On October 5, 122 Girl Scouts ages 5-16 in the Omaha/Metro area were able to earn a Fishing Badge thanks to Angie Michaels, CEO of FishHer – Fishing Gear for Women and a grant from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundations Youth Initiative. Volunteers from Cabelas La Vista, Nebraska store, Recycled Fish and FishHer served as instructors at EXTREME Go Fish Girls! A special event organized to help celebrate that the fishing program had received official badge status for the Girl Scouts in Nebraska.
Go Fish Girls! is now officially a Girl Scout Spirit of Nebraska approved program that introduces girls to the sport of fishing, teaches them to fish and helps participants of the program meet the new Girl Scout initiative for sports. The 2 hour Go Fish Girls! Fishing Program and its guidelines were developed by Michaels with the help of the Omaha/Westmont Elementary Girl Scouts. The first hour is Fishing 101 in an outdoor classroom environment and the second hour is hands on fishing. Michaels applied for the grant from RBFF last spring to help fulfill part of the FishHer mission statement “to empower women and girls in the sport of fishing through education…” and will use the grant to take the Go Fish Girls! Fishing Program across the entire State of Nebraska – making it available to 14,000 Girl Scouts. More than 700 girls in Nebraska have graduated from the Go Fish Girls! program in the past 18 months.
There had not been a Fishing Badge available for any Girl Scouts to earn until Michaels presented the idea to the Nebraska Girl Scout Council who were more than enthusiastic about being a part of the pilot program. In November, Michaels plans to meet with the National United States Girl Scout Council in Washington DC to promote the Nebraska Go Fish Girls! Fishing Badge guidelines and program for the purpose of a National Badge adoption. If accepted, it would mean that ALL Girl Scouts would be able to learn how to fish and receive an official fishing badge through the Go Fish Girls! program.