Witnessing the joy of someone stand up for their first time surfing is a feeling unlike any other. Sharing the experience of pushing someone into their first wave and igniting a passion within them is monumental. This is what the One Watershed by Stokeshare is all about.
The Stokeshare One Watershed Youth Outing Program was created with the aim of connecting at risk youths with the outdoors. While the event it's self is all about playing in the waves and having a blast, the impacts of One Watershed are profound. Though surfing, kids are given the chance to escape their day to day challenges for a few hours and have an immersive experience of nature.
Though surfing, kids are given the chance to escape their day to day challenges for a few hours
Those of us who already surf know that spending time in nature is a great way to not only get exercise, and reduce anxiety, it can also help improve self esteem and increase overall happiness. By connecting kids and volunteers, One Watershed provides a valuable opportunity for volunteers to reignite their own love of surfing by witnessing just how stoked these kids get. Ultimately, we hope that connecting the next generation to nature though surfing will spark a passion to protect the Earth. As Stokeshare puts it, “There are many value propositions we can identify on both sides of an action sports sharing economy marketplace. That's the spark. Combining this community of adventurers with a mission to build environmental awareness in young people is the fire.”
Why One Watershed?
You may be asking yourself, what does One Watershed even mean? Well, according to StokeShare, they use the term to identify their youth program for two reasons. Environmentally, the watershed is all connected. Rivers flow to the oceans, so to protect the ocean, you must also protect the rivers upstream. Metaphorically, what humans do now to protect the Earth will play a part in the health of the ecosystems downstream, or in the future. The idea is to instill positive habits to protect the Earth now for future generations to come. The One Watershed Youth Outing starts with igniting a passion for the outdoors in younger generations through action sports. We have been lucky enough to partner with Stokeshare and share in this experience.
We witnessed groundbreaking moments of the inception of a new passion
On Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Santa Monica, the lives of twenty kids were changed. Stokeshare, Surfrider LA, and Wavehuggers came together and took twenty LAPD Cadets out into the ocean to teach them to surf. The results were inspiring. We witnessed hundreds of laughs, excited high fives, the beginnings of a connection to nature, and groundbreaking moments of the inception of a new passion. We were truly inspired by the differences we could make in the lives of these kids through connecting them with nature. Are you feeling inspired and want to get involved? Keep up with us for the next One Watershed Youth Outing event and volunteer to push kids into waves or donate your foam board for the day. Details and event dates will be listed on our facebook page as we continue planning them.