ALEXANDRIA, VA (August 4, 2015) - At the recent ICAST trade show, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) President and CEO Frank Peterson and BSA’s Fishing Committee Chairman Ben Jelsema signed a partnership agreement to support Boy Scout fishing through its BSA Certified Angling Instructor program. The BSA Certified Angling Instructor program transforms BSA fishing advocates into more effective trained instructors across the country, teaching Scouts of all ages the basics of fishing.
The key objectives to introduce Scouts to the joys of fishing are to help them catch their first fish, provide opportunities for ongoing fishing experiences, and encourage a progressive interest in fishing while increasing their skill levels. RBFF will provide resources including educational and instructional content from its Passport to Fishing and Boating Program and TakeMeFishing.org. In addition, RBFF will leverage materials from its industry network to the Boy Scouts of America to aid in teaching youth the enjoyment of getting outdoors, enjoying boating and fishing activities and protecting our precious outdoor environment and waterways.
“Our goal is to double the number of Certified Angling Instructors with BSA, increasing the opportunities for Scouts ages 6-12 to get involved in fishing,” said Peterson. “This partnership aligns nicely with our mission to get more people out on the water fishing and boating, in turn generating critical funds for state aquatic conservation activities.”
For over 100 years, fishing has been an important activity for Boy Scouts. The Fishing merit badge was one of the original merit badges and in 2015 the 2,000,000th youth earned the Fishing merit badge.
Surveys indicate that 83% of Scouts like to fish and it is the 4th most popular outdoor activity (surpassed only by camping, swimming and bicycling). Surveys further revealed Scouts are spending 23.3 million hours fishing every year, and spend approximately $70 million dollars on fishing equipment.
A newly-introduced recognition for Scouts is to become a “COMPLETE ANGLER.” It is earned by completing the Fishing, Fly fishing and Fish and Wildlife merit badges. It all begins with their first catch, and both BSA and RBFF are committed to ensuring Scouts’ first fishing experience is fun, exciting and memorable!
About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, TakeMeFishing.org and VamosAPescar.org feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, helping young people to be "Prepared. For Life®" The Scouting organization is composed of 2.5 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and over 960,000 adult volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.