The Ocean Guardian Contest: An Exercise in Idealism

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Enter our 2016 Ocean Guardian Contest, or share with someone you know who is an environmental leader! Prizes include a surf and yoga camp in Bahia Ballena for two, and some consciously-made swag from our sponsors!

Online contests seem sketchy. I can admit that. I have never entered one myself, somehow I don’t trust them, and for that reason, they don’t seem worth taking the time to enter. There’s always that feeling that something is too good to be true, that even if you win, the company holding the contest will tell you all these conditions that you should have known about had you read the fine print, and so on and so forth.

2015 Ocean Guardian Contest winners

Despite being a professed contest-doubter, I am nothing short of excited to be holding our Ocean Guardian Contest for the fourth year in a row. At Bodhi Surf School, we believe that the way to bring about any kind of change is from the bottom up — that it’s the individual people, forming a collective, who will start the revolution. We know there are a lot of people out there who are making conscious strides to reduce their impact, offset the damage that’s already been done, and/or encourage others to do the same. It’s those people who this contest is designed for, and those people we want to recognize and reward.

We always try to make our contests fairly straightforward and be transparent about what we are asking for and what we are giving away. Our goal is to reward individuals who are making an effort to make this planet we share a better place to live. Because if we can achieve that, we all win!

Winning Ocean Guardian Contest project

Last year’s Ocean Guardian Contest winners

Last year’s Ocean Guardian Contest winners were two friends who were just finishing their last year of high school. One of them had taken a few surf lessons with Bodhi Surf School through a Global Leadership Adventures teen summer camp program the previous summer, so she knew Bodhi Surf School was real. The other was quite skeptical about the contest and their chances of actually winning the grand prize. Despite any doubts amongst them, they both had an inclination to take pro-environmental action in their community, yet neither was sure about how to start. But learning about the contest was the incentive they needed to come up with an idea. They mobilized and got their project going, and ended up winning at the 11th hour! Below the friends share their thoughts on the experience of entering the contest and ultimately winning the grand prize.

Hi! We are Mathilde and Noémie, the winners of the 2015 Ocean Guardian Journey Contest. We cannot believe it has almost been a year since we applied.


Noémie: In September 2015, Mathilde and I had a discussion on how we would love to go on a surf trip in the near future. A few days later, I learned about the Ocean Guardian Contest on Instagram. I talked about it to Mathilde and we knew we had to apply.


Mathilde: We decided to start the “Bracelets for Belugas” project. The Saint Lawrence Beluga is an endangered species that I had the chance to observe in its natural habitat. Having been moved by this beautiful creature, we decided to sell bracelets to raise funds for a local organism that would protect them. We then used this project as an entry for the contest!


Noémie: In 2015, the winners of the contest were determined only by public voting. With the help of our friends and family and through social media, we reached out to a lot of people. After a month of voting, we finished first, less than a hundred votes in front of the second place!


Mathilde: We couldn’t believe that we had really won such a fantastic prize! When we got to Bodhi Surf a few months later, we found that our experience met and even surpassed our wildest expectations for the trip! It was a magical trip.

Beach post-surf- jump shot

Hope for the future

Noémie and Mathilde are examples of the types of actions we want to recognize, and we were so happy that they won. They redeemed their prize in June of this year, and we were able to share a wonderful week with them. We were so stoked to encounter such mature, caring, and invested young people. There is a belief in some circles that young people don’t care about making the world a better place. The truth is that young people are being handed a very big problem — that which was created by their foremothers and fathers — and that which they will have to find solutions to. That’s a heavy load to carry! But knowing that there are people such as Noémie and Mathilde gives us a great amount of hope that we have a shot at this thing.

If you are taking any kind of pro-environmental action we invite you to put a submission together and enter the 2016 Ocean Guardian Contest. This is your chance to be recognized and win some great prizes, or even win that surf and yoga vacation you’ve had on your wish-list. If you have any doubts or reservations about your entry, or your chances of winning, just know that you are not the only one. Take it from last year’s winners — you have nothing to lose!

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About the author

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Adrianne is the fun-and-food-loving socialite of Bodhi Surf + Yoga. If she's not whipping up a feast for Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, or out in the water giving surf lessons, she's probably busy writing for the Bodhi blog or keeping people up-to-date on the goings on via social media!

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