Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association November 2017 Newsletter)
2017 JCAA Youth Education Award

The New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen Clubs was selected by the JCAA Youth Education Committee to receive the 2017 Youth Education Award. NJSFC was nominated by the oldest fishing club in New Jersey, the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club. Below is a brief summary of their nomination. The Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club is proud to nominate the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs for the 2017 JCAA Youth Education Award.

The NJ State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs was established since 1935 and represents more than 150,000 outdoor enthusiasts that fish, hunt, and trap throughout New Jersey. They work to ensure conservation education, wildlife management, hunter education, sport hunting, and all the principals of environmental stewards to manage valuable resources in New Jersey. Within their 20 chapters; their membership consists of environmental educators, NJ HOFNOD certified instructors, wildlife management and conservation experts. They meet with NJ State Officials, Legislators, and other environmental groups to recommend policy that will maintain healthy aquatic and wildlife resources through conservation education.

NJSFSC members have given countless volunteer hours so children will have opportunities to enjoy fishing and hunting in a safe environment, along with learning about conservation and becoming stewards of the outdoors. Their list of accomplishments is extensive so we will only mention a few: Over the years NJSFSC has spearheaded several bills and policies to protect wildlife, wetlands, and the needs of recreational sportsmen, women and youngsters – NJSFSC was instrumental in the passing of bill 638 and wrote policy for NJ HOFNOD; they also continue to make recommendations to expand NJ HOFNOD programs and increase learning opportunities in science technology, education art and math (STEAM) – Early on certified NJ HOFNOD, NJSFSC instructors worked with NJ Conservation Officers and were the first to provide classroom instruction for NJ HOFNOD. They also designed a NJ HOFNOD mobile fishing equipment cart to reach several school classrooms in NJ.

NJSFSC is a leader amongst organizations that strive to provide viable data to state officials to protect our resources and that includes youngsters that must know how to care for recreational sportspersons rights. We appreciate all NJSFSC has done over the years for NJ HOFNOD. NJSFSC members go above and beyond by volunteering many hours to carve out a future for our young people to follow and we know that their work will continue to protect our most valuable resources “our young people.” By laying out a foundation of superior sportspersons our young people have an opportunity to carry out the mission and values of NJSFSC as they grow to become the next generation of environmental caregivers.

Speaker Requests

On Tuesday, November 7th we were invited to speak at The Jersey Shore Surfcasters meeting and present how NJ Hooked on Fishing not on Drugs ties in with the VVA Chapter 12 “Play HOOK-e program for veterans.

We will also speak at the American Legion Post 346, Women’s Auxiliary in Neptune Township on November 16th. Then it is off to Sandusky, Ohio for the annual physical education and therapeutic recreation conference.

Another Successful NJBBA Youth Fishing Event

Children were excited to fish the NJBBA 24th Annual Children’s Surf Fishing Tournament on September 16. According to Ken Hollins, Tournament Chairman, fishing was pretty good for the 94 children that participated on the beach at Island Beach State Park.

Youngsters were excited to catch fish and participate at the learning stations to understand the importance of protecting our coastal aquatic environmental resources and information about surf fishing techniques.

A lot of work goes into making this event successful and it takes many volunteers to make sure children have fun throughout the day. All the children receive tee shirts, goodie bags, and best of all each child gets to win a prize. NJBBA volunteers served lunch to the kids and there were plenty of smiles and full bellies.

Children received trophy awards for entering a fish in each youth division. Check out the NJBBA website for more photos and info about the event.

NJBBA 24th Annual Children’s Surf Fishing Tournament
NJBBA 24th Annual Children’s Surf Fishing Tournament (photo by Ken Hollins)
1st Annual Kid’s Wish’n to Go Fish’n a Great Success

Thirty-three special needs children were hooked on catching fish and enjoying the outdoors at the first annual “Kids Wish’n to go Fish’n” located at Lake Julianna on the Ponderosa Estate Farm, Millstone Township, New Jersey. Mr. Vito Cardinale, President Cardinale Enterprises LLC., Don Marantz, Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s, Youth Education Committee and Greg Kucharewski, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 12 are already making plans with Mr. Cardinale and his team to make the event for special needs children bigger and better next year.

As children arrived at Lake Julianna and registered they received fishing instructions, “Kids Wish’n to go Fish’n” tee shirt, patriotic dog tags, goodie bags, fishing caps, and prize tickets for lots of toys along with rods and reels. Mike and Debbie Bennett, Bear Education and Rescue, played environmental games with the children and provided loaner rods and reels from their New Jersey “Hooked on Fishing not on Drugs” equipment trailer.

During the fishing segment of the outdoor fun day the focus was not on catching the biggest fish because it was catch and release only. Volunteer anglers from various organizations assisted children and their families with baiting hooks, releasing hooked fish, and setting up tackle. Dan Harrison, President of the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association who volunteered with other club members stated; “The smiles from the children, parents and caregivers was amazing. Everyone was having fun.” Every child was able to catch a fish and some youngsters had the experience of catching their first fish and received a “First Fish Award” certificate.

After fishing, everyone gathered around the BBQ picnic area for delicious pizza and food that was prepared by Mr. Cardinale and his team. Antsy the Clown had children flocking around her to receive balloon art and face painting. Children enjoyed hayrides, fly casting, and watching the NJ State Police K9 Unit demonstrate how dogs are used to stop bad guys and sniff out hidden drug targets.

The event could not be possible without the support of Mr. Cardinale and his team of caring volunteers. We also thank the following sponsors and businesses: Magnakron, Team Swish, Jersey Coast Anglers Association, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 12, Boating Education and Rescue. Merchants – Dairy Queen, Dan The Tin Man, The Fisherman Magazine, Bagel Bistro, Monmouth Candy, Albivi’s, Bellanapoli, Tommy’s Bagles, Di Lucca’s, Vesuvio, Granmarco’s, Dunkin Donuts, Sportsmen Center, and local contributors.

We also thank our amazing angling volunteers that assisted with set up and making sure everyone was safe by the water.

1st Annual Kid’s Wish’n to Go Fish’n
1st Annual Kid’s Wish’n to Go Fish’n
Veteran’s “Playing Hook-E”

During September, we presented a “Play HOOK-e” from PTSD Striped Bass workshop at Jenkinson’s Aquarium for fourteen veterans.

Jennifer and Carol began our tour at 5:30 and explained every detail about aquatic species, reptiles, and wildlife. We also discussed what fish to eat and fish to avoid. How to properly catch and release Striped Bass without injuring the fish was demonstrated.

Veteran’s “Playing Hook-E”

On October 17th fifty-one veterans attended our Play HOOK-e from PTSD at LZ 64 Monmouth Jet Center, Wall Township, NJ. The goal of the program was to introduce veterans to outdoor activities, connect with other veterans, and experience flying in small aircraft and helicopters.

6:30 pm, Tuesday, November 14th will be the next date to meet at LZ 64. Rich Thomas welcomes veterans to join their sessions that will offer fly casting, outdoor sports, oldies guitar music, model plane building, horse and art therapy, along with aviation interests, etc., over the winter months. Come out and enjoy some light refreshments and help us design a session you would like to attend at the Monmouth Jet Center LZ 64 group. Please encourage young veterans that you know to join us and help plan the session schedule.

Veteran’s “Playing Hook-E”
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