• 19-Apr-2017 2:46 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    National Jamboree Staff - Fishing Program Area

    Additional Staff Needed!

    We currently we have 70 Fishing Staff signed up.  

    • 54 Staffers will be attending Jamboree both weeks. 
    • 8 Staffers will be attending Jamboree for week #1 only. 
    • 8 Staffers will be attending Jamboree for week #2 only.

    This provides for 62 Staffers toward the 75 Goal.  

    A full staff of 75 gives us enough staff to give each member a day to see the Jamboree or to rest.  

    We Need 13 Staffers and we need them to register now!

    Please cast the nets!!


    C. Ben Jelsema

    BSA National Outdoor Program Committee

    National Fishing Task Force Chairman

    Group Lead Merit Badge Maintenance Task Force

    2017 National Jamboree Fishing Lead   407 491-2906

  • 13-Feb-2017 11:49 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    Show us your #FirstCatch

    Our partners at RBFF and Take Me Fishing encourage adults and children alike to get out on the water fishing and boating! 

    And we want you and your Scouts to show them your best first catch moments whether it’s the first of the day, first of the season or first of a lifetime! 

    Share and tag your first catch experiences with #FirstCatch. 

    We're collecting and showcasing them here. See what thousands of anglers across the U.S. are reeling in!

    Follow @Take_Me_Fishing and show us your #FirstCatch


    Watch Take Me Fishing's latest video. Take Me Fishing encourages adults and children alike to get out on the water fishing and boating!

  • 31-Jan-2017 11:33 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)
    With any volunteer position in the Boy Scouts of America, understanding exactly what the role of that position is in the bigger picture and getting the proper training for the position is critical.

    For the new merit badge counselor a good starting point is to review the Guide for Merit Badge Counselors available at:  This resource introduces MBCs to the merit badge process, helps them gain an understanding of their unique role in advancement, and provides them with good instructional techniques for working with Scouts. 

    To find out about the availability of Merit Badge Counselor Orientation training in their area, new MBCs should check their local council’s website or contact their local district or council training committee. 

    This training is of value even to seasoned MBCs, as new counseling techniques and ideas are often times rolled out in these sessions. 

    Here is an example. New and veteran MBCs should first ask themselves a few simple questions:  Am I using the latest merit badge pamphlet and requirements for badge instruction? (Visit for current merit badge pamphlets and requirements.) 

    Do I have the skills, education, and experience currently required to teach youth the subject matter of the merit badge? Furthermore, if required as for certain badges, do I have the specialty certification or training needed to teach the badge? (Find a list of the required specialty certifications in Guide to Advancement (topic, accessible at

    Is my required Youth Protection Training (YPT) current? (If you are not sure, contact your local council service center to find out; or better yet, just log onto your My.Scouting account (https:// and take the convenient online YPT certification course.) 

    Counselor Guides

    BSA Beginner's Fly Tying Handbook 

    Fish and Wildlife Management merit badge 

    Fishing merit badge 

    Fly-Fishing merit badge 

    Michael R. Brand

    BSA National Fishing Task Force - Communications

  • 26-Jan-2017 8:29 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

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

    As of today, we have nearly 75% of our Fishing Staff registered for the National Scout Jamboree.  Meaning we have about 20 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 2 fellow Scouters 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 

  • 12-Jan-2017 8:24 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    Outdoor Retailer and Adidas Outdoor Presented BSA Certified Angling Instructor - Lillian Rose Weihert the 2017 Outdoor Inspiration Award on January 11, 2017. 

    Ms. Weihert was recognized for her work in Angler Education through the Boy Scouts of America Certified Angling Instructor Program.  Ms. Weihert is the President of the Pathway to Adventure Council Venturing Officers Association, VOA, and President of Crew 191.

    The Outdoor Inspiration Awards recognize those whose efforts go above and beyond in inspiring others to engage in outdoor activities. 

    “The Outdoor Inspiration Awards is about honoring leaders in our industry who promote participation in outdoor activities, and this year’s list of finalists truly embody that mission,” said Greg Thomsen, managing director, Adidas Outdoor U.S. 

    “The Outdoor Inspiration Awards is a true celebration of what the outdoor industry and our community stands for. It is our love of the outdoors and our zeal for an adventure that fuels our passion,” said Marisa Nicholson, vice president and director of the Outdoor Retailer Show. “This event gives the industry the opportunity to celebrate the people, companies and organizations that tirelessly work to share the outdoor experience with others. 

    Join me in congratulating Lillian Rose Weihert for Delivering the Promise to the Scouts she serves.  

    FISH ON!

    Michael R. Brand


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

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (Administrator)

    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 (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.

    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 (Administrator)

    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

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

Phone: 314-477-8120

E-Mail: Michael Brand

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