BSA Fishing
Certified Angling Instructors


  • 19-Dec-2016 1:02 PM | Michael Brand

    The BSA National Fishing Task Force has announced new requirements for the BSA Complete Angler Recognition Award. The new requirements which are now in effect, can be found BSA Complete Angler Recognition Award.pdf

    In addition to earning the three Fishing related merit badges- Fishing, Fly Fishing, and Fish & Wildlife Management, Scouts are now required to complete one or more of the following projects;

    1.       Teach a Fishing or Fly Fishing Merit Badge skill to your Troop, Crew or Team as part of a unit program activity.
    2.       Help instruct Cub Scouts on fishing skills or fishery management as part of a Cub Scout meeting or outing.
    3.       Participate in a local fishing derby or tournament, either a Scouting or Community Event.

    4.       Complete a conservation project that will benefit a local fishery.

    Quick facts: BSA Complete Angler Recognition Award

    How to get it: Take this signed application to your local council service center or Scout Shop.

    Placement:  Worn as a temporary patch on right pocket.

    Supply / BIN item number:  No. 620740.

    Please help us spread the word!

    Michael Brand - Communications

    BSA National Fishing Task Force

  • 07-Dec-2016 9:22 AM | Michael Brand

    We congratulate Fishing's Future on its selection as the 2016 Roland Sigurdson Outstanding Aquatic Education Program in America by the Aquatic Resources Education Association (AREA).  Award ceremonies took place on October 26, 2016 at the U. S. Fish & Wildlife National Training and Conference Center just outside of Washington DC. Competition was strong as many other programs throughout our nation were in the competition, including the Boy Scouts of America. 


    Fishing’s Future Founder and President, Shane Wilson, graciously accepted the honor stating, “This award goes out to all volunteers and supporters who have taken part in making Fishing’s Future what it is today.  There are hundreds of Fishing’s Future volunteers who give freely of their time to share the joys and knowledge of fishing within their communities and we could not do it without them.” 

    Fishing’s Future (FF) was started in 2007 on the Island of South Padre on the southernmost tip of Texas.  Over the last several years, FF has shared some level of angling education with more than 600,000 individuals nationwide.  In 2016 alone, they reached more than 140,800+ individuals and logged more than 16,700+ volunteer service hours across the country.  It is no wonder they are #1 in the nation.  

    The idea of Fishing’s Future began when Wilson was operating as the Administrator of a local School District’s Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP).  Students who misbehaved were sent to DAEP to continue and/or complete their High School education. 

     Wilson understood, “These kids were good kids who just made some bad decisions and when two or three of them got together, their decision making abilities plummeted.”  During his 12-year tenor at the Alternative School, it became apparent that many of these adolescents were making bad decisions simply because they did not have active positive parental engagement in their lives.  

    In response, Wilson came up with an idea to start an Angling Education Program to “rehook” the parents to their children.  He wanted to reconnect families and found himself reflecting back on his own childhood where fishing was instrumental in strengthen his family’s bonds. 

    Reconnecting the family unit became Wilson’s mission and angling education was going to be the vehicle he used to accomplish that goal.  His battle cry became “families forever” and from there, the logo was born!  Two lowercase “f”s representing “families forever” were turned around to embrace each other signifying the theme and then the program’s name “Fishing’s Future” was chosen.  Wilson ponders, “When you teach, education is the foundation and the future, so angling education is truly the future of fishing.”


    Wilson has pushed hard to grow the organization ever since that first day and this past October’s recognition from AREA as the Nation’s leader in Aquatic Education was indeed a tribute to his labor of love.  As a volunteer non-profit organization, FF receives inquiries daily to form new partnerships, open new chapters and schedule additional events.  Donations from corporations, foundations and private individuals are the only supplements keeping Fishing’s Future afloat.

    Currently more than 55 chapters are spread across America and over the next 5 years, Fishing’s Future expects to double in size.  FF plans to have several chapters in every state and at the rate they are growing and the recognition they are receiving, Fishing’s Future is on the way to becoming a household name.  As the organization flourishes, more sponsors are required to continue the everlasting effects this program has on youth and their families.  

    They invite you to get involved, get “hooked in”.  For more information visit their website www.fishingsfuture.orgor follow them on twitter and Facebook. 

    Fishing’s Future Founder and President, Shane Wilson, ardently extended a heartfelt thank you to the Aquatic Resources Education Association, U. S. Fish & Wildlife, the many volunteers, sponsors, and participants of FF and a special thanks to Roland Sigurdson and his family.

    Congratulations to Fishing Future Well Deserved!

  • 21-Oct-2016 10:34 AM | Michael Brand

    We are very pleased to report that we received notification from the​ Aquatic Resources Education Association  (AREA) Awards Committee, that the  Boy Scouts of America - Certified Angler Instructor Program's has been nominated for the 2016 AREA Roland Sigurdson Outstanding Aquatic Education Program Award.  Recognizing  aquatic education programming that increases public appreciation for, and understanding of, the values of aquatic resources and/or provides/promotes angler education and fishing opportunities to diverse audiences. 

    The AREA Award Committee has also informed us that a Scouter who is a BSA Certified Angling Instructor has been ​nominated for the 2016 AREA Steve Campbell Outstanding Aquatic Educator Award.  Recognizing effort in the area of increasing public appreciation for, and understanding of, the values of aquatic resources and is a leader in providing/promoting angler education and fishing opportunities to diverse audiences in a fun, energetic and enthusiastic manner. 

    This year's recipient will be announced and honored at the AREA Biennial Conference Banquet, to be held on October 26, 2016.  Stay tuned for further developments on the selection of the nominees.  

    Warmest Regards,

    C. Ben Jelsema

    BSA National Outdoor Programs Committee

    Chairman, BSA National Fishing Committee

    Group Lead, Merit Badge Maintenance Task Force (407) 491-2906

  • 20-Oct-2016 8:33 AM | Michael Brand

    I wanted to let you know that, BSA Fishing Task Force members will be attending the 2016 AREA Conference. This year’s conference provides quality professional development for more than 150 members in the field of aquatic resources education. the conference will be held at the US Fish and Wildlife Service Training Center, located in West Virginia.  These facilities are beautiful, I encourage you to check out the facilities and their training offerings.

    BSA FTF members, Bill Pepito, Michael Brand and I plan to explore opportunities for collaboration within and among organizations and agencies and look for ways to become “better together” at recruiting and retaining anglers and at developing stewards of our aquatic resources.  We believe we will be;

    ■ Inspired by Dr. Nichols as he shares how being on, near, in, or around water makes us “happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what we do;” 

    ■ Humbled as we learn how partners in industry, government, and volunteer organizations have conserved natural resources and engaged individuals across the country;

    ■ Challenged by research findings on participation rates and changing demographics; and 

    ■ Motivated to return to our organization with new ideas, resources, and networks to support the great work we all do each and every day to engage our Scouts and thier families. 

    Bill Pepito and I are scheduled to lead a discussions at the Conference that will focus upon; 

    • BSA-Certified Angling Instructor Program and the impact we are making within the BSA.  
    • We will also introduce a new program - BSA Angling Educator Program that is designed for for state, federal, and community angler educators who collaborate with the BSA fishing initiatives. 

    This new BSA Angling Educator Program is designed to assist our BSA Certified Angling Instructors, as together we strive to achieve our vision of providing quality outdoor programming to our Scouts. I will be providing updates on further developement on this new program once we introduce at the AREA Conference.  Stay tuned for additional details. 

    Warmest Regards,

    C. Ben Jelsema

    BSA National Outdoor Programs Committee

    Chairman, BSA National Fishing Committee

    Group Lead, Merit Badge Maintenance Task Force (407) 491-2906

  • 19-Oct-2016 7:31 AM | Michael Brand

    I just received word that that Bill Pepito and Michael Brand, both members of the BSA Fishing Task Force, and BSA Certified Angling Instructors have been recently elected to the 2016-2018 Board of Directors of the Aquatic Resources Education Association (AREA).

    AREA is a unique national not-for-profit association dedicated to furthering aquatic education. The mission of AREA is dedicated to promoting, through sound educational practices, stewardship and responsible use of aquatic resources, fisheries and habitats to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.

    Bill and Michael will be serving as Regional Coordinators for AREA.

     Southeast - Bill Pepito (FL)

     North Central - Michael Brand (MO)

    In their roles, they will have direct access to national, regional, and local levels of support and expertise. They will be provided opportunities to participate in conferences and seminars and enjoy daily dialogue with aquatic scientists and leaders from all walks of life.

    Please join me in congratulating Bill and Michael on their selection and wish them well as they continue to Deliver the Promise!

    Warmest Regards,


    C. Ben Jelsema

    BSA National Outdoor Programs Committee

    Chairman, BSA National Fishing Committee

    Group Lead, Merit Badge Maintenance Task Force (407) 491-2906

    (407) 491-2906

    For additional information on AREA please see comments below.

    AREA was established in direct response to a growing national need for a cohesive voice and a more fluid organized approach to the matters of regional, state, and local levels of aquatic concerns. 

    The incorporation in 1994 of AREA launched an unprecedented national effort to join the forces of all levels of experts, scientists, technicians, aquatic professionals, and organizations dedicated to aquatics, toward responsible, viable aquatic management. 

    Over the years, the voice of AREA has impacted the Federal, state, and local communities giving broad-scope stability, targeted growth, and offering direction to officials and organizations facing the challenges of meeting aquatic goals.

    AREA Members include, for example,

    • State aquatic education program directors, managers, and aquatic program coordinators;
    • Representatives of game, fish, and wildlife departments and  organizations;
    • Environmental protection and conservation officials;
    • Aquatic resources and sport fishing educators;
    • Natural resources, parks, and youth program leaders;
    • Watershed education and habitat restoration professionals; 
    • Federal, state, and local officials; and,
    • Related organizations, groups, and private industry

    AREA members also share professional experience; share a positive reputation with legislators and local groups alike; and members are able to get in on the ground floor of legislation, current developments, technical and research projects, and access vast amounts of information.

    For additional information please visit

  • 06-Oct-2016 11:36 AM | Michael Brand

    As a BSA Certified Angling Instructor, you may qualify to be a Merit Badge Counselor for Fishing, Fly Fishing, and Fish & Wildlife Management Merit Badges.  

    The latest news from Scouting magazine's blog for adult leaders, as written by By Bryan Wendell on Oct 6, 2016 provides a Step by Step Instructions on: How to be a merit badge counselor click here Step by Step Guide


    The Essentials of Merit Badge Counseling 

    This PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes covers the required procedures for merit badge counseling, clarifies the role of counselors in the BSA advancement program, and discusses the appropriate approaches to use in working with Scouts. It is intended as an instructor-led presentation to counselors of any experience level and takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete.  to access Power Point Presentations 

    Note: Please make sure you check with your Local BSA Council.  Council Requirements may differ from National Requirements.  

    I encourage you to get registered as a Merit Badge Counselor in your local Council.

    Thanks for all that you do for the Scouts! 

    Michael Brand - Communications

  • 28-Sep-2016 10:27 AM | Michael Brand

    Central Region - Outdoor Program Support Team - Fishing Program 

    We are please to report that BSA Certified Angling Instructors Robert Quam and James Ridgeway have agreed to serve as the Central Region - Outdoor Program Support Team - Area Fishing Leads.  Robert will serve as the Area #3 Lead, and James will serve as Area #6 Lead.

    They will be joining a high performance team of Fishing Leads in the Central Region led my Michael Brand Fishing Chairman.  Together this team has been extremely successful in training Scouters as Certified Angling Instructors and providing Fishing Programs to thousands of Scouts at all levels of Scouting. See below for a complete listing of Central Region Area Fishing Leads, see Central Region-Area Leads-Fishing

    Did you know that the General Duties of a Area Lead - Fishing include:

    • Provide active positive support to the mission of the Region - Outdoor Programs Support Team and the Region Fishing Chairman.
    • Build awareness, within the Area, of the benefits of High quality fishing programs on Scout recruitment and retention
    • Build awareness, within the Area, of the detriments of Low quality fishing programs on Scout recruitment and retention
    • Provide guidance and support in the development of Scouters who have an interest in providing quality fishing programs
    • Provide guidance and support to quality fishing programs addressing the needs of all Scouts in the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturing program
    • Provide guidance and support to quality fishing programs offered at the Unit, District, Council, and Area level
    • Identify, recruit, and provide recommendation of high quality talented Scouters willing to commitment volunteer service as Council Leads – Fishing within the Area. These recommendations will be made to the Council Outdoor Program Chairman or Council Program Director.
    • Provide support and provide guidance to the Council Leads – Fishing within the Area, providing Scouters with meaningful service opportunities and are of value.  Further, fostering a quality volunteer experience, improving Scouter retention

    Does your Region/Area have a Fishing Lead? 

    For a complete listing of Area Fishing Leads by Region click here

    Central Region-Area Leads-Fishing

    Northeast Region-Area Leads-Fishing

    Southern Region-Area Leads-Fishing

    Western Region-Area Leads-Fishing

    If you discover that you have no Area Lead in your specific Region/Area, that means the position is currently UNFILLED.  I encourage you to consider if this is an opportunity for service may be right for you!  

    Please review the job duties above and register your interest in service as a Area Fishing Lead.  Please address your correspndence to your Regional Fishing Chairman today!  For a complete listing of Regional Fishing Chairman, click here Regional Fishing Chairman 


    Michael Brand - Communications

  • 27-Sep-2016 4:06 PM | Michael Brand

    Agreement will bring awareness to the Take Me Fishing campaign and to fishing opportunities on U.S. Forest Service land

    ALEXANDRIA, VA (September 27, 2016) - The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced it has entered into a new cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. Through the agreement, the Forest Service will help provide funding for the Take Me Fishing™ campaign while RBFF will promote the available fishing opportunities on or near U.S. Forest Service lands.

    "The U.S. Forest Service manages some of this nation's most pristine lands, and the fishing is top-notch," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "This new agreement allows us to bring more recognition to these great fishing opportunities, helping to bring new anglers and boaters to the water, generating more funds for conservation programs."

    More than 193 million acres of forest and grasslands are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and their programs reach millions of Americans, whether directly or indirectly, through partnerships. However, younger, more diverse audiences are underrepresented on U.S. Forest Service lands, all while the general population is becoming more diverse by the day. RBFF will help address this issue by reaching out to, and encouraging, diverse communities to enjoy these resources through awareness and conservation education through its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns and websites.

    "The National Forests belong to every American and we are glad to work with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation to connect people to these lands to enjoy and help conserve for the future," said Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon. "Our National Forests provide many benefits including clean water, clear air and a great outdoor experience."

    "Reaching out to new, diverse audiences fits right in with our 60 in 60 goal, which this cooperative agreement will go a long way in helping to realize," added Peterson.

    In addition to the promotion of recreational fishing on U.S. Forest Service lands, RBFF will assist with providing fishing gear for youth in need. The U.S. Forest Service will actively participate in RBFF's 60 in 60 campaign through the new five-year cooperative agreement.


    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,, and , 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 United States Forest Service
    The mission of the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the Nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

  • 24-Aug-2016 8:43 AM | Michael Brand

    A quick up date on National Scout Jamboree 2017 to be held at SBR.

    As of today, we have nearly 70% of our Fishing Staff registered for the National Scout Jamboree.  Meaning we have about 25 staff positions to fill. We would like to fill these positions in the next 30 days.  If you have not submitted your application for Staff for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree, we ask that you do so now.  

    If you have submitted your application, and you have been confirmed for service, I would like to encourage you to invite a fellow Scouter to share your Jamboree / CAI experience. They need not be a CAI, but consider this an opportunity to recruit a future CAI.

    Please be aware that you should have your BSA membership number handy in order to complete the application.   If you have multiple numbers, please know that the number you use for Registration will also eventually be the one that will be tied to your BSA Health & Medical Record (when the time comes to electronically submit these forms).  Also have your credit card available in order to make your $150 deposit.

     Below is the link to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree Staff Application:

     2017 Jamboree STAFF Registration

    Once on the website’s landing page, select “REGISTER NOW” to begin your application (see below),


    Please also note your CAI #!

    If you really want to serve on the fishing staff, please list Fishing as your 1,2,and 3 choice!

    Please note that applications must go through a membership verification process prior to Council approval.  This is expected to take several months and we appreciate your patience as we move everyone’s applications along.

    We are excited and hope you are too!  We thank you, in advance, for your generosity of time, talent and effort as is needed to “Live Scouting’s Adventure”.


    C. Ben Jelsema

    National BSA Outdoor Program Committee
    Chairman, BSA's National Fishing Committee
    Group Leader, Merit Badge Maintenance Task Force                                 407 491-2906 

  • 24-Aug-2016 8:19 AM | Michael Brand

    Not sure if you knew that the TFO Scout Series Instructor Kits Scout Rod Flier Version 2 (1).pdf also included the added benefit of a TFO No-Fault Warranty in the U.S.  

    If your TFO Rods are broken / damaged please visit TFO Warranty and Repair Information

    Register Your Fly Rods Online ›

    To use the TFO No-Fault Warranty in the U.S., simply send the entire rod to TFO address in Dallas, TX.  You must send in the entire rod as TFO does not sell individual sections.  Once it arrives, TFO will re-fit a new section to the rod and inspect the remainder for any additional damage or wear.

    TFO recommends using a carrier that provides tracking information in case of a problem. Make sure to include a note with your return shipping / contact information and a check for $30 (per rod). Failure to include the proper return shipping information may result in additional fees. 

    The repaired rod will be shipped back to you within a few days of receipt. Blanks sections (as appropriate) will be replaced and returned with related hardware and finishings from broken sections. 

    This warranty is limited to the blank on custom TFO rods and does not cover flagrant abuse of the product. International warranties have different requirements. 

    Please contact TFO   Kim Penick for more details on this great program offering.

    *It is not advised to send personal rod tubes, rod/reel carriers or any other perosnal items with your rod. TFO is not liable for the safe return of those items. Please ship your rods in a standard cardboard tube/triangular box availible from UPS, USPS, FEDEX, etc.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software