More than 2,000 Scouts every year earn their Angling Badge, and this year is set to be even better with the news that 46,000 copies of the new Scouts angling learning pack have been snapped up by Scout leaders since it was launched in October 2007.
The Environment Agency has supported the Scout’s angling badge for several years and has recently teamed up with the Angling Development Board, National Federation of Anglers, the Salmon and Trout Association and the Scout Association to redesign the course.
“We have modernised the Angling Badge learning materials to make angling even more inviting and accessible to young people - and importantly to the Scout Leaders - many of whom won’t know much about fishing,” explained Environment Agency Angling Participation Manager Richard Wightman.
“The new level of interest in this badge has amazed even the most experienced of us. It is just one more illustration of how popular angling is among young people – provided they are given the opportunity.
“Personal development and leadership has always been held in high regard by the Scout Association. By encouraging more Scouts to go fishing it is hoped we will not only improve the sport’s profile but develop the angling coaches and leaders of the future.”
The Environment Agency Thames Region has provided such an opportunity at the Scout Headquarters, Gilwell Park, North East London. Working with the Scouts Association and local angling coaches it has up-rated facilities to create an Angling Badge-friendly fishery out of two World War II bomb craters.
“The local coaches use this fishery to demonstrate angling, what they can bring to the Scout Association and Scout Leaders from across the country as well as teaching Scouts to fish, ” added Environment Agency Thames Region Fisheries Officer Matt Carter.
The Environment Agency is keen to join up with anyone interested in the future of angling to develop this project as far as it can go. For more details visit www.scouts.org.uk/sponsors/environmentagency