Last week, Bruce Crockett of Wayne was awarded a certificate of recognition from WV Governor's Office for his 18 years of service as the Head Coach of the Wayne County 4-H Sharp Shooters.
To learn more about the Wayne County 4-H Shooting Sports program, please contact the WVU Extension Wayne County office at 304-272-6839.
Since 2004, Bruce Crockett has served as the 4-H Club Leader of the Wayne County Sharp Shooters 4-H Club and program. Bruce is a product of the Wayne County 4-H program, having been an active member as a youth participating in club, county, state, and national 4-H programs. The program made an indelible impact on him. Therefore, he wanted to give back and support a program to better serve the youth in Wayne County. He identified firearm safety and shooting sports as a program to champion, given the prevalence of hunting and outdoor recreation in Wayne County. Furthermore, he appreciated the life skills taught in 4-H Shooting Sports which include firearm safety, sportsmanship, teamwork, communication, and conservation. Additionally, Bruce knew that a program like shooting sports would strengthen families through participation in lifelong recreational activities. Given all this, he made the decision to start a 4-H club focused on shooting sports eighteen years ago.
Over his tenure, Bruce has worked with over 300 Wayne County youth training them in air rifle and other shooting sports disciplines. He recruited 15 additional 4-H volunteers who were trained in various shooting sports disciples to support the program. Apart from 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Bruce and his team of volunteers easily invested over 200 hours of service each year with monthly club meetings, bi-weekly practices, county 4-H camp which features shooting sports classes, and fundraising efforts. He spearheaded fundraising and grant efforts raising over $20,000 that supported the purchases of high-quality firearms, support equipment, and two-gun safes. Bruce has led seven Wayne County teams, representing West Virginia, at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competitions in either Nebraska or Texas. In fact, one of the Wayne County 4-H members he coached went on to earn a spot on the WVU Rifle Team which was a crowning accomplishment.
On a state level, Bruce is a nationally certified air rifle instructor. This distinction allows him to train 4-H adult volunteers in West Virginia. Since 2012, Bruce has trained over 100 adults in air rifle, which allows these 4-H volunteers to return to their counties and train youth in air rifle and firearm safety. He has served as an instructor at the annual State 4-H Shooting Sports Camp providing instruction that has reached over 400 youth the past 15 years. Since 2011, Bruce has served as a member of the State 4-H Shooting Sports Committee lending countless hours to organize and improve the state 4-H Shooting Sports program.
4-H Shooting Sports in Wayne County is synonymous with Bruce Crockett. His hard work and dedication have given shooting sports and the 4-H program name recognition as a quality program among county officials (County Commission, Board of Education), civic organizations and parents. Bruce would be the first say that he could not have accomplished this without other 4-H volunteers and parents, but without his vision and dedication we would not have his legacy of excellence.