ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - Take Me Fishing, the boating and fishing communities' national campaign, introduced the Scouting Patch Program today. Three new boating and fishing patches, now available to Cub Scouts and Scouts, promote the merits of the sport and encourage scouts to plan and organize fishing trips using the resources found at TakeMeFishing.org.
"We are thrilled to announce the Scouting Patch Program to introduce more youth to the fun and excitement of boating and fishing," said Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) President and CEO Frank Peterson. "All three patches promote the merits of boating and fishing and create a deeper appreciation for the outdoors. We want to inspire newcomers to get active and develop leadership qualities to ultimately protect the legacy of the sport and the future of our nation's waterways."
About the Scouting Patch Program -
* Passport Patch - Cub Scouts and Scouts aged 6 to 11 earn this patch by completing an introductory six-step program that teaches various skills to be knowledgeable, safe and confident while boating and fishing. The Passport to Fishing and Boating Program has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America for excellence in aquatic education.
* First Catch Patch - Cub Scouts and Scouts aged 6 to 11 earn this patch by organizing a real-life fishing trip using the resources found on TakeMeFishing.org.
* Mentor Patch - Scouts aged 12 to 17 earn this patch by organizing a fishing trip for newcomers to the sport. The Mentor Patch develops leadership qualities and introduces someone new to boating and fishing.
According to the Special Report on Fishing and Boating, conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, fishing is the most popular gateway activity that often leads to participation in other outdoor pursuits. The report also found that youth participants aged six to 12 are driven by a desire for fun (78.6%) and an interest in exploring the natural world (50.9%). Past research shows that 90 percent of adult outdoor enthusiasts were introduced to nature-based activities between the ages of five and 18.
"Because patches are an integral, exciting component in Scout subculture, we are certain that a program driven by a patch incentive and combined with the reach of Boys' Life and Scouting magazines, when merged with RBFF's resources, is the perfect formula for promoting fishing, boating and conservation," said Boys' Life & Scouting Publisher J. Warren Young. "We are proud to have our audience, the future of America, partnering with an organization that protects the future of our waterways."
TakeMeFishing.org is the centerpiece of the national Take Me Fishing campaign. The site earned national recognition in 2009 with awards from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), International Academy of the Visual Arts, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Web Marketing Association. In addition, the site's social network, Fishington - The Fishing & Boating Capital of the Internet, was recognized by the Webby Awards and the Web Marketing Association.
Troop leaders can find more information in the Jan/Feb issue of Scouting magazine. To register for the patches, visit TakeMeFishing.org/Scouts.
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 helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers' Legacy™.