2018 was a wonderful year for us here at Bodhi. A lot of great things happened, various events, milestones, and a whole host of memorable moments. With each passing year, we become further convinced that we are on the right path — one in which we can have a business that is the livelihood of all who work here, as well as an agent for positive change in our local and global communities. We are filled with gratitude to everyone who helps make this so, friends, family, guests, staff, interns, neighbors, and co-conspirators in forward progress. We look forward to the New Year with excitement and anticipation!
Here were 10 of our top moments/events/milestones of 2018.
1. Brand change + new website
Way back in 2010 (when we started out), we called ourselves Bodhi Surf School. As we grew, came into ourselves, and figured out what we are really passionate about and want to share with the world, we knew it was time to change our name to Bodhi Surf + Yoga. After all, we are a surf and yoga camp that gives equal importance to each. Along with the name (and logo!) change, we launched a new website at the beginning of 2018 that made it explicit what we Bodhi was about and what it offered. This new website has been incredibly successful in that it has streamlined the booking process and very accurately describes who we are and what we do! We are always making improvements and forward strides and we look forward to continuing to polish in 2019.
2. Storytelling + videos
In 2018, we wanted to make storytelling a prominent theme of our marketing and outreach. When presenting ourselves to the world, we want people to know that Bodhi is a place where they can learn to surf and do yoga, yes, but that there is a potential for greater awakening and igniting of purpose. We are privy to the countless stories of impact, and were pleased to share some of them with the world via social media posts, blogs, and videos. We have been privileged to have videographer Hannah Walsh on our team since 2016 and she along with the help of the other interns we have had this year (Bernhard Poscher, Katie Jones, Mike Agrippina, Kerry Dunn, and Spencer Dunlap) have assisted us in this end. In 2018, we released a ton of videos and gathered countless hours of footage that we will continue working with creatively in 2019. Some highlights: the Tropical Tidings series, What is Bodhi? video, the Bodhi Sessions + Family videos, and the A Day at Bodhi Surf + Yoga Camp video. Check out our Youtube Channel or our videos on Facebook!
Also, we are excited that the rough cut of the Bodhi Wave documentary is slated to be released in early 2019. Thank you for all your hard work, Jazeen and team!
3. Carbon offsets + carbon neutral process
The year for taking strong action on our commitment to go carbon neutral was 2018. With the effects of climate change becoming impossible to ignore, and the dragging of feet by governments and corporations around the world, we knew in our hearts that we needed to do something. Not only is it something that will affect our home environment and livelihood, we believe it is also a duty as citizens of this earth. We also own that we contribute to climate change, so we want to mitigate as much of that negative harm as we possibly can. So for our 2017-18 season, we began offsetting all of our guests’ flights. Furthermore, the later half of 2018 saw us doing an extensive audit of our carbon footprint. We look forward to continuing this process in 2019, and inspiring other businesses to take the plunge!
4. 2018 Ocean Guardian Contest 2018 + winners of 2017
In 2018 and for the 6th year in a row, we held our 2018 Ocean Guardian Contest. It was awesome to see some of the many ways that “normal” people are taking action in their daily lives to reduce their impact and inspire others to do the same. We are excited to welcome 1st place winner Stephanie Chan in 2019!
In other exciting news, we were visited by the 2017 Ocean Guardian Contest winners, Carla Lourenco and Ruben Silva of Straw Patrol in Portugal, in November. We had a wonderful week of surfing and yoga with them. It is so inspiring to meet fellow Ocean Guardians and environmental stewards, to share time, see their passion, and become mutually inspired. Their visit left us doubly motivated to continue holding the contest and to make it even better. Look out 2019!
5. B Corp Best for the World 2018 + IEC Changemaker
We were proud to receive B Corp’s Best for the World: Community accolade for the second year in a row, meaning we score in the top 10% of B Corp companies in their community category. In 2018, we also participated in their second annual Inclusive Economy Challenge (IEC), and were excited to be named an IEC Changemaker for our work on going carbon neutral. We have already benefited endlessly from being a part of this driven and enthusiastic group of individuals and organizations, just since our initiation in 2016. We will be participating in the IEC in 2019, and hope to inspire other businesses to become certified.
6. Speaking at conferences
We were excited to share some good vibes at three separate conferences this year. The first was in September at the B Corp Champions Retreat in New Orleans, where Adrianne was co-leader of a mindfulness breakout session. Her big idea to share was that in this fast-paced world, it is imperative to connect with passion, with others, and with self (and get outdoors once and awhile) to bring mindfulness into our lives and work. The next was in October when Adrianne (again!) spoke via video conference at the 8th Annual BlueMind Summit, a “convening of interdisciplinary professionals working at the intersection of brain science and conservation”. Bodhi’s topic was “Beaches are Medicine” and Adrianne discussed how Bodhi aims to drive the beach and ocean tourism industry forward by utilizing it not just as an opportunity to provide fun experiences but to use it to create pro-environmental sentiments and ultimately behavior change. Finally, in November, Travis was a speaker at the 1st Annual Marine Conservation Conference here in Costa Rica. He was able to share about Bodhi’s Ocean Guardian program and the concept of using tourism as an environmental education tool within Costa Rica, as well as surf tourism in the country!
7. Amazing Sessions + Family camps and GLA Student groups
With most of the information we share being about strides in environmental reduction, community projects, or responsible business, sometimes it’s good for everyone (including us!) to remember the foundation of all of this structure: that we are a surf and yoga camp that welcomes wonderful people from all around the world! 2018 was no exception. Through our Bodhi Sessions surf + yoga camps, our Family camp, and our summer Global Leadership Adventures student groups, we hosted hundreds of individuals, teaching them to surf, helping them in their yoga practice, and offering them our signature community engaged vacations. In 2018, I can safely say that we offered the very best vacations that we could offer: our teaching methodologies are tried and tested, the lodge has never been more crisp, we now have a pool, the food just gets better and better, we’re bringing our guests into our own journey to be environmental stewards. Every year we are getting better, and 2019 is sure to be no exception (so come and see us)!
8. Bodhi Surf + Yoga co-hosted retreats
In 2018, we were able to fit two different and wonderful retreats into our regular annual schedule. First off, in September we co-hosted the Awaken Your Ashtanga yoga retreat with yoga teacher Shae Bryant. It was wonderfully successful and we were thrilled to see our yoga shala filled with practicing yogis and yoginis from different places! Then in November (and to start off our 2018-19 season), we co-hosted the first ever Be DAREful women’s retreat with Jen Whalen of True North Adventures (her second retreat here at Bodhi). It was a wonderful week of connection, powerful female energy, and of course surfing and yoga! We are absolutely thrilled that Jen will be making this an annual (or more!) event. Look out for the next Be DAREful retreat in May of 2019! We are excited to be co-hosting a few more retreats in 2019! Stay tuned for details.
9. Bodhi App
Sometimes we like to be groundbreaking. In 2018, we believe that, with the help of MilkCrate (our friends and a fellow B Corp company), we broke ground with the Bodhi App. The aim of the app is to use technology (and to capitalize on everyone’s phone addiction) to extend the Bodhi experience both before and after our guests’ actual visit, as well as to disseminate this idea of making small but meaningful changes to reduce environmental impact. The app is still being user-tested, but we would love to see it be a model for other tourism companies to adopt and even improve on! We hope that in 2019, we will be able to perfect it and have our guests utilizing it for productive and positive purposes.
10. Bodhi Tribe
In mid-2018, we decided to “formalize” our Bodhi Tribe concept by creating a group on Facebook, though it’s much more and much greater than just that. It’s really a concept, a way of doing business differently, that turns our company into a tool for creating connections. We believe that forging connections is one of the most important things that we can facilitate with our network, be that a connection to some greater purpose, a connection to nature, or a connection to someone else. The Bodhi Tribe is the manifestation of that last type — the inter-human connection. We are so privileged to be in this line of work, and the amazing people that we are able to meet and forge connections with is the tangible reminder of that. We hope to be able to utilize this concept (and yes, the Facebook group), to do keep momentum and synergy going in 2019.
OTHER NOTABLE MOMENTS
- We are extremely excited to have become 1% for the Planet certified in 2018
- At Bodhi, we are now largely single-use plastic free alongside other businesses in the Bahia Ballena Libre de Plástico
- Semilla de Ballena’s Adopt-a-Tree program going, Bodhi one of the first businesses to give a home to the trees
- We donated several vacation packages to various organizations including CREST, B Corp, French Broad River Academy and Grades of Green, Adventure Scientists, and 5 Gyres
- We helped create SOMOS, a community foundation that our Travelers’ Philanthropy Program donations will now go towards
- We are being studied by the University of Surrey, School of Hospitality & Tourism Management to see if the Bodhi experiences has any effect on guests with regards to environmental action
- A past study on Bodhi that has been conducted by Dr. Carter Hunt of Penn State will be published in the Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism