To celebrate World's oceans day we donated custom towels to raise money for Tofino Adventure Camps. Tofino Adventure Camp is a charitable five-day experience for inner-city youth to connect with the natural world. Their goal is to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who would not otherwise have this kind of opportunity. We aim to inspire, empower and help create lifelong memories. For the second year, with your support, we are bringing twelve youths from Vancouver to surf, fish, and explore all that the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht territories have to offer.
Interview with Tofino Adventure Camps founder Brody Pigeau
What inspired you to launch Tofino Adventure camps?
Jake Fine and I founded the Tofino Adventure Camp last year. As someone who is able to introduce and educate people about the ocean through my charter business, getting families and younger kids on the water was the most rewarding for me and that is where the idea originally stemmed from.
The goal was to create a week-long ‘camp’ experience for kids to come in and learn about the Tofino area, all while having lots of fun and connecting with others. If you were lucky enough to go to camp as a kid or teenager then it is likely a core memory that has stuck with you until this day.
Tofino is a small district on Vancouver Island, off Canada's west coast which I have been lucky enough to call home for the last 10+ years. Tofino is famously known for being one of the top surf towns in all of Canada which has made it very popular as a travel destination. As it is quite remote, the costs associated with getting here can make it very inaccessible to many people. This is why for the Tofino Adventure Camp we have partnered with the Chill Foundation, which has allowed us to support a group of kids traveling to Tofino for the camp that would not normally get this kind of opportunity.
Why is access to clean oceans important to you and the campers?
The ocean is where I am lucky enough to work and play, my entire life revolves around the health of that ecosystem. Bringing out kids from an urban setting and sharing my love for the ocean is one of my greatest rewards!
We partnered with Surfrider last year and dedicated an afternoon to cleaning a remote beach with the kids and we plan on doing the same thing again this year. Seeing what washes up on our beaches is a wild experience and an amazing way for youth to see where most of their garbage ends up and hopefully inspires them to be more conscious consumers. The kids at the camp also get the opportunity to catch their own dinner, creating a connection to the ocean. Your food creates an understanding of its beauty and makes you want to conserve it.
How is the Chill Foundation involved with Tofino Adventure camps?
The Chill Foundation selects and brings the youth to the coast. The Tofino Adventure Camp is one of The Chill Foundations' "Explore" programs. All the kids have been involved in Chill programs in the past for either snowboarding or skateboarding. We create the opportunity for everyone to try surfing for the first time.
Why do you think it is important for youth to experience nature?
Immersing yourself in nature is one of the most incredible things you can do for yourself. Nowadays there are seemingly fewer kids entertained by the idea of experiencing nature. When you care for something, you naturally want to protect it. The first step to caring about the Ocean and Earth as a whole is to create a connection with it. The more youth we can get out on the Ocean and experience its beauty, the greater the chance we have to develop stewards to protect it in the future.
How will the money raised from the sale of this towel benefit Tofino Adventure Camps?
The money raised in the sale of the towel will go directly towards funding the camp. Getting a group of kids over to Vancouver Island has its costs from ferries, food, accommodation, etc. We are beyond thrilled and grateful to have brands like Slowtide to help support The Tofino Adventure Camp with these costs. From the support we are able to bring a group of kids over to Tofino and introduce them to the ocean and what it has to offer. From surfing to wildlife, fishing, and beach cleaning we aim to create a lifelong connection to the ocean and the outdoors.