It all started circa 1966 when Gale and Hilda Fowler and Mark Perfect, began searching for some land to start an archery club. As the search went on, they found additional interested families who shared a love of archery. Soon thereafter, they leased a portion of the Lang Ranch from the Thousand Oaks Recreation and Park District. This small group pooled their funds, purchased hay bales, cleared trails and set up a range. And with that, the Conejo Valley Archers was born. ``I never had a clue the club would grow to be as big and successful as it is", said Hilda Fowler. "And to see all those people who were involved… I just can't tell you how it felt knowing we had brought it this far.''
The Conejo Valley Archers offer people a chance to discover the sport of archery, which is what the Fowlers had hoped for when they started the club over 40 years ago. ``Archery has been part of our lives for at least 40 years,'' Hilda Fowler said. ``We both love the sport, the people involved in it and hope to continue enjoying it for many more years.''
Today, Conejo Valley Archers (CVA) has more than 200 members and is located at Tapo Canyon Park in Simi Valley. The CVA maintains a 28-target NFAA 5-Star Certified roving range, a target facility for the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program, several roving 3D ranges, a permanent 3D range (half constructed; to be finished spring of 2009) and plans for a 30-lane FITA range to accommodate State and National level tournaments.
The CVA, who moved to Simi Valley in 1997, features several programs, the most notable being the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program. It is a nation wide National Archery Association sponsored program, which has been part of the Conejo Valley Archers since the early 1980's. Its purpose is to prepare kids, 18 and under, to compete in a tournament-like setting. Olympic hopefuls come out of CVA and the JOAD program. One former member brought home an Olympic gold medal in 1996.
In 2003 the fires came... it was disastrous. It destroyed all but the metal trailers on the property. Since that time, the CVA membership has rallied to rebuild the facility. The roving range is better than ever. We have improved the target structures by attaching roofs to protect them from the weather. New bow racks, repainted benches and the addition of new trees and shrubs have all added to the newly rebuilt range.
The JOAD facility has also undergone a makeover. Under new management with Mike Broder, John Downey, Dave Dragan, Rob Kovac, and several other coaches the facility has been enlarged to accommodate groups of 125+ people. Our targets accommodate 5 meter, 10 meter and 18-meter distances. Additionally, we have FITA targets (Olympic style) set up at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 90 meters for advanced shooters. Every Saturday (from 9am-1pm) we invite the public to give archery a try. We provide all equipment and instruction for a nominal fee. We also host private parties at our facility upon request at special rates.
We at CVA are very excited at the prospects of our organization and invite all of you to come out and see our facility.