The year is almost over, and it is once again time to renew your membership with the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. This membership, unlike your B.A.S.S. membership, is based on each calendar year, so it is always necessary for your chapter administrator to update all members during the months of November and December.
It is important that all chapters are updated during this cycle because failure to update can cause a break in receipt of B.A.S.S. Times magazine and a break in your chapter’s liability insurance coverage. So if you haven’t heard from your chapter administrator, call him or her with a reminder to update the chapter.
Now let’s turn our attention to the “rules” of membership in the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. For your chapter to affiliate with B.A.S.S., all members of your chapter must be B.A.S.S. members and must affiliate with the BFN. This is important for many reasons. Among them is the fact that your chapter is covered with a third party liability insurance program (similar to a commercial general liability policy that you would have on a business) and to have members affiliated with your chapter who are not affiliated with B.A.S.S. could jeopardize that policy.
In addition to being members of B.A.S.S. and members of the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, your chapter and all of its members must also affiliate with a state B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. This can be your home state or, if you are located on or near the border, it could be the neighboring state, but you must be a member of a state BFN.
All of the programs of the BFN are conducted through our state affiliates. That is the method we use to qualify your anglers for the state team, the appropriate Divisional tournament, the BFN Championship, and ultimately the Bassmaster Classic. It is also the method we use to communicate with the members. You get B.A.S.S. Times, but because this is a monthly publication with publishing deadlines (I am writing this column in late October for the December issue), most of our communications to the members are conducted by e-mail updates to the state BFN leadership. Once they receive these e-mail updates, they can either e-mail the information to you or post it on their websites. We also post blogs on www.bassmaster.com and send out an e-newsletter because we want to take every opportunity to get the information to you. (To sign up for the e-newsletter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
At B.A.S.S. headquarters, we work very hard on special programs from our sponsors that are offered to our affiliated states and members. These programs are administered through the state BFN president, and to take advantage of them, you have to be affiliated. These are very generous programs that can save you a lot of money on sponsor products or make a lot of money for the state BFN — money that comes back to you in the form of state benefits and activities. If you are not aware of these programs, check with your state leadership team.
So remember, we are all one big family — B.A.S.S., the national BFN, the state BFNs, the B.A.S.S.-affiliated chapters and, most importantly, our members. We will continue to try to provide the benefits and the opportunities that our members desire, so if you have suggestions or comments, send them directly to me or channel them through your state BFN leadership.
Let’s work together to make B.A.S.S. and the BFN the best fishing organization in the world!