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Belmar Beachcomber Blog


Friends Of Belmar Harbor Inspires Junior Sailors On The Shark River Bay

Every summer since 1999, more than 5,000 children from Belmar, New Jersey, and nearby towns have learned valuable lifelong lessons in self-esteem, sportsmanship, teamwork, and environmental conservation at the Shark River Sailing and Science Academy (SRSSA) presented by The Friends of Belmar Harbor.

Registration for the summer 2020 sessions of SRSSA sailing and science programs begins February 1, with early-bird discounts through March 31. Classes and camps are one-week long and will be held weekdays beginning June 22 through September 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

SRSSA Summer Programs

The Friends of Belmar Harbor (FOBH) Shark River Discovery Camp is open to children between the ages of 7 and 11. During camp sessions, students are exposed to the fundamentals of sailing and kayaking, as well as to the scenic beauty of nature along the shores and in the waters of the Shark River Bay. Children may also participate in beach cleanups, stand-up paddle boarding, eco-themed arts-and-crafts projects, and other activities during their camp sessions.

"There is no better feeling, especially for a child, than the feeling of discovery. We get people to step off the shore and introduce them to the wonders of the Shark River Bay," says Eric Krause, FOBH Board of Trustees President, who has been a competitive sailor since age 9. RELATED: Belmar Vacation Bucket List - Summertime Surf School

Friends of Belmar Harbor
Photo by Friends of Belmar Harbor, Inc.

For ages 11 to 16, the Marine Environmental Science program gives older kids the joy of learning in a natural outdoor setting along the shoreline of the Shark River and in the shallows of its basin. Activities such as kayaking on the open water and walking along the shoreline bring kids closer to marine life and the study of oceanography, marine biology, marine ecology, and a touch of meteorology.

The summer Junior Sailing Program for ages 7 to 15 is another popular FOBH activity at the Shark River Sailing and Science Academy. Prior sailing experience is not necessary, as the program is open to children of all sailing levels and abilities — beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The program curriculum is designed using instruction standards set forth by the United States Sailing Association, the national governing organization for the sport of sailing.

Other FOBH programs include the Mayor’s Cup Regatta, the annual Summer Solstice “SAIL-abration” every June, the Friendship Cup Regatta, and adventure sailing for ages 11 to 14.

The FOBH headquarters is nestled in Maclearie Park on Route 35 in Belmar, adjacent to the L Street beach, with a second location of the Shark River Sailing and Science Academy at the Neptune Municipal Marina in Neptune, New Jersey.

"My 8-year-old son, who has never sailed before, had such a wonderful time during his first week, we went ahead and added on a second week," wrote a mother who rated the FOBH junior sailing program five stars on Facebook. "He loves everything about camp: being out on the water, learning to sail, kayak, using the paddle boards, and having some independence. We will definitely be back next year! Thanks for two fantastic weeks!"

Shark River Sailing and Science Academy  The Friends of Belmar Harbor

1300 River Road Belmar, New Jersey

Shark River Bay Belmar NJ
In addition to sailing, the Shark River Bay is a popular spot in Belmar, New Jersey, for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, paddle board yoga, and fishing.

Live Like A Local: Rent A Belmar Beach House

Day trips down the shore are fun, but it's even better to rent a beach house for the week to experience everything wonderful about the Belmar area. For couples, solo adults and small families, the two-bedroom Blue Hydrangea Cottage rental in Belmar, New Jersey, is the perfect getaway place. The home sleeps up to four people and is consistently rated five stars for cleanliness, amenities and location. Learn more at

Except where noted, all copy and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide to the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.


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