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Ben’s Tight Lines Message - Don’t Do It Alone!

30-Jul-2018 8:27 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

From the Desk of Ben Jelsema 

Ben’s Tight Lines Message - Don’t Do It Alone

You are a CAI with the responsibility to teach our Scouts how to fish. Don’t do it alone!  You need the help of other CAIs to lighten your load and to make an even bigger impact.  Get others in your area to become CAIs to help you.  

Does your council have a Fishing Committee?  Why not?  Sell the benefits of Fishing in Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation.  Make Fishing a Gateway for Girls by offering fishing adventures and offer female Scouters the chance to become CAIs.  We have trained over 1,000 CAIs and will have over 25 CAI courses this year.  

Please recruit your fellow Scouters to become CAIs.  Check our course schedule at bsafishing.org/CAI and get them signed up for a course near you.

An even better alternative would be for you to arrange a course.  If you need us to run it call your Region Chairman.  Even better, if you want to run a course in your council, take a CAI Course Directors Seminar and then run your own course.  

You will need your council to help promote the CAI course, so you need to explain the benefits to the council: 1) adding quality programs, 2) improving the camp’s fishery, 3) improving camp attendance, and 4) seeing the smiles on Scout’s faces. 

If the course attendance is over 10 we have a progressive free fishing gear offer to help the camp enhance their fishing supplies.  The more that take the course the higher the reward (from $400 worth for 10 attendees to $1,500 worth for over 25 attendees). In addition, the council will have a cadre of CAIs to bring new fishing events and to support its existing fishing programs.  

We know from a Boys’ Life survey that Fishing is the 4th most desired outdoor activity for Scouts (following Camping, Swimming and Biking).  Is your council aware of that?  They need to build on every Scout’s desire for fishing.  

I am very proud of the progress you and your fellow CAIs have made in providing our Cubs, Scouts and Venturers a lifelong activity of fishing, conservation and the love of nature. 


Ben Jelsema

National BSA Outdoor Programs Committee

Chairman, BSA National Fishing Subcommittee

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

Phone: 314-477-8120

E-Mail: Michael Brand

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