A Dream Come True…at last!

As the Director of NW Women’s Surf Camps for the last 16 years, one of my dreams has been to have OPB’s Oregon Field Guide cover our unique women’s focused surfing program. I reached out to them numerous times over the years to no avail, but I kept persevering, hoping that one day a producer there would “take the bait” and consider doing a television spot on us for the 25 time regional Emmy award winning show.

In January 2019, I was delighted to have one of Oregon Field Guide’s talented producers, Ian McCluskey, contact me for a phone conversation to discuss NW Women’s Surf Camps. Sharing with Ian the impetus, my epiphany and surf passion that started me on this path of teaching and empowering women was a delight to talk with him about. He was so very interested and engaged with what I was sharing with him.

Over the years, with many journalists writing stories about us (see our Media webpage https://nwwomenssurfcamps.com/about-us/media-press/), it was a rare male journalist who took an excited interest in a woman’s destination. But Ian had always wanted to learn to surf, so when he was searching the NW for ideas for a story, he ran upon NW Women’s Surf Camps and we perked his interest….a surfing program focused on teaching women to surf in the coldwater of the rugged Pacific Northwest. After the long phone conversation, he told me he loved it but would now have to pitch it to his higher ups, to see if we were worthy of a television spot being done for Oregon Field Guide. I crossed my fingers and sent an intentional wish out to the Universe when I hung up.

About 3 weeks later, Ian got back in touch with me and said Oregon Field Guide wants to do the story. I was simply thrilled! We needed now to work on logistics such as dates open for them to come down for a 4 day shoot of one of our Surf Weekenders, coordinating many other details on their end and my figuring out what would be needed for the shoot preparation on my end.  September’s weekender was chosen and the wheels of preparation started to spin.

After a really busy summer of camps, group lessons, clinics and custom sessions with my team of talented coaches, we finally were a week away from the shoot. The camp event had been booked out for weeks, so I was relieved for that, but the long term forecast was beginning to show really big surf for one if not two days of the camps. For the next few days, I kept an attentive focus on the swell and wind forecast, hoping it wouldn’t get too big to be dangerous for us to teach women in. In the meantime, I asked Ian what Plan B would be, if the ocean swell kicked up really big. He said we would have to reschedule most likely for the next summer to shoot it. I did a lot of praying to the ocean goddesses for smaller, doable waves over the next two days.

Friday, the day before the camps, the report showed totally doable swell the first day of the event in Seaside Cove, but looked like the second day was going to jump up to solid 8’ groundswell at 12 seconds, which isn’t what we teach “newbie’s” in. But at least we had one great day and could add other aspects for shooting it on the second non wave day. And that’s what we did.

Ian and his videographer Stephanie were able to get interviews with me Friday on my sauna steps, shoot the first day of surf camp with students learning in waves with their coaches, go to the second location Oswald West State Park on the second day for hike in, beach yoga and meditation and then Monday hang out and get extra shoots as needed.

When I asked Ian when he thought it would air, he said it would probably be at least a year, because they were so far behind in editing. I let him know that spring would be the best timing, because that’s when people are making their plans for summer, but he said he had no control over that. For me it was like knowing Christmas is coming but not having a date for when. I had to be patient, put it on my mental back burner and keep focused on composting the end of that summer season’s success, knowing that some day in the future, I would be seeing the final cut on television. Here’s the link to that episode of Oregon Field Guide https://www.pbs.org/video/surf-yogini-coronavirus-wildfire-bull-trout-mares-eggs-indvpd/  Right after the introduction of that week’s episode is when our spot begins.

I hope you enjoy it! I think Ian and Stephanie really captured my mission, vision and the “Big Medicine” created over the last 16 years of NW Women’s Surf Camps. It took personal perseverance, passion and grit! So grateful for having “at last” had the chance to be featured on this wonderful NW program on public television.

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