Around the TBF Youth Newsletter – September 2009

School is back in session in almost every state and now is the time to contact your local principle or teacher about introducing a school fishing program to your area.
The steps are easy; just find a school representative that is interested in looking at our program. Contact the TBF for an application to our Student Angler Federation and we’ll send out a packet with all the information that you need to get you started.
Our packet includes a 15 minute classroom DVD that has become our “calling card” to schools. There is a very good tie to education in that DVD and educators like that. From there you only need to circulate the word that your school is interested in starting a fishing club and set a time for an initial meeting. Usually word of mouth and a few flyers will get things started. At that first meeting we can give you all the information that you need to get your club started and let everyone know what the Student Angler Federation is all about.
One of the most important items that the SAF brings to the table is insurance coverage for your clubs participants and its volunteers. This is a really big issue that many people fail to realize when setting up their school clubs but we have all of those details in place.
One of the questions I get asked most often is where are we going to get the boats to take us fishing? My first response to this question is don’t let yourself get caught up in needing to have a boat to take everyone fishing! There are a lot of school clubs out there that utilize both bank fishing events as well as boating events. Often times those bank events are a good way to start the club out so that you can evaluate what the skill level is of your members.
Eventually working your way up to boating events is the eventual goal and that can be accomplished by parent volunteers and others throughout your community. We have plenty of ideas that we think can really help you there.
Last but not least I’ll tell you that starting a school club takes a little effort to get started but the established school clubs that we have seen in operation do a wonderful job of getting students reacquainted with the great outdoors and also give some the reason they need to continue their education.
Until next month, don’t forget to take a kid fishing today!!  
                                                                                                         Mark Gintert