November Newsletter



Where has the year 2023 gone? I cannot believe it is November already. It really feels like summer just ended.

With that being said, all of our winter sports will be kicking into high gear shortly. I hope that all of our fall sports went well and everyone had a good season?

Recreation has a lot going on not only within the recreation center but outside as well.

Let’s talk recreation;

Basketball will be starting up very soon. Recreation and Travel registrations are open. Make sure to register your child for this upcoming season.

Wrestling will be starting soon as well. What a great way to become close with others (get it?) while working hard and staying in shape. Make sure to register your child for this upcoming season

As your Recreation Director, I am always thinking of ways to make our recreation the best in the area. I feel we have a fantastic recreation department with great commissioners. We offer many opportunities to play different sports and different programs or events which are available for our residents to enjoy.

With all these sports and programs comes the need for volunteers. In all my years of playing sports from my childhood until my 6 children have gone through sports themselves, my dad and now myself, would always have been the first to want to volunteer and coach our children. Its such a fun time not only with your child, but with the other children themselves. I have been involved in sports for the past 50+ years. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Nowadays, parents are no where to be found on the players side of the field. We are struggling, as other towns are as well, to get people to help out. I’m not just talking about coaching now either, I’m talking about the snack stand, holding the flags at the football game, scorekeeper for the basketball team, keeping the book for the baseball game, and more. It is very hard to understand “WHY” parents do not want to get involved. Then I think to myself, self, there could be a few reasons why? Everyone has become so competitive with youth sports, that we forget why they play? Everyone’s child is going to be the next Michael Jordan, or Aaron Judge, or whichever athlete you may choose. This creates crazy parental control on the sidelines when something does not go right. Who do they take it out on? Either their own child or the coach. Once you start attacking the coach, the question arises, “why am I doing this? No one appreciates me, I’m at every practice, every game, working on my practice plan on my own time, not getting paid, caring for their children, again, “why am I doing this?”. Can you blame them for not wanting to coach? Until we all learn how to control our emotions toward the children playing the game or the coach, the future is going to be difficult with getting parents to coach.

The children play the game because its fun. They play because their friends play. They play because they want to learn the game and maybe, just maybe be good enough to play in high school, never mind college or pros. Those numbers are a small percentage of those who play the game. Some play because mom or dad said so. In some cases, the kids are not enjoying the game but as the coach, we try our hardest to have that child enjoy it and maybe one day really like what they are playing.

We need to work harder as parents to assure 1) every child who wants to play a sport, has enough volunteer coaches so we can include everyone 2) make sure there are enough volunteers to help with all that I mentioned above (snack stand etc.) 3) make sure we treat the volunteer coaches with respect to make them want to come back and coach again 4) even if you are not a coach, ask the coach if he needs help with anything. You don’t need to know the game in order to be a volunteer in other ways.

Parents, your children are children only once in their lifetime. Don’t let this time go by without getting involved with them. There’s a phrase “Where did the time go”. This is so true! Don’t let the time go by and one day you’ll regret it. Become a volunteer!!

I have been working hard to assure the safety of our children in the borough. I have implemented a “I strongly urge each and every coach to have cpr and basic first aid certification” for the safety of our children. We have had many coaches take the course but not all. I am still working on this. I am hoping to plan another CPR course with the Wanaque first Aid Squad for some time in November.

I am working along with Shanna Urgo on a coach’s course web site. This web site will have multiple courses or readings on it which every coach will have to complete. The courses are mostly safety related and will allow the recreation commission and parents know that we have the most educational coaches around. These courses will not be long ones but will be informational and knowledgeable. I would hope that coaches would not coach now because of this.

This report is respectfully submitted by

Paul Johannemann Recreation Director


Wanaque Rec is always looking to add new programs and improve existing programs.

With respect to new programs, if you have an idea for a new program, either a one-day event or an ongoing sport or activity, and are willing to put in the time to run that program, contact the rec director or commissioner and we will try to help you make it happen.

With respect to existing programs, the Rec Commission is always willing to listen to ways to improve our programs. We usually take feedback any way we get it, but we recently decided trying to survey residents and program participants.

Recent surveys include:

*Foreign languages- is there any interest in learning a foreign language

*Cheer- how to improve our cheer program and

*Summer camp- we will be reaching out to see how to improve our summer camp program

We have all taken surveys where nothing has happened, and maybe that’s why the participation rate for the cheer survey is low. However, I’m a volunteer, as are the program, Directors. We don’t have to check a box on a year end evaluation form that says we conducted a survey. We really are conducting the surveys because we want to improve the programs. We will make reasonable changes to our programs based on the feedback we get; and we won’t make changes to aspects of our programs that you tell us you loke. However, we can only base our decisions on what people who respond to the survey tell us. So please take the few minutes to respond to our surveys.

Respectfully submitted by

Remy Bernardon Recreation Commissioner

Some famous sports quotes:

If something stands between you and your success-move it. Never Be Denied “The Rock”

There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do “Derek Jeter”

There’s winning and there’s losing and in life both will happen. What is not acceptable to me is quitting. “Magic Johnson”

It’s about working hard. Basically, outworking the opponent. “Kawhi Leonard”

You miss 100% of the shots you never take. “Wayne Gretzky”

Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up. “Rocky Balboa”




Why spend so much money and time on your child to train football or any other sport


Well, I have a confession to make, I don’t pay because my child trains and plays. Do you know why I’m paying?

I pay for my child to be disciplined

I pay for my child to learn and take care of their body and mind

I pay for my child to learn to work with others and be a good teammate

I pay for my child to learn how to deal with disappointment when they do not get what they expected, but they know they have to work harder

I pay for my child to learn to reach their goals

I pay for my child to understand that it takes hours and hours of hard work and training to get a championship, and that success doesn’t happen overnight

I pay for the opportunity my child will have to make lifelong friendships

I pay for my child to be on the field and not in front of the tv

I pay for those times when my child gets so tired, they just want to lay down and doesn’t think or has time to be lazy or in bad things

I pay for all the teachings that this beautiful sport gives you: responsibility, humility, dedication, friendship, coexistence, etc.

I could go on, but to make it short; I don’t pay for the internship. I pay for the opportunities this sport offers my child to develop attributes and skills that will be very useful throughout their life and give them the opportunity to value life




Non sport ticket site:

New Borough information: download the app “Our Wanaque”

Register your name to get: community calendar/recreation/agendas and minutes/forms and documents/recycling and sanitation/municipal clerk’s office/Passaic county clerk’s office


Well, we have the road trip for you.

The Wanaque Recreation Commission presents: RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR

Monday December 11th 2023

5:00pm show

$115- includes Show Ticket and Transportation (all tickets are located in Orchestra 2)

Info/Ticket purchase at:

Bus will leave Memorial Field at 2:00pm

You can bring lunch or grab something quick before the show

Keeping with the Holiday theme;

The Borough of Wanaque Annual Tree Lighting Sunday December 3rd 6:30pm @ Memorial Park (Dunkin parking lot)

Come one Come all and join in on all the festivities

We will have a special treat this year. Santa will be arriving on the fire truck being escorted by the Wanaque Motorcycle Santas. Santa will start at the Lakeland HS west parking lot at 6:30pm then be escorted down Ringwood Ave straight to the Tree Lighting. Come line up along Ringwood Ave and wave hello to all the Santas.

Speaking of the Motorcycle Santas, we are making a comeback this year. The Motorcycle Santas will be riding around the Borough on Sunday December 3rd starting at 11am. We will start on the Wanaque side of the borough and finish up on the Haskell side. There will be more information in the December issue of our newsletter.


Lakeland Jr Wrestling is a co-ed developmental wrestling program which is open to boys and girls beginning in 2nd grade (7 years old prior to Jan 1st) through 8th grade (cannot be 15 prior to Jan 1st). We begin our season early November for our returning advanced wrestlers and early December for our new and returning novice wrestlers.

Wrestling is a member of the Twin County Wrestling League which has 52-55 participating recreation programs. We will participate in six Saturday scrimmages which include all wrestlers in the program.

Wrestling participates in the TCJWL Duals (Varsity) league in which our advanced wrestlers who have earned a spot on the team participate in high school style varsity matches.

There is so much more information to hear about. For any questions, please email of follow us on our Facebook page Lakeland Jr Wrestling

Registration is open now and done through Wanaque Recreation on the Blue Sombrero web site.


1st and 2nd grade clinic

This is a clinic where we teach skills and run drills as a practice. There are no set teams as we break up into different groups each week.

Saturday mornings 9am-10:15am at the Wanaque School (Jan 6,13,20,27, Feb 3,10,17,24)

We are always in need of volunteers to help when we separate into drill sessions

Cost $55

3rd – 8th Grade Boys: Boys play Monday, Wednesday and possibly some Saturdays if needed (December – March)

Broken up into 3/4 grade, 5/6 grade, 7/8 grade. We will be playing Ringwood Rec teams in the schedule. Each participant gets a team shirt to wear for the games.

Cost $70

3rd – 8th Grade Girls: Girls play Tuesday, Thursday and possibly some Saturdays if needed (December – March)

Broken up into divisions ¾ grade, 5/6 grade, 7/8 grade. We will be playing Ringwood Rec teams in the schedule. Each participant gets a team shirt to wear for games.

Cost $70

COACHES NEEDED!! Must be Rutgers S.A.F.E.T.Y certified to coach. Next class is Nov 4th.

Check out our website for more details OR