Saturday we became members of the Project Surf Camp family!
I had heard about this camp from my friend Gretchen a few years ago, but never got Evan involved. I guess I just thought it wasn’t really for Evan. This year, I decided to call and tell them a little bit about Evan and see if it was possible for him for participate. I explained that he could not stand and was told that was not a problem they would love to have him come out and surf! So, I signed him up. What was I thinking?!?
Other family members are invited to participate and April agree to give surfing a try too!! It made me feel better to know she was there also! What an awesome, sister!!
On camp day we drove up and got him signed in. We were meet by some of the most enthusiastic positive people you could ever possibly meet!
You need to know that Evan has lived a mile from the ocean all his life. Surfing is kind of a way of life here! Evan’s peers at church surfed! A lot! I was all of a sudden flooded with memories. Memories of Evan being on the sidelines. Actually, one particular event where Evan was, well, I guess you could say uninvited to his young men’s (church youth group) activity. They were going to the beach to surf! I just wanted Evan to be able to watch. But, everyone wanted to be in the water and no one wanted to sit with him on the beach they all wanted to be in the water surfing. Talk about being excluded.
So, when Katy, Project Surf Camp director, said, “Evan WILL surf today!” I was hit with unexpected tears. I shared with her the experience of being left behind, and she said, “You are a part of our family now!”. Wow! Really, a family! Katy said, don’t worry, we cry every day here! We are here to support you! Really!!
Evan was lovingly fitted with a wetsuit! Try putting on a wetsuit in a wheelchair! It didn’t phase these people at all! In no time at all they had that wetsuit on him and he was ready to go.
The plan was for Evan to sit on the surf board and someone would hold him from behind. That was Hannah, a high school student. (Young people sometimes get a bad rap these these days, but I want you know there was a whole slew of awesome young people volunteering their time to help people with special needs that day.) There was also someone behind the surf board and two spotters on the side making sure the surf board stayed straight and to grab Evan in case he fell off. April got to be one of his spotters. By the way, Evan NEVER fell off!
Emotions flowed watching Evan catch that first wave. He had a great big smile on his face! I can’t tell you how many waves he caught! He had a blast! And we were thrilled.
Project Surf Camp’s motto is “changing lives”. Thank you for changing ours.
|Surfers and Instructors in front of the famous and beautiful Morro Rock!|
|Getting ready to have some fun!|
|Instructions and Stretching|
Look at that big smile! Evan was completely trusting of people he barely meet!
I was getting a little worried how far they went out, but it didn't phase Evan at all.
Catching more waves.
|Just taking a break to warm up a bit! That's Hannah and Caleb, I can't say enough about how awesome they were!!|
Smiles are something you see a lot at this camp!
|Of course you can't be at the beach and not build a sand castle!|
|Look Ma no hands!!|
|April even got a go on the board with Evan!!|
|And she got to catch some waves!|
|More big smiles!!|