Building confidence and advancing to “continuation with support” and "continuation without support"

Remember that it will likely take numerous sessions for a person to gain confidence and self identify as an angler, even for panfishing. Very few people participate independently after a single exposure to a new skill. Self identification and confidence is the result of repeated trials. See the Understanding the Outdoor Recreation Adoption Model (ORAM) for more information on the various stages a person goes through while adopting a new activity.  

However, each trial should not be the same activity over and over; each re-trial should include a review of previous learning/experience, as well as new and/or more challenging experiences, and should be conducted within a “continuation with support” mindset.  The goal of these re-trials is to build confidence in applying the new skills and knowledge and help the individual self-identify as an angler so the participant  will ultimately operate in the “continuation without support” stage.

During trials, it is often helpful to ask participants:

1) “How confident are you in doing this (activity, skill, etc.) on your own?”

2) “What additional skills, knowledge, or support do you need so that you could participate in this activity on your own?”

Supporting activities could include:

  • Facebook page for your locavore program graduates
  • New angler email (or mailed) newsletter
  • New angler online forum where they can ask questions and post ideas and experiences
  • Other online angling forums
  •  “Class reunions” or “alumni events” for your locavore program graduates
  •  "Graduate day" as part of the class. Invite them to participate and help instruct.
  • Membership in a local fishing club
  • Attending fishing and outdoor expos
  • Fishing with their classmates/fishing buddies
  • Fishing clinics at area sporting goods stores
  • Graduate fish fry
  • Monthly fishing events for your locavore program graduates
  • Graduates could volunteer at fishing clinics for children or to teach Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Etc
  • RBFF angler newsletters
  • Graduate led equipment-shopping events for new program attendees

It is important to remember that each individual must navigate every stage  before (s)he can pursue any given activity confidently and independently. Trying to create “shortcuts” may lead to disappointments or frustrations.

It is also important to remember that a single agency or organization does not have to provide programs or activities for all stages. Creating cooperative partnerships is an effective way to share the workload, as well as the responsibility for creating new anglers.