Witnessing the joy of someone stand up for his/her first time surfing is a feeling unlike any other. Sharing the experience of pushing someone into his/her first wave and igniting a passion within him/her is monumental. This is what the Stokeshare One Watershed Youth Outing is all about.
The Stokeshare One Watershed Youth Outing was created with the intent to connect at risk youths with the outdoors for a multitude of reasons. First, it gets kids out of their communities and into nature, and as we all know, nature has many lessons to teach. Second, it connects volunteers with these kids and allows for a really valuable experience sharing the love of a sport with someone who hasn’t yet been exposed to it. And third, the connection between the next generation and nature through action sports 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.”
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.
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.