Onward in 2024!


The mission of the Sebago Canoe Club is to expand public access for human- and 
sail-powered boaters; strengthen the connection between members of the 
surrounding community and the local waters and wetlands; promote the ecological 
stewardship of Jamaica Bay and the greater New York-New Jersey harbor and 
estuary; offer training in boating technique and navigational and water safety;
and collaborate with and extend hospitality to other like-minded groups

As 2023 winds down and we begin planning for 2024, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on our mission statement as a 401c3 non-profit and see how well we met our mission objectives. 

We welcomed almost 50 new members, many new to human- or sail-powered boating. Throughout the season members — both new and old — enjoyed ample opportunities to get out on the water with a full calendar of on-water outings and instructional opportunities. We hosted the local community, including youth groups and seniors, at three busy open houses, offering several hundred people a chance to try out a variety of watercraft. Our partnerships with the Billion Oyster Project and the Science and Resilience Institute of Jamaica Bay provided dozens of students, educators, and community scientists water access for hands-on study and research. This year also marked the beginning of a new partnership with Outdoor Afro, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering Black connections to nature, with a Juneteenth event and a weekend at Lake Sebago, co-hosted with the Yonkers Canoe and Rowing Club. Plus, after a pandemic caused hiatus, the CCNY concrete crew team has returned to SCC for training. 

Our success in fulfilling the goals set forth in our mission statement is a large part of the reason that the Parks Department continues to support our long-term stewardship of our property. We’ve accomplished all this as a small member-run Club with no staff — and I think all would agree, we also had fun.   

Thank you to all the members who have continued to make our programs so successful, from those who welcome our new members and greet our weekend visitors to those who get all of us safely on the water, as well as those who maintain our grounds (the gardens! the Lake cabin!) or assist with the myriad of essential administrative tasks: planning calendars, paying our bills, and ensuring everything is in working order. It’s hundreds of volunteer hours! Thank you to everyone for your continual readiness to volunteer where and when needed. 

Our efforts have also been acknowledged and recognized in a substantial way. Senator Persaud — who as many of you know has been a staunch supporter of our open houses, with staff in attendance at every event and actively liaising with community groups — has approved $30,000 in grants for SCC through the office of Family and Children’s Services. We have formed a small working committee that is now at the beginning stages of sorting through a many-step process to access the funds and to develop an achievable action plan. The long-term plan is to improve the clubhouse, shoring up the infrastructure to make sure it continues to function as a usable space for many more years, and to make it a more welcoming space for our members and our community partners. More information to come as plans develop. 

Looking forward to a great 2024!

—Beth Eller

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