From the time I first went in salt water when I was 8 months old, I loved it.
I always loved the ocean and have been involved with water sports for a long time. In second grade one of my friends recommended a movie for me called Soul Surfer. It sounded interesting so my Dad and I got it at Target.
After watching the movie I was amazed by this girl named Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm in a shark attack and gained enough strength to surf again and eventually become world-famous – not only for her surfing, but also her acts of charity and bravery. After I saw this movie I was so inspired that I wanted to learn how to surf, and get to see Hawaii one day.
This was a huge dream of mine that came true. In the summer I was going into fifth grade I got the opportunity to go to Hawaii. I was ecstatic! I had never been there and I had tried surfing a few times at beach in N.J.
Traveling to Hawaii from New Jersey was a long flight. The first week of my trip was in Kauai. The second week I went to Honolulu.
That’s where I met my favorite surf coach Colleen Kudo! She taught me for three days through the ocean girl project program. She taught me some amazing things about surfing. It was a blast to be out in the water with her every morning. When you get on the surfboard you are hooked. I was very sad to see my opportunity end but it was a very good one.
Surfing is a wonderful sport and I got to learn a lot about it thanks to Ocean Girl Project.
When I left Hawaii I took lots with me. I got to know the ocean better, and myself. I also think it’s important to remember that the Ocean Girl Project not only focuses on surfing, but also the health of the ocean and the environment. If we don’t take care of this, we won’t have the oceans to enjoy. The Ocean Girl Project also gives kids who are less fortunate the chance to try out surfing. Colleen has an amazing organization and I hope someday to return to Hawaii to help out with one of projects!
Mahalo Carly for sharing this awesome story, you did such a great job!!! We would love to have you return as a junior volunteer to camp, anytime! Keep the stoke, charge those waves and always keep that loving joyful spirit shining.
With our love and gratitude, Colleen and all the ocean girls here in Hawaii!