Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association November 2012 Newsletter)


JCAA Youth Education Award

HI-MAR Striper Club nominated Jeff Johnson for the JCAA Youth Education Award and supports many of the fishing and boating programs that are organized by the Father Time Association.

Jeff Johnson is an educator at Bolger Middle School, Keansburg and a driving force behind the Father Time Association. Jeff Johnson will receive the 2012 JCAA Youth Education Award at the JCAA Annual Sportsperson of the Year Dinner. Jeff Johnson is the Director of Father Time he has promoted HOFNOD and worked for many years to develop school age children’s interest in outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, environmental awareness, and wholesome outdoor experiences with students and their families. Father Time fosters activities that grow into a pastime hobby where time is put to good use in the outdoors, instead of the alternative. Every January Father Time hosts an Environmental and Outdoor Expo at Bolger Middle School where organizations and fishing clubs can teach children about sport-fishing and aquatic conservation. Throughout the year Father Time runs fishing derbies and environmental outings.

The JCAA Youth Education Committee is proud to recognize Jeff for all his work and accomplishments.


Governor Christie Signs HOFNOD Bill

We are very excited that $200,000.00 will be appropriated from the Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction Fund now that Governor Christie signed bill A638 on September 27, 2012. The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife is in the planning stages of reintegrating HOFNOD in schools and adding new options to expand training in New Jersey. Many supporters of bill A638 deserve recognition for their persistence to make HOFNOD a reality in New Jersey. Legislators, Recreational Fishing Enthusiasts/Environmentalist, Educators, and Individual Citizens of New Jersey helped support bill A638 to successfully pass the bill.

The JCAA Youth Education Committee has promoted the Future Fishermen’s Foundation (F 3) HOFNOD program since 1991 and the Jersey Coast Anglers Association (JCAA) member clubs have utilized HOFNOD since its inception in 1986. The program is designed to help students deal with peer pressure issues, low self-esteem, and conditions that affect their ability to make the right choices when approached about drugs, alcohol, gangs, violence, bullying, and other behavior that is not acceptable.

A young child’s vision sparks an idea. Recognition for HOFNOD goes to a 14 year-old youngster named Matthew Deakins. In 1986, Matthew wrote a letter to F 3 stating it was because he used fishing and spending time outdoors as a healthy outdoor activity to avoid using drugs. Matthew’s thought lead to the development of a national HOFNOD program to help children develop skills for life. The program helped young fishers to be patient, set goals, solve problems, make decisions and improve self-esteem. HOFNOD also connects children with strong role model.

Today, HOFNOD is operating for 26 years in 38 states including New Jersey. F 3 provides HOFNOD support material for school superintendents, teachers, parents, students, volunteer instructors, recreational fishing, and civic/environmental organizations. They have a wide range of products for the classroom and fishing clinics. My favorite is the Teacher’s Guide and Videos. You can view their product list at Their goal is simple: To promote the participation and education in fishing as well as the enhancement and protection of the aquatic resources.

Over the years, JCAA has conducted and assisted with HOFNOD programs for thousands of children and their families. Our youth education committee also assisted with the promotion of HOFNOD in other states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. During 2002, we assisted with the development of “Passport To Fishing and Boating” that the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation launched. “Passport to Fishing and Boating” is a station based learning process to teach the basics of fishing and boating and complements the HOFNOD program. There are many aquatic education and fishing programs that can be utilized with HOFNOD. It’s easy to incorporate lessons from other programs and a great opportunity to create interesting activities for students to work in a group/team venue.

On September 15, 1993, we were invited to speak at the first NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife Certified HOFNOD Instructor Training located at Pequest Trout Hatchery. The JCAA Youth Education Committee shared our HOFNOD successes and how we promoted HOFNOD in schools, local community organizations, and facilities that provide special needs for children. Since 1996, the JCAA Youth Education Committee has held a number of HOFNOD awareness training sessions for educators and volunteer instructors and JCAA has recognized the following fishing clubs/organizations and individuals for their promotion of HOFNOD in New Jersey: 1996 - Newark Bait & Flycasting Club, 1997 - Dr. Eleanor Bochenek, Marine/Environmental Educator, 1998 - Manasquan Fishing Club, 1999 - New Jersey Beach Buggy Association, 2000 - Tom Fote, JCAA Youth Education, 2001 - Friends of Island Beach State Park, 2002 - Shore Surf Club, 2003 - Rosemary Beales, Marine/Environmental Educator, 2004 - Shark River Surf Anglers, 2005 - Absecon Saltwater Sportsmen, 2006 - Hudson River Fishermen's Assn., 2007 – Hi-Mar Striper Club, 2008 – Paul Harris, NJBB Association, 2009 – Berkley Striper Club, 2010 – Al Lorenzo, Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County, and 2011 – New Jersey Chapter Trout Unlimited. It takes the support of many recreational fishing volunteers to bring success to the fishing community. Our recreational fishing and environmental volunteers go above and beyond to ensure our youngsters choose healthy lifestyles.

We look forward to assisting the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife to expand HOFNOD in schools, after school programs, and county community based organizations. Children in NJ will definitely benefit from HOFNOD and learn to appreciate all the outdoor resources NJ has to offer.


Send Us Your Event Information

The Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s Youth Education Committee is asking JCAA member clubs/organizations for a listing of scheduled youth and family events that are going to be held by your club or organization during 2013. The purpose of this request is to alert other fishing clubs and organizations that would like to participate in your youth and family event. The JCAA Newspaper is a way to get the word out about what’s happening in your club. Use this opportunity to inform others about events your fishing club/organization is doing to promote fishing. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s Youth Education Committee will support your event with “Hook On Fishing Not On Drugs” materials. Please contact Greg Kucharewski with your listing of youth and family events and don’t forget the Sportsmen Shows include your booth location, fishing club or organization that will attend. By providing this information your fishing club or organization can improve membership and increase consumer participation.


Youth Activities

The Hudson River Fishermen’s Association had another successful Annual Fishing Contest in Seaside. Plenty of bluefish were caught and kids had a great day out. The Lacey High School Fishing Club was at IBSP on Columbus Day attending the "Beginners Surf Fishing Clinic". Besides Al leading the presentation, Bill Mackintosh and Tim Burden spoke about safety and assisted on the beach. There were close twenty participants in all from Lacey high school. While there weren't any fish caught while out on the beach, all of the young anglers had a great time. The fishing club moderator and one of the school's drug counselors mentioned he would be interested in having the HOFNOD program at their school. The JCAA Youth Education committee will follow up and assist Lacey high school with an informational packet to start their HOFNOD program.

On October 7th, the Governors Surf Fishing Tournament was held at Island Beach State Park. Fishing was tough and anglers had to deal with rain and wind. As usual everyone had fun time fishing despite the weather. After fishing participants gathered at the pavilion to win raffle prizes and prizes for the largest fish caught in participant categories. We had a lot of activity at our JCAA youth education-learning booth. Children received a goodie-bag with HOFOND materials and fishing line for identifying different species of fish.


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