The Schooner AJ Meerwald sails from April through October. As a Shipboard Volunteer, you can assist the crew in sailing the tall ship, greeting passengers, or presenting educational programs.
To qualify as a Shipboard Volunteer, you must complete the Shipboard Training Program scheduled annually at the Bayshore Center. Options to make up training will be available for those with scheduling conflicts or distance constraints.
Stay tuned to our facebook page to find the next scheduled Volunteer Orientation or Call 856-785-2060 ext. 108 to make a reservation for the next orientation session.
Shipboard training includes plenty of practical hands-on experience. You will learn traditional boating skills (knots, line handling, navigation and more), plus ship maintenance, safety, regional history, and the environmental and historical education programs presented on board.
No previous experience is necessary, but shipboard volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Teens 14-17 years old may attend training and volunteer on board if accompanied by an adult volunteer.
There is no additional charge for training, but shipboard volunteers must be BCB Members (see Membership page), commit to 20 hours of onshore volunteer work and to a minimum of five days on board the ship each year.
All prospective volunteers need to fill out a Volunteer Application form where you can indicate ways you would like to get involved. Click here to access the application form. Complete both sides and return to email@example.com or 2800 High Street, Port Norris, NJ 08349.
Volunteers need not live in south Jersey! Those who live close to another port-of-call can come aboard when the AJ Meerwald is in their area, or help spread the word in advance of her arrival - distributing brochures or staffing an information booth at a local event or festival.
Ports-of-call can include Bivalve, Burlington, Camden, Greenwich, Jersey City, Perth Amboy, Alpine, Barnegat Light (LBI), Atlantic City & Cape May, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore and Chestertown, MD; Portsmouth, VA. Visit our sailing schedule for details.
If you have questions or would like to sign up as a Shipboard Volunteer, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about other ways to volunteer at Bayshore Center at Bivalve by visiting our Get Involved page.
The MEERWALD’s up the River, the oysterboats are back in the Nantuxent Creek and new buds, green sprouts, happy bulbs and amorous birds seem to have overtaken the gray landscape of the winter Bayshore. The Bayshore Center is also experiencing a period of new growth. After 30 years – yes 30! – we have received a most generous donation that has allowed us to assess our strategies for longevity and sustainability. It is often a non-profit’s greatest challenge to outlive its founder. Bayshore Center at Bivalve has been given the opportunity to structure itself so that programming and mission delivery can be institutionalized, the MEERWALD’s continued preservation can be guaranteed and the organization can ensure that it remains relevant to its community into the foreseeable future.
With these goals in mind, we have hired an Interim Executive Director to shoulder BCB’s daily operations while I take a short sabbatical to refresh and prepare for my next role. My next job will be to focus on building a Founders Fund to serve as working capital and an endowment with which we can secure our future.
After many years of long days, weeks, and months, missed vacations, little time for family and friends, and a near obsessive (OK, it was obsessive) focus on all things BCB – I am more than ready for this reboot.
And, I look forward to my refreshed return this fall as the birds start heading south again to work with our Board of Trustees, our Grande Mariners and our wonderful Bayshore community to build the Founders Fund and prepare for the next thirty years.
Meghan, soon to be BCB’s new Founding Director