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The Freedom Surf Contest

The anticipation is in the air when you show up at the beach in the morning. Your hoodie is still on because the Hawaii sun hasn’t lingered over Waikiki long enough yet. You see judges make their way to the scaffolding with coffee in hand. You’re about to surf Queen’s with just a handful of friends in a fun competition. Playing games in the sand, setting up your hammock and hanging out with friends while live music plays, are the few things on your schedule for the remainder of the day. These are just a few memories that people have made when over the past several ...

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Not Your Average Family Trip

Today's blog is from an extraordinary woman, Carla Hanes. This year, she and her husband and their three young boys are embarking on a life changing trip to Bali, Indonesia. It would be easy for this Alabama family to find a much easier trip to go on, especially with their youngest son being 4 years old, but Carla knows that this is an invaluable experience. Here, she shares with us why it's important for her family to do this, and what she's experienced through the process thus far. The Hanes household is officially on count down: Taylor, Carla, Jack, Luke and Tay have ...

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New Series: On Our Bookmarks Bar!

An organization is first of all, people. At Surfing The Nations, people from several nations, backgrounds and influences come, bringing with them a countless number of interests. One thing that we all have in common is that we all strive to live inspiring lives, and thus have our specific sources of inspiration. In this new blog series, On My Bookmarks Bar we introduce an STN staff member and their favorite websites that they've bookmarked and continually frequent to keep their creative juice flowing. We hope you find a few new favorites of your own, and get inspired! On ...

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Aloha to long term staff member, Chris Rehrer!

Surfing The Nations bids farewell to its long-term staff member, Chris Rehrer. After eight years, three cities and over 15 countries with STN, he has left his mark on the character of this organization and impacted many lives around the world. Read to end to see where he’s off to next (ok, it’s Australia!) and all the fun bits in between to get the insider's look at what it means to be a long-term staffer with STN. -GP   GP: What was your very first full day at STN like? CR: I arrived on June 15, 2005 at Honolulu airport. I borrowed a cell phone to call the ...

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The Rain Room

It's one of those days when you wish you were in New York city. The 'Rain Room' installation by Random International is now on exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Ten people at a time are allowed into the dark room of pouring rain and, with the help of highly sensitive 3D camera motion sensors, will not get wet. What an experience it must be to walk through a downpour and watch the water part for you! It's almost a paradox, that such advanced technology would clash with something so natural, and 'everyday' as rain. This exhibit has the power to awaken wonder ...

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Weekend Jam: Yosef

Sometimes people look for their 'calling' in life, and find it after much seeking. For others, their calling finds them. Yosef, real name Hunter Duncan, is a musician whose road seems to have found him. Hunter was captivated by music as a middle schooler in Lexington, South Carolina and since then has poured himself into developing his natural talent as musician, singer and songwriter. From bands in basements, to solo on big city stages, Yosef has come a long way, and is just now gaining more momentum than ever. In the midst of working the release of his first solo album ...

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Weekend Jam: The Great Gatsby Soundtrack

*This link is no longer active, as it was a limited time offer* Americans were required to read it as high school students. A story both exciting and troubling at the same time, it's possible many of us only remember it as an assignment on our calendar. But from May 10th on, thanks to the vision of Baz Luhrmann and the work of  countless others, The Great Gatsby will be remembered as explosive and arresting. The film hits theaters next week, and from the looks of the trailers, is sure to enchant. This week, while we're waiting for the roaring 20's extravaganza, we get ...

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SLS Big Adventure: Waimanu Valley

When it comes to adventure, Surfers Leadership School does not mess around. Surfers Leadership School (SLS) takes place during a staff member's first three months of  being on staff. Among reading books, writing papers on leadership, leading group lessons and apprenticing in a department, the 'crown' of the three month training is the Big Adventure. For eight days, SLS students strap on 50-70 pound packs and hike into the Waimanu Valley of Big Island.  There in the wilderness, they set up camp right next to a black sand beach and forage for food from the earth and sea. ...

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Weekend Jam: Field Recordings

A few months ago, I blogged about the Black Cab Sessions: where well known musical artists pile in a black cab and record live while driving through the city.  It was so fun to watch these musicians get into these cramped spaces and belt their hearts out as they moved through the streets.There's something about the unexpected environment that made the music seem that much more special. Now, we bring you a new out-of-the-box recording experience, one with much more space, but just as much randomness! NPR Music has a series called 'Field Recordings', where musical artists ...

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An Insider’s Look At Summer Challenge

It's always fun to work in a place with creative and talented people. Today's post is from native Floridian and musical artist, Sheree Pantuso (artist name, Sheree Michele). Sheree is currently on staff here at Surfing The Nations, but she first experienced Surfing the Nations when she came to our one-month summer program, Summer Challenge. The Summer Challenge program is packed with opportunities to give back to the community every week, and go exploring the island the other half of the time! Here she gives us her perspective on her month in Summer Challenge (and while ...

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