We successfully piloted a similar afterschool program in American Samoa, the Toa o le TaiÒ Youth Program, which partnered with the Department of Commerce, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa and the Department of Public Safety. We have successfully implemented one-day, one week and semester long curriculums, and the goal is to develop a specific program in the Camden region working with organizations focused on underserved segments of the community.  The proposed pilot program will encompass sessions that combine outreach and education on land as well as coaching and training in the pool and open water {When available}.  Participants will learn how to safely be in an open water environment through swimming, paddling and team building activities.  They will also learn how to recognize, avoid and respond to dangerous open water conditions.  Sessions will expand on one-day events we have already conducted such as “First Splash” with the youth from The Village Project in Seaside at the Monterey Beach Sportsfest in October of 2014.


Each program regardless of duration endeavors to accomplish the following goals that are shared by any successful community service initiative:

  • Capacity Building – Teaching skills that are required for some jobs and highly valuable in others:  swimming ability, knowledge of the aquatic environment, leadership, responsibility, communication, problem solving, working with others
  • Increased Quality of Life – Health and well being
  • Community Action – Ocean conservation, Service to community
  • Community Partnerships – Developing resources and creating potential for success through relationships with schools, agencies, businesses, non-profits and individuals
  • Improved Health and Physical Development – Aquatic sports and recreation as lifelong activities

Programs launching in Monterey, CA and Camden, NJ - 2015


To create a sustainable ocean and community focused initiative that utilizes surf life saving skills and ocean conservation actions to protect the health of our local communities and our oceans while also introducing educational, health, fitness and career opportunities for the youth participants as well as their program mentors and leaders.