You bet it has!
The National Fishing Sub Committee has responded to this by some hard work by our members to adapt to the “new normal”.
A revision to the Fishing Merit Badge Counselor’s Guide and the Fly-Fishing Merit Badge Counselor’s Guide have been made. Check them out at: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/Outdoor%20Program/pdf/FishingCounselorGuide.kc.pdf
With virtual meetings being used due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are in development of a course on virtual meetings and how to have them. We know many of our Certified Angling Instructors would make good use of these.
We are currently building the online portion of Certified Angling Instructor (CAI) Course. We realize there is a hands-on element to fishing so at this point we think about a third of this cornerstone course for fishing can be done virtually.
The next online development challenge will be the merit badges. We think much of the material can be taught online but there may be elements that will need equipment or instruction that cannot be virtual. We are hoping to have a viable online curriculum by the end of summer on both the CAI Course and Fishing Merit Badge.
Now, let’s talk about being safe in the “new normal”. If we are to go outside, we need to practice social distancing. Hey, what about fishing? Social distancing is easy while fishing, especially when fishing from shore.
You do not need a fancy boat, piles of fishing rods or really any fancy equipment to have fun fishing. At most local lakes, all you need is a stick or cane pole, fishing line, hooks, a bobber and worms to have fun. Who can remember being 8 to 15 years old and catching bluegill all day until you couldn’t see the bobber anymore because it was dark? These are some of fond memories we can help build.
Our commitment to youth has always been to create memories for them. Don’t you have the same idea? Help our youth to get that cane pole, bobber, hooks and worms to go fishing. By doing this, we can create a memory for them forever.