In Between Sets – Summer Recap
Before the (only slightly) cooler days of Fall come upon us here in the islands, we are catching our breath from a whirlwind Summer Semester. It’s had its fair share of highs, very few lows, and has altogether been marked with that special sense that something great is happening in people’s lives.
We sent around 70 people to Indonesia to celebrate STN’s 20th Annual Trip – can you believe it? Tom Bauer has been on all 20 trips and has literally seen babies grow up into adults. That’s a full generation of locals and STNers who’ve experienced and lived the lessons we teach here: make a friend for life, be a surfer giving back, meet needs and change lives. We don’t just go internationally to adventure and explore (although we certainly incorporate that!), we go to be changed by what we see, to help where we can, and always to give and care. Perhaps one of the highlights of the Indonesian trip was taking the entire Internship program on their first-ever INTERNATIONAL outreach trip! Stoked!
North Korea’s 4th trip was surrounded by a sea of controversy and concern, but as usual, we’ve only experienced hospitality, stoke and warmth from the individuals we are able to connect with in this mysterious nation. Our base in Sri Lanka has had visits from teams from around the world and we sent our own people in August to bring another wave of refreshment and encouragement.
Ulu Pono Summer Fun
Possibly the most anticipated time of year for any kid is that blessed summer break, and our local at-risk youth are no exception – except they often lack the resources to enjoy even the simplest outing to the amazing beaches that are only 10 miles away. Every year for the past 5 years, Friends Of Hawaii Charities has selected Surfing The Nations’ Ulu Pono Kids program to receive two amazing grants: one to help us get our kids through the school year (we call it “Genius Factory” – cute, huh?!), and one for the Summer Program.
This year the kids got to explore, hike and adventure around Oahu: they visited the zoo, zip-lined, paddle boarded, visited the Bishop Museum, skated at Ice Palace, bounced the day away at iTrampoline, got educated on our ocean friends at the Sea Life Park, battled it out at mini-golf and topped it all off with an epic day at the water park. Amazing! We also still believe in teaching them the value of “giving back” and we were stoked to take the kids down to Feeding The Hungry to serve food to the people of Kalihi.
Many thanks to our (apparently) tireless (and sunburnt) volunteers who poured hours of driving, parenting and mentorship into these kids, and of course big mahalos to Friends Of Hawaii Charities for making it all possible!
If you’ve only got 3 weeks to spare but are desperate to live outside the box, our Summer Challenge program is designed for you! We had around 30 students from around the States and the world get a taste for STN – they sampled all our outreaches, teachings, surfing and adventures. Its an introduction to a radical lifestyle of giving back and we had a blast with our Summer Challengers, here’s to a bright future!