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BSA Fishing Task Force - Presenting at the 2016 Aquatics Resource Educators Association AREA Conference

20-Oct-2016 8:33 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

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.  https://training.fws.gov/campus/facilities.html


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 

ben@jelsema.cc (407) 491-2906


Address: 8 Forest Oak Ct, St. Louis, Missouri 63026

Phone: 314-477-8120

E-Mail: Michael Brand

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