Lake Hopatcong was teeming with excitement on Monday August 8. The clouds parted for the arrival of The Boys and Girls Club of Newark. The group of 25 were guests at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club, to spend a day swimming, tubing, riding in speed boats and learning a thing or two about sailing. Their hosts for the day were the teenage members of the Yacht Club. Roughly 15 members volunteered their time to entertain and give brief sailing lessons, give rides on jet skis and bounce around on "the blob"-also known as a water trampoline.
The teens from the lake have grown up swimming, boating, and sailing. Many reside in summer lake homes and felt honored for the opportunity to share a summer day with members of the Newark Boys and Girls Club.
“We’ve done this three years in a row now and each year it gets more exiting for both groups,” said Daria Sullivan, President of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club Junior Program. “We have the greatest summers here and may sometimes forget how lucky we are. Today was a day to remind us of how fortunate we are, and how good it feels to entertain other kids who would not normally have the opportunity to spend time enjoying our lake like we do every day.”
The highlight of the day was the excitement of riding in antique Chris Craft boats provided by the Lake Hopatcong Antique and Classic Boat Society. Sailing was also a big treat as the wind was good and the sun was shining.
“One of my favorite parts was seeing the kid’s genuine happiness,” said Emma Restrick, Secretary of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club Juniors Program. “We took some of the boys out on a 420 sail boat, and every time the boat would pick up speed and keel over (something we lake livers don’t really notice any more), one boy would say ‘This is so cool, this is so cool!’ One girl Zabriyyah could literally not dunk in the water without resurfacing all smiles. She told me that her mom calls her mermaid because she loves the water and swimming so much. So this was a perfect day for her, as it was for all of us.”
By the end of the day the camraderie between the two groups was palpable, proving one sure thing: All kids, from every walk of life just want to have fun.