Scouting out a bright path for our industry

While I was a Brownie for a year or two in elementary school, it wasn’t my path to a love of the outdoors. I didn’t realize what an incredible impact Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts can have on kids until later in life. In my 20s, when I was dating my husband, I had a chance to attend quite a few Boy Scout ceremonies to cheer on his younger brother, Chad, who would eventually go on to achieve Eagle Scout. Over the years, I learned a lot about what was involved, from wilderness trips and fundraisers to the earning of patches of all colors, shapes and sizes. Most of all, I was impressed with how the program exposed kids to all kinds of experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

That’s why I was so excited to see that Take Me Fishing has introduced a Scout Patch Program. The three patches introduced are the Passport Patch (which requires Cub Scouts and Scouts aged 6 to 11 to complete a six-step program that teaches them how to be knowledgeable, safe and confident when fishing and boating), the First Catch Patch (which requires Cub Scouts and Scouts aged 6 to 11 to organize a fishing trip using the resources on TakeMeFishing.org) and the Mentor Patch (which requires Scouts aged 12 to 17 to organize a fishing trip for newcomers to the sport)

Studies have shown that 90 percent of adult outdoor enthusiasts were introduced to nature-based activities between the ages of five and 18. That’s certainly true for me. The boating, waterskiing, hiking and camping that I did with my family and at summer camp when I was growing up is what got me hooked. And it’s what gets me so excited to share them with my son.

If our industry wants a bright future, we need more of these types of initiatives. In fact, I suggest boat dealers and marinas contact their local Scout troops to find out how they can be a part of this program or Scouting activities in general. If you can get these kids and their families hooked on boating this year, your business – and the industry at large – will reap the rewards for many years to come. For more information, visit TakeMeFishing.org/Scouts.

5 comments

  1. Love this idea. Why didnt I think of it as a former Scout and Scout leader myself? Some of my most memorable experiences as a human being are the Scout "ventures' that i had and the comraderie I enjoyed in the process. As Liz said, it helped shape who i am today. ---Still a believer in the Scout oath ("trustworthy, loyal..") and motto (be prepared!).

  2. It is a good idea. I am a ex-scout leader and Eagle scout (1964).
    I taught fishing, boating and rowing merit badges.

    Also did a lot of the citizenship badges.

    Introduced a lot of kids to the marine environment.

    My son who is now a young salesman and a Eagle scout himself might want to restart
    the merit badge counselor thing we did before....

    Chuck

    Happy New Year....
    Boat show time again.

  3. Liz

    That is a great idea. I would not just limit it to scouting. Our dealers should think about all youth groups, teams, etc. as a potential source for future boaters. When my daughter ran a marine dealership in Pennsylvania she would take challenged young children on boating trips. The publicity was awesome.

  4. What an amazing group for our industry to connect with and start building relationships for the future. They are certainly an admirable group and worthy of our attention.

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