Shooting Sports events
Detailed policies and procedures

Safety pre-requisite for members

To participate in any 4-H Shooting Sports discipline, a 4-H member must have successfully completed the 740 Shooting Sports Safety course. The Missouri Hunter Education class no longer meets the requirement for Shooting Sports Safety.
Project SS740, Shooting Sports Safety consists of a minimum of 6 hours of firearms, archery and shooting safety. Certified discipline instructors cooperate to teach and conduct the Shooting Sports Safety project. Curriculum for the SS740 Safety class is in a draft form. County 4-H instructors should contact the state coordinator for a copy. 

Recommended risk management procedures

Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports county programs
1.  State 4-H volunteer leader application and screening procedures and policies are followed.
All 4-H Shooting Sports volunteers are to complete the Missouri 4-H Volunteer application and screening process each year. Volunteers must be approved as a Missouri 4-H Volunteer before serving as a shooting sports instructor. Please note that the Friday night session is a general introduction to 4-H Shooting Sports; the Missouri 4-H Volunteer Orientation is completely separate. It is offered locally in-person and within the 4HOnline Trainings link. Therefore, if you have already taken the 4-H Volunteer Orientation, you're still required to participate in the general Friday night session.
2.  Waiver of Liability/Parental Permission form 
All 4-H members enrolled in the Shooting Sports projects must have a Parental Permission –Waiver of Liability form on file before beginning project meetings. This form is now completed during the 4-H Online enrollment process.  The certified instructor or county coordinator should make sure that all shooting sports project members have completed the form.

3.  Health and parent consent
All 4-H Shooting Sports members/parents are to complete the standardized University of Missouri 4-H Youth Development Health Statement/Parent Consent section on their 4HOnline profile prior to participation in 4-H Shooting Sports. The leader and all assistants should study the health statements and familiarize themselves with any special medical needs or problems of the 4-H members before each event, and parents should make sure to update the health form sections if anything changes with the members health. Discuss with the parents procedures that should be followed in the case of an incident.
4.  Accident insurance
State policy requires each county 4-H program to have special accident insurance coverage on all 4-H members, including Shooting Sports members. All shooting sports leaders should know the policy number and procedures required. A copy of the policy should be kept with the certified leader and the original kept in the extension center.
5.  Emergency plan
An emergency plan of faction should be written and followed for each training site and activity. This plan should address the following topics:

  • Potential risks analyzed and procedures planned
  • Minor incidents and first aid, and who treats or determines procedure (first aid kit)
  • Access to emergency medical treatment (telephone on site, phone numbers to call, transportation, etc.)
  • Three-deep leadership (at least two adults on hand) know the plan and procedures
  • Emergency plan and natural catastrophe procedure (fire, tornado, lightning, etc.)

6. Incident report (Found at the bottom of the page)
A “4-H Event/Activity Incident Report” should be completed for any incident. Incidents include but are not limited to illness, injuries, lost or stolen valuables, accidents, property damage, safety or other rule violations. Other issues of concern may also merit an incident report. All incidents should be reported to the county coordinator and extension youth staff person immediately. The written report should be kept on file at the extension center. Extension staff should take appropriate action and advise the State 4-H Office and the University of Missouri Department of Risk and Insurance Management as deemed fitting.

Leader certification

Instructor certification policies

All Shooting Sports volunteers must conform to the established policy and procedures for application and acceptance established for any volunteer leader by the Missouri 4-H Youth Development Program. These policies and procedures are found in detail in the Missouri 4-H Handbook. This procedure includes the following steps: 

  • Submit application — complete a Missouri 4-H Volunteer Application form (found at bottom of page) and submit to extension staff person in home county.
  • Application will be reviewed by extension staff and county Volunteer Personnel Committee.
  • Criminal background check and Child Abuse and Neglect Screening (CANS) will be performed.

Volunteer application will either be approved, disapproved or approved with modifications.
Missouri 4-H recognizes three levels of leadership in the 4-H Shooting Sports Program.
1.  Certified instructor
a.     21 years of age or older.
b.    Successfully completed the 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Certification Workshop conducted by the Missouri Shooting Sports Training Team.
c.     No convictions for game and fish law violations within the past two years.
2.  Assistant instructor
a.     18 years of age or older.
b.    Work with youth only under the direct supervision of a certified instructor.

3.  Junior leader
a.     Older 4-H youth, with 4-H Shooting Sports experience.
b.    Approved by certified instructor.
c.     May assist adult volunteers in a variety of ways.
(May not work with youth without the certified instructor present)

Instructor renewal policy

  • To keep certification valid, an instructor must teach or assist in teaching the shooting sports discipline course at least every two years.
  • Once certification lapses (after two years of not teaching), an instructor must repeat a State Leader's Certification Workshop.
  • Renewal will be required of all instructors when a program change requires an update or is deemed necessary by the state coordinator.

Certification and qualification

4-H certification, achieved only by successful participation in a 4-H leader workshop, is an absolute requirement for an instructor in the shooting disciplines. No other certifications or qualifications are accepted as a substitute. Just because you are an expert marksman does not mean you know how to work with kids. And just because you are firearms instructor certified by another person does not mean you know about 4-H philosophy and procedure. Each 4-H leader workshop includes youth development principles and concepts, risk management practices and program management in addition to shooting discipline training.

Policies for managing 4-H resources

Each 4-H Shooting Sports group with financial responsibilities should visit with their local MU Extension 4-H staff person for advice and guidance prior to establishing financial accounts, policies and procedures.
Regardless of the funding source, 4-H funds belong to the “public”; extension employees and 4-H volunteers should take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously. Funds raised in the name of 4-H must be used only for 4-H purposes and activities.

  • County 4-H Shooting Sports groups (committees) are encouraged to channel funds through the county 4-H council as separate designated funds account. If the county chooses to establish a special interest Shooting Sports Club, that club may establish their own treasury following the recommended guideline.
  • Any 4-H group, which has annual receipts of over $50, should establish a checking account at a public financial institution.
  • The checking or savings account should be set up so that checks and withdrawals require two signatures.
  • Whenever the treasurer is under 21 years of age, the co-signer must be an adult.
  • Parent and child from the same family should not be co-signers.
  • The 4-H group should have an Employee Identification Number (EIN). Apply for an EIN with form SS-4, which can be obtained from your bank or the IRS.
  • Treasurers of any 4-H group are required to use the Missouri 4-H Club Treasurer Record Book (Y672), available through county MU Extension 4-H staff. (For groups with large annual budgets, the treasurer may substitute a commercially prepared financial record book or computerized financial record keeping system.)
  • An accurate and detailed record of all receipts and expenditures must be kept. Refer to details in Y672.
  1. Whenever the group receives cash or checks, the treasurer must write receipts for all money received and provide this to the customer or donor.
  2. Receipt should include amount, what the funds were for, and the date.
  3. Deposit all funds at least monthly. Large deposits should be made within three days.
  4. Use and keep a copy of the deposit slip. Record all checks and cash, include source, name and check number.
  5. Pay bills only with a check, never with cash.
  6. Always have a written bill, invoice or statement before writing a check.
  • Treasurer should provide a written detail financial report at each meeting; club treasurers present at club meetings, and county Shooting Sports groups (clubs or committees) present at each 4-H Council meeting.
  • An annual audit of finances is required. The auditing committee, which may be made of volunteers, examines and verifies accounts, receipts, expenses and procedures.
  • All fundraisers should be approved in advance by the 4-H staff person or the county 4-H Council.
  • Equipment and supplies donated in the name of 4-H are to be used only for 4-H purposes and do not become the possession of an individual.
  • Receipts of donated supplies or equipment should be written and given to the donor.
  • Donations of funds, supplies or equipment should be reported to the 4-H staff person and the county 4-H council.
  • The club leader or group advisor (Shooting Sports county coordinator) should keep an accurate and up to date inventory list of donated equipment. A copy of the inventory should be provided to the 4-H staff person annually and when new equipment is added.
  • The inventory should be as detailed as possible and include: donor, date of donation, brand name, model name or number, and serial or identification number if available.
  • Should a 4-H club or group disband or cease to function, any funds, donated equipment and supplies become the property of the county 4-H council (or extension council). It is inappropriate and illegal to transfer funds or equipment to individual members or leaders.
  • Contributions to approved 4-H groups are usually tax-deductible for the donors. Check with the MU Extension 4-H staff person for details and documentation. Individual donors should always consult with their own tax preparer.

Resources for all project levels