by Greg Kucharewski
Youth Education Report
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association March 2013 Newsletter)
NJ HOFNOD Development
On February 15, 2013 Tim Burden and I attended a HOFNOD meeting at the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Central Office to discuss their HOFNOD Action Plan for New Jersey that Liz Jackson and Jessica Girglik designed to take NJ HOFNOD to the next level.
Frank Virgilio, NJ State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and Ed Markowski, New Jersey Outdoor Alliance were in attendance to discuss the expansion of HOFNOD and explained the importance of utilizing the twenty-two week learning sessions. Frank and Ed are familiar with HOFNOD since its inception and are very knowledgeable about meeting legislative protocol to meet original HOFNOD objectives.
The working group is looking to recruit core volunteers and conduct a NJ HOFNOD training program that will establish working group leaders and support volunteers in urban areas.
Jim Sciasia, Chief of Information and Education, stated the plan is still in development and more dialog on the subject will continue over the next few weeks with project participants. The Division of Fish and Wildlife is also designing a program that will train NJ facilitators who will then train group leaders and support volunteers.
If members in your fishing club or organization would like to be part of the NEW NJ HOFNOD expansion, please phone 732-785-9278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and leave your contact information. You will be contacted about meeting the volunteer criteria for the NEW NJ HOFNOD requirements.
Urban Promise/Urban Trackers
On January 24th Tim Burden and I met with Jim Cummings, Director Experiential Learning from Urban Promise, Camden, NJ to discuss how HOFNOD would complement their already successful Urban Trackers/Boatworks program. Youngsters learn how to build boats and knowledgeable volunteers guide students through the boat-building process.
Last year, students traveled to Island Beach State Park and spent time at Sedge Island learning about aquatic education. We explained how their students could experience surf fishing by attending a fishing clinic for novice anglers. We also encouraged them to start an after school fishing club. They already have excellent crafted boats to go fishing.
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced that the NJ Chapter of The Wildlife Society is again offering the Russell A. Cookingham Scholarship to a qualified undergraduate in the wildlife/fisheries or conservation education/communication field.
This scholarship is made possible by an endowment from Russell A. Cookingham, former Director of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. The NJ Chapter of The Wildlife Society manages the endowment fund and awards the scholarship.
For more information on the scholarship, including the application process, visit this link on the division's website.
Brick Cub Scouts Pack # 47 completed their first two HOFNOD/Passport To Fishing and Boating sessions. December session 1 consisted of a HOFNOD introduction/video, how to have a fun-time learning about fishing and why it is important to keep our environment clean. We explained to the scouts that we are preparing for National Fishing and Boating Week and they would learn about fish biology, Where Fish Live, Presentation of Baits, Rods and Reels, Terminal Tackle, Knot Tying, Safety & Ethics, Hands-On Casting, Hooking and Fighting Fish, Handling and Releasing Fish, NJ Rules and Regulations, and Local Fishing Opportunities in Ocean County. Because they showed an interest in both saltwater and freshwater, we told the scouts they could decide where to go fishing in Ocean County.
February session 2 the Cub Scouts competed in a fish anatomy puzzle competition. The Scouts formed two lines and raced to assemble all the parts of a fish. We discussed where fish live and how important it is to keep our waterways clean. Fish handling and how we can hurt fish and how fish can hurt us. Pack Leader 47 had all the Scouts make posters about what they learned about pollution and fish. Can’t wait to see them.
Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club
Tim Burden, JCAA Youth Education Committee member, will visit the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, 2013 and present a “Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs” event for youngsters attending their Kids Fishing Night. The Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club hosts this annual event at the Knights of Columbus Hall, located in Union, NJ. Children and their families are welcome to come and enjoy a night of fun fishing activities and refreshments. We always enjoy working with the membership of this club because they are devoted to teaching the joys of fishing to our young people. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s Youth Education Committee will support this worthwhile event by providing “Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs” packets for all the youngsters. Tim Burden will conduct a water safety seminar and demonstrate the importance of life vests.