August 1 is not only a time to reflect on the century mark of the beginning of the scouting movement, but also to pay tribute to the man who introduced fishing to millions as well.
On that date at 8 a.m., millions of youngsters and adults across America will lift three fingers on their right hand skyward reciting the Scout oath as they celebrate Scouting's Sunrise created by Lord Robert S. S. Baden-Powell in 1907.
IGFA librarian and Fishing Hall of Fame historian Gail Morchower said that while a British military officer and drawing on his favorite childhood activities, Baden-Powell had written a pamphlet in 1893 for the young soldiers of his regiment on camping, tracking, observation and survival skills.
A decade later he discovered the pamphlet was being used by youth leaders to teach outdoor skills in the United Kingdom. Encouraged, he rewrote it as Aids to Scouting for a younger audience and began the first scout camp with 20 British boys on Brownsea Island off the coast of Dorset, England. The book later became Scouting for Boys the official handbook of the movement that has grown to more than 38 million boys and girls worldwide.
A traveler and avid fisherman especially in fly, Baden-Powell practiced catch-and-release nearly 50 years before it became widely accepted
Morchower said he wrote in the Fishes and Fishing chapter of Scouting for Boys, "Every scout ought to be able to fish in order to get food for himself" Fishing brings out a lot of the points in scouting, especially if you fish with the fly When you catch your fish do as I do only keep those you specially want for food or as specimens, put back the others the moment you have landed them and they swim off quite happily to enjoy life in their water again."
"It is no wonder that fishing has always played an integral role in scouting," Morchower said.
Baden-Powell was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame in 2002.
The IGFA hall is also where scouts, both boys and girls, meet for Fishing merit badge classes and other related subjects such as Fish and Wildlife Management and added most recently Fly Fishing, helping to carry on the rich angling legacy of Lord Robert Baden-Powell.
For more on Baden-Powell please go to the IGFA website at igfa.org and look under the Hall of Fame. For more on Scouting's Centenary go to eng.scouting2007.org