Scout leaders and young anglers enjoy "fuss less" fishing with Badger Tenkara rods
The National Scout Jamboree gathered over 40,000 Scouts at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia from July 19 to July 28, 2017. It was a perfect opportunity to introduce the Scouting organization at-large to tenkara rods. It was also a perfect opportunity to put them to the test. Personal experience and customer satisfaction tells us that they hold up well to long term use by an individual anglers - but how would they do in a "camp" setting with high user volume by young anglers? Our sponsorship of the Fly Fishing Merit Badge area at the Jamboree gave us a proving ground to illustrate the advantages and capabilities of tenkara rods in a youth camp setting. The SCOUT tenkara rods delivered!
Over 70 Scout leader volunteers staffed the various activity centers in the Jamboree fishing area. I provided a "101" class and demonstrations for the whole team, and more in-depth training for the fly fishing staff itself. They took it in quickly, asked great questions, and were excited about learning. Any anxiety I may have brought with me disappeared quickly as I saw the level of dedication that Scout leaders have for teaching young anglers to fish. It was clear from the start that the entire team was professional and serious about making certain that every youth that visited received high quality training and had a great time doing it.
There was a bit of a buzz floating around the Jamboree, word was on the street that the fly fishing area had something new and exciting to share. We got a visit from BSA National Commissioner Charles W. Dahlquist, who wanted to give our tenkara rods a try. He had a bluegill on the line after his second cast, and a big smile on his face the whole time. Then he passed the rod to Scout leader Nancy, who had never caught a fish on a fly before. After just a few minutes of coaching, we got her onto a nice largemouth bass!