You can teach a Scout to fish — with proper training

If your idea of teaching Scouts how to fish is telling them to “watch what I do,” you probably could use some training.

And I’ve got just the thing: the Certified Angling Instructor Training course, taught Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2014, at (where else?) Florida Sea Base.

Conference attendees will earn the BSA’s Certified Angling Instructor recognition, meaning they’re certified to run fishing programs at BSA summer camps and instruct the Fishing and Fly-Fishing merit badges. Think of it as the fishing equivalent of firearm or climbing instructor training.

Of course, if you’re a registered merit badge counselor, you may teach Fishing and Fly-Fishing merit badges without Certified Angling Instructor Training. But the course is sure to sharpen your skills and improve the experience you offer a boy.

After all, someone who knows how to fish doesn’t necessarily know how to pass that knowledge on to boys.

It’s heartening to know that in this era of iEverything, boys still love fishing. In fact, a Boys’ Life survey recently revealed that fishing is the fourth-most-popular activity among Scouts. It’s a great hook (pardon the pun) for both recruiting and retention.

With that in mind, here are the quick facts about Certified Angling Instructor Training:

Who should attend?

Participants should include current and future council camp program directors and fishing staff, merit badge counselors, Cub day camp staff, Scoutmasters, Cubmasters and Venturing crew leaders. You should be committed to instructing Scouts in fishing and fly fishing either at Boy Scout summer camp, Cub Day Camp or teaching one or both of these merit badges in your unit or district.

When is the course?

You’ll arrive the evening of Oct. 30 and depart the morning of Nov. 2.

Classes are taught Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Registration and check-in is from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 30. There’s a reception at 9 p.m. Oct. 30 for class participants.

Where is the course?

At the gorgeous Florida Sea Base in Islamorada, Fla. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to learn fishing instruction.

How big is the class?

Space is limited to 30 participants.

How much does it cost?

$330, which includes three nights of lodging, meals, course materials and a sunset boat excursion

How do I register? What if I have questions?

To register or ask questions, email Course Director David Lund at

Download the flier

Want something to share with other leaders in your unit? Download this PDF.

About Bryan Wendell 2984 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.