of the 4-H Youth Development Program, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2018. Revised October 2021. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Julie P. Dillard, CED, Extension agent II, 4-H Youth Development Program, UF/IFAS Extension Washington County; Heather C. Kent, RSA, Extension agent III, 4-H Youth Development Program, UF/IFAS Northwest Extension District; and Julia S. Kelly, Extension agent I, 4-H Youth Development Program, UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Julie Dillard
  • Sarah Hensley