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New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife Kicks off HOFNOD program at Cheesequake State Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver 40 volunteers from around the state of New Jersey attended the Future Fisherman Foundation Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs training seminar held last weekend in Matawan NJ. The group spent 1 ½ days learning the fundamentals of teaching this legendary program to students. The group was also invited to listen to the long range program plans from NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Jim Sciascia who is the Chief of Information and Education for the state. Mr. Sciascia gave the group an outline of where they would like to concentrate their funding and efforts as they build their HOFNOD program across the state.

The group learned about teaching a wide variety of topics ranging from aquatic education and habitat to beginner fishing and life skills. One of the highlights of the weekend is when the group breaks into teams and act out a scenario of a real life situation that may range from a drug or alcohol choice to a situation that involves following local fishing regulations.

A surprise visit from the Mayor of town of Old Bridge, Mr. Owen Henry, was a highlight also as he pledged his support to the group to help make this program a success in his town.

Staff members Liz Jackson and Jessica Griglak from the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife assisted in the training and showed the class several new teaching techniques designed to engage students with the program in a fun and entertaining setting.

A variety of local volunteers led by Greg Kucharewski also worked very hard to make the weekend a success.

The training was a great example of community activism and government support for a terrific program that engages kids with the great outdoors and the sport of fishing!

For more information on Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs go to futurefisherman.org.