Author Archives: M. H.

NBBC Is Hiring: Environmental Education Coordinator

Patterson shows wildlife thriving in the Living Dock to a class from St. Joseph College

Wildlife thriving in the Living Dock

Job Description

The North Brooklyn Boat Club (NBBC) is seeking a part-time Environmental Education Coordinator to oversee educational programming throughout the summer and fall season of 2017. NBBC offers marine-based education to visiting school groups, community organizations and the general public through land-based activities at our headquarters in Greenpoint and on-water canoe tours. We are seeking a motivated self-starter to conduct outreach, handle administrative duties, maintain our educational space and run on-land programming. The Coordinator will report to the Board of Directors and also help coordinate our dedicated volunteers in running educational programming.

Responsibilities

Outreach to existing and new educational, community and corporate partners in scheduling and offering environmental education programming at the North Brooklyn Boat Club’s boatyard. Tasks include outreach and scheduling, coordination with volunteers and running marine based education programming using established NBBC lessons plans and activities.

Work Schedule & Compensation

  • 15 hours per week, May 1 through October 31
  • Availability to work on weekends is a high priority; scheduling is flexible
  • Possibility of additional hours depending on funding availability
  • $20 per hour

Qualifications

  • Highly motivated and self-driven with ability to work well with others
  • A natural communicator with experience in community outreach and engagement
  • Experience working with groups of all ages in educational setting
  • Background in marine or earth sciences is a plus
  • Must be comfortable in small boats, willing to learn basic paddle skills. Canoe experience is a plus
  • Familiarity with Greenpoint/Williamsburg neighborhoods is a plus

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to info@northbrooklynboatclub.org. Resume should include 2 or 3 references. Position will remain open until filled.

About NBBC

The North Brooklyn Boat Club is a 501c(3) non-profit organization located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NBBC is dedicated to enabling and advocating for human-powered boating on the waterways bordering Greenpoint/Williamsburg Brooklyn. The organization enables local citizens to be effective stewards of the ecology and so preserve the recreation and freedom that the waterways engender. Since 2012, NBBC has safely taken thousands of people out onto local waterways and run environmental educational programming for dozens of schools and educational groups. More info on NBBC Environmental Education here.

Tony Pignatello

NBBC mourns the passing of one of the legends of NYC paddling, Tony Pignatello, former Commodore of the Sebago Canoe Club.
Sunset from a kayak, 2015
“For all the river took away from us, it returned the greatest of gifts — a clean and unassailable purpose to existence. We lived to go another mile, to try to encounter it fully so memory would register it deeply, and to stay around long enough for the next mile and a reward of repose at the end of the day.”
–William Least Heat-Moon, River Horse
Kayaks on the dock at the Lake Sebago cabin

Meet the Paddlers, Part 3

NBBC exists to enable and advocate for human-powered boating on the waterways bordering Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in particular, and all through the New York Harbor. It is a community organization, and the member-volunteers — trip leaders, trip assistants, and program volunteers — who keep us on the water come from that community and give back to it by making NBBC programming happen.

Here are two more of those amazing volunteers. If you see Monica, Ros, or any of our trip leaders and volunteers around the club or out on the water, say hi, and thank them for lending their time and skills to keep North Brooklyn boating!

And visit the Trip Leaders and Volunteers page on the NBBC website to learn more about them!

Monica

Founding member
Kayak trip leader

First canoe-kayak Roosevelt Island circ, 2012

First canoe-kayak Roosevelt Island circ, 2012


Q. How did you become a trip leader?
As NBBC was getting set to open, I flew to Tybee Island, Georgia, for several intense days of training and testing so the club would have its first ACA-certified trip leader in time for opening day in spring 2012.

I also conducted workshops in those early days, and my 2012 workshop has blossomed into five: Trip Planning Theory, Trip Planning Practice, Marine Radio and Weather, Rules of the Road, and Knots for Kayakers.

[See the NBBC calendar for Monica’s upcoming workshops!]

Q. Tell us about a favorite route or trip that you like to use for club paddles.
A. After thirteen years of leading kayak trips on the East River, my favorite trip is any that lets people fall in love with paddling and thereby inspires them to care for and cherish nature and the environment. Plus, a side effect of learning to paddle is a boost to self-esteem and confidence.

To that end, I try to make my trips accessible to as many skill levels as possible, especially beginners, while keeping safety and fun in mind.

Finally, it gives me great joy to have played a part, even if small in those who go on to become leaders or instructors, continuing the cycle.

Monica in the East River

Monica in the East River

Ros

Membership coordinator
Canoe trip leader

Paddle instruction, Opening Day, 2016

Ros gives paddle instruction, Opening Day, 2016


Q. How did you first find North Brooklyn Boat Club? What’s your origin story as a club member?
A. I stumbled upon NBBC when I was doing research for a harebrained scheme, trying to get to this abandoned island outside of the city. Dangerously ignorant of paddling knowledge and other essentials, I was looking for a place that would rent a little hand-powered boat to me. Thankfully, that trip never materialized; if it had, I might not be here today! Anyway, I was smitten by the idea of a community boathouse whose work was to open access to our waterways, provide ecological and historical context, and equip folks with skills to venture out safely. So, I joined.

I finally made it to a night-time paddle going up Newtown Creek. As we waited for a couple of barges to do-se-do, our canoes gunwhaled up by wooden pilings on the Queens side just distal of Sims Recyling, we saw something incredible: bioluminescent comb jellies swirled beneath us, their electric blue forms flashing, folding over themselves, drafted by the tiny wakes of our canoe paddles.

Since then, I have been coming back to the club as much as I can. It has allowed me to discover so many things I love that I didn’t expect to find when I joined: the Dutch Kills swing bridge and other beautiful rusty fixtures along the creek; the epic annual night-time Manhattan Circumnavigation; the opportunity to learn so many interesting skills in community, like starting a fire with a knife, quartzite, and charcloth; witnessing groups of NYC schoolkids seeing tiny grass shrimp, snails, and fascinatingly disgusting bristleworms for the first time; relaxing my shoulders on a water break as the wide expanse of blue surrounds my small boat; working together as a crew on the water and off; laughing my guts out around a campfire with all these great goofy amazing people. There’s nothing better in Brooklyn.

Q. What kind of background and experience with paddling did you have before you joined, in general and in NYC specifically?
A. Okay, I did have a little sit-on-top kayaking experience before showing up to the club; I had gone out with some friends in Louisiana before. But compared to what I’ve learned from other NBBC paddlers, I knew virtually nothing. And look at me now, ma!

War-canoe rescue training, Hallets Cove

War-canoe rescue training, Hallets Cove


Believe it or not, Ros has a lot more to say! Learn more about Ros, Monica, and other super-skilled and endlessly enthusiastic NBBCers on the Trip Leaders and Volunteers page!

Meet the Paddlers, Part 2

In the last post, we presented two of the volunteers who make everything that happens at NBBC happen! From sunset paddles to bridge-shaking parties, what we do is powered by our amazing member-volunteers. On and off the water, our trip leaders, trip assistants, and program volunteers make it possible for NBBC to fulfill its mission: enabling and advocating for human-powered boating on the waterways bordering North Brooklyn.

Now meet a couple more: our two Klauses (in German: zwei Klauseln)! If you see Klaus, Klaus, or any of our trip leaders and volunteers around the club or out on the water, say hi, and thank them for lending their time and skills to keep North Brooklyn boating!

And visit the new Trip Leaders and Volunteers page on the NBBC website to learn more about them!

Klaus R.

Safety Committee coordinator
Canoe trip leader
Kayak trip leader

Klaus R. meets the winter head-on

Klaus R. meets the winter head-on


Q. What kind of background and experience with paddling did you have before you joined, in general and in NYC specifically?
A. Born in North Germany right between the Baltic sea and Atlantic, I grew up with fishing boats, racing one-man sail boats and rowing sculls. Ten years ago, I discovered NYC waters with the Manhattan Sailing School, getting certified for keelboats, but I actually never thought of paddling the East River in kayaks or canoes until I joined NBBC.

Q. Tell us one of your favorite stories about a particular club trip.
A. I recently joined a winter paddle to look for seals. Paddling out from Coney Island creek, it started to snow, and at some point the only sight of land left was our destination, Swinburne, a tiny artificial island south of the Verrazano Bridge. The horizon was hidden by a white curtain, and the water completely calm, when a group of seals popped up, curiously watching us. We navigated back by compass.

Klaus steers the Public Paddle

Klaus steers the Public Paddle

Klaus S.

Canoe trip leader
Kayak trip leader

Q. How did you first find North Brooklyn Boat Club? What’s your origin story as a club member?
A. I live ten minutes away — so gaining access to a fleet of sleek decked ocean kayaks made my becoming a NBBC founding member a total no-brainer. I hugely enjoy the vastness of personal space our local waterways have to offer. And if that sounds like I’m of solitary inclination . . . well, maybe, but being a trip leader over the past four seasons has certainly kept me in touch with a great community and hugely motivates me to keep learning and to share the wonderful experience.
Q. Tell us one of your favorite stories about a particular club trip.
A. So my favorite paddle is quite reliably the one I’m on right now — no matter how long or short. But one of the best things at NBBC is hanging out at the fire pit after the paddle (or even instead of a paddle). Ask me there, and I’ll be more inclined to recapture a story or two…

Klaus S. at Liberty

Klaus S. at Liberty