Any lifelong surfer knows that surfing is a lifestyle and the lessons you learn in the water can be applied to many facets of life.
Some local middle school students are learning that first hand. Sean spent some time with the Surf Into Integrity crew to find out how lives are being changed one wave at a time.
Rich Brueckner started Surf into Integrity after he noticed a lot of kids getting into trouble and making bad decisions. Around the same time, Rich finished reading “Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life” by world surfing champion, Shaun Tomsom.
“The lessons in the book seems like the way that I could engage eighth-graders which I learned is a critical age in a child’s development where they’re going to make some lifelong decisions that stay with them forever,” Rich says.
Rich wrote a curriculum based off the book with questions and answers that go with the book for each chapter. Stephen Decatur added it to its after-school academy, which is designed to provide a safe and engaging environment for its students to grow.
Each week the students read two chapters of the book and answer questions in class. Each student relates to certain chapters in the book that teach lessons that can be applied to both surfing and life. If the students complete the reading, they are allowed to participate in beach sessions on Sunday.
“They can look you in the eye and shake your hand by the end of the program and it blows me away that progression over the nine week period,” Rich says.