The number of Scouts who have earned the fishing merit badge rivals the population of Houston! That means two million Scouts who have experienced the joys of fishing and learned valuable lessons in the process. And today, Florida Governor Rick Scott is honoring the BSA for awarding the two millionth fishing merit badge in Orlando, Fla.
Scouting is sculpting a life-long passion for fishing, too. In fact, adults who were Scouts are 36 percent more likely to fish over the course of their lives than those who were not Scouts.
“By offering fun opportunities where we can put a fishing rod in a young boy’s hand and start him fishing early in a safe, controlled environment, Scouting can be a powerful force in getting young people started on outdoor adventures,” says Tom Redington, professional angler and BSA fishing partner. “Plus, fishing is a great way to teach patience, how to overcome challenges, and the rewards of learning those life skills.”
What’s more, 2015 will mark the 30,000th Scout earning the Fly Fishing merit badge and more than 667,000 Scouts have already earned the Fish and Wildlife Management merit badge.
To keep the momentum going, the BSA National Fishing Committee has plans to introduce a new fishing award, boost fishing opportunities for Cub Scouts and Venturers, build a network of Certified Angling Instructors, along with supporting local fisheries and expanding opportunities to the BSA’s High-Adventure bases. Scouts should keep an eye out for the upcoming William Hornaday Conservation Training and Aquatic Research Center which will be adjacent to the Summit in West Virginia.
Scouts can learn how to join the next million fishing fans by checking out the fishing merit badge and discover how Tom Redington is paving the way for the next batch of angler pros with BSA’s fishing program, Hooked on Scouting.