How Bass Pro Shops Had Scouts Reeling Over Fishing

Cub Scouts in Portage, IN receive fishing poles from Bass Pro Shops general manager, Marty Nealon. (Photo credit: Ty Washington/ Chicago Tribune)

Earlier this June, hundreds of youth gathered near Lake Michigan at a familiar outdoor adventure store, where they each received a summer gift any Scout would love—fishing poles!

Outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops awarded these free fishing poles as part of the “Gone Fishing” initiative, which encourages kids to venture to the great outdoors. The Chicago Tribune details the event that undoubtedly sent Scouts flocking to lakes and streams in pursuit of a summer catch.

Throughout the initiative, Bass Pro Shops donated 32,000 fishing rods and reels for the sake of summer fun. The retailer then distributed the fishing gear to thousands of children with the help of the Wildlife Educational Exhibit of Northwest Indiana and of course, the Boy Scouts of America.

BSA and Bass Pro Shops certainly share an enthusiasm for outdoor enjoyment and both work to spark that passion in today’s young people.

Bass Pro Shops operations manager Stephen Lisek explained to the Chicago Tribune how the store offers experiences for even the youngest outdoor enthusiasts. “We run a lot of events geared for kids and even have a wonderland event at Christmas… We’re a family store.”

Encouraging outdoor activities is a mission Scouters like the Pathway to Adventure Council’s field director Ty Washington can appreciate. “We love partnering with Bass Pro Shops,” Washington shared with the Chicago Tribune.

Learn more about the adventures you can join through Scouting at—as District Executive Bryce Shaffer told the Chicago Tribune, “We’re always looking for new people interested in Scouting to add to the fun.”

For the full story, check out the original article by the Chicago Tribune.


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Rochelle Randles is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She enjoys sharing incredible adventure stories within the Scouting community and beyond. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at