Eleven young summer campers from the Boys and Girls Club of Newark visited Lake Hopatcong on Monday in a trip that was organized by the Juniors (ages 13 to 19) of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club.
“This is a blast for them,” said Dachel Martinez, 17, of Newark, who also happens to be this year’s Youth of the Year among the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey. “This is not something they get to do every day, and it’s a great new experience, something they’ll take home and be able to say they’ve done.”
The day included swimming, tubing, WaveRunner rides, a sailing lesson, and rides in different kinds of motorboats around the lake, including two antique and classic boats.
“I’m having a great time,” said 14-year-old Gio, who added that throwing water balloons was the best part. Nafees, 12, said he usually plays basketball during the Boys and Girls Club summer activities, and so swimming was a fun change of pace. “It’s been a lot of fun,” he said.
Eleven LHYC Juniors participated in the all-day event, as did many of their parents. “The idea was to get the kids up here, away from Newark, to teach them how to sail, to give them a good time, and to give our kids an opportunity to participate in some community service,” said Mike Gruber of Andover, whose son, Jaxon, was one of the Juniors participating, and whose daughter, Alexa, had run summer lacrosse programs at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark in summers past.
“Everyone out here, it’s a nice thing to see,” said Alexa. “It’s fun for everyone, and it’s the kind of day when all you want to do is be in the water, which is perfect for this."
The event is expected to become an annual occurrence, and next year, the Antique and Classic Boat Club plans to become a co-sponsor.