Did you watch Chasing Mavericks? It’s a movie about a fatherless boy who, after watching a group of men surf the huge waves, decides he will be like those men and discovers that his destiny is to be a big wave rider.
He begs the man to teach him the secrets of big wave riding, and the man eventually agrees to help the boy. When he does, both of their lives are changed forever. The man changes from a surf bum to a mentor. He teaches the boy the secret knowledge, character and work ethic that help the boy achieve his dream, and literally saves his life.
Imagine if no man was there for this boy: If he was alone in his quest to ride the biggest waves in the world. He may have eventually done it by himself, but with no man to guide him on his journey, he would have to deal with mistakes, danger and the possibility of death alone.
33% of boys in the US are now growing up without a father, just like the boy in the movie. The big waves they are facing are gangs, drugs and prison. With no man to guide them, no man to share the secret knowledge, character and work ethic it takes to be a successful man, far too many of these good boys are drowning in the waves of their neighborhoods.
That’s why Boys to Men mentors show up every week at middle schools, high schools and foster care facilities. We give these at-risk boys a community of mentors who listen, encourage and believe in them. We are a group mentoring program that gives boys not just one man, but a community of men who care. It’s a place where they can hear other boys and men tell the truth about the problems we all face as men, and a community where boys know they are not alone in their struggles.
We have this amazing program that gives fatherless boys exactly what they need, now how do we support it? The schools are broke, the state is broke and far too many boys are paddling out alone looking for a man to guide them.
So what do we do? We surf, of course. The 100 Wave Challenge is the main fundraiser for Boys to Men. It’s like a walkathon, but way more fun. Each surfer commits to catch 100 Waves in 12 hours and raising $1,000. That’s the short story – there is really so much more.
The 100 Wave Challenge is not just a fundraiser, it’s what we do. It’s men doing what we are passionate about. Over the last three months, we have hosted six BBQ and surf nights. 100 wave participants and BTM mentors get together with the boys, many who have never seen the ocean before, and teach them how to surf. They get to know the boys, share their experience, strength, and hope, and feel good about their efforts to make a difference in a boy’s life.
On September 21, over 150 surfers will paddle out at Mission Beach to catch over 10,000 waves in 12 hours. Every surfer will get a Nixon Lo Down watch with a wave counting feature. The day will be supported by breakfast from Souplantation and lunch provided by Rubio’s. There will be a Surfer’s Lounge on the beach that will provide shade, sofas to take a nap on, massage therapist, an open bar serving water, Gatorade, Red Bull and energy bars.
If this sounds as wonderful to you as it is to the 400 boys that participate every week, then go to www.100wave.org and register now.