Kaléo Program

Friday, October 24, 2014

Searching for Surf - Catching Waves in Tofino

This weeks blog post brings you along with us for our adventures on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It's been a while since I've written to you and the only excuse I dare to offer is… we've been busy making awesome memories together! 

But honestly we have, and this week I am excited to share this post with some photography from our students mixed in, as well as Sarah Groat sharing about what it was like surfing for the first time.

Vancouver Island doesn't offer it all, but it does offer a ton. 
There could not be a more unique place to go to school in Canada, I mean that sincerely. I might have a 'BC born biased' to that statement, but I think most of our students from across the country will agree that they are loving their new island home. Where else in the country can you summit epic mountains one week, only to go surfing a few weeks later. 

On this trip we set out to surf in the most accessible area in Canada, Tofino! This little surf town has a legendary reputation  and the drive from Camp Qwanoes to Tofino certainly only builds the anticipation. 

Above is a quick video showing a portion of our epic drive.

We made a few pit stops along the way. One of the places we visited was called Cathedral Grove and features some of the largest old growth trees on the island. 

Takes quite a few arm lengths to reach around these huge trees. 

We stayed in a community called Uculet which is just 25 or so minutes south of where we went surfing. In Uculet there is a wonderful little Church which graciously let us stay and make our meals at. It was huge blessing that we didn't have to camp in the rain.

The first night on the west coast provided us with an epic sunset that a few of the students got to see. (This picture was taken by Caleb.)

Our first day of surfing started properly with an awesome devo from Andrew at an epic beach just minutes from where we were staying. 

Denver journaling some thoughts during our reflection time.
Definitely no shortage of surfboards

We had some awesome guides from Tofino Surf Adventures, keeping us safe, and showing us the ropes!

Heading to the waves!

The first day of surfing it rained buckets upon buckets. Everyone still had a blast experiencing the surf though.

We surfed two days while filling our evenings with great community time at the Church. Everyone had their go at standing up, and there was definitely a majority that started to develop some strong abilities at catching waves.

Our guides were alongside us the whole time in the water. Giving us tips, encouraging us, and catching waves with us. 

We asked one of the students Sarah Groat to share about her experience surfing and also how the program was going so far.


I had the incredible opportunity to go surfing for the first time, and overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The first day of surfing we had some smaller, more manageable waves that I faced with a fierce determination, never allowing the salt-water in the face to phase me. First thing the following day, I went out deeper where the waves were bigger and next thing I knew, I was being tossed about by waves that were much larger than I expected. The experience taught me about knowing my limits and showed me a tiny glimpse of the raw power of God who spoke the oceans into existence.

I have found the Kaléo program to be a huge learning experience, on more than an academic level.  Through living in community, I have been challenged to learn how to live with integrity; a challenge that I will no doubt be learning and refining for the rest of my life.  It is incredibly encouraging to know that everyone here loves and supports each other and that we will be growing as a community throughout the year.

Sarah Groat,

The entire crew on our last day surfing

I hope you enjoyed catching up on our great times in the ocean. More stories from the Kaleo program coming soon! 

Until next time,

Levi Allen
Kaléo Program Intern

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