Written by: Cadet Captain Thailyn Toombs, Public Affairs Officer, Mililani High School
Saturday, October 1, 2022, was our Trojan Battalion’s second Access Surf of the year. Access Surf is a local non-profit that works to help people with disabilities enjoy a day at the beach, surfing, swimming, and just relaxing on the shore. The cadets chose a variety of jobs to help set up and tear down but also to aid the participants.
Sixteen of our cadets arrived at school early in the morning in order to board the bus and head over to White Plains beach, where the Access Surf event was held. Once we arrived, cadets began to unload the trucks and set up tents, mats, and get the boards down onto the beach. After setup, cadets began breakfast, cooking breakfast sandwiches and handing out pastries along with other food. Following breakfast, cadets signed up for their jobs, most of which chose to do assisted swim. Cadets then went to their assigned job and helped assist the participants.
After a long day in the water, cadets helped to tear down all the tents and equipment and get them loaded back into the trucks. Then at the end of the day, all the cadets had time to bond and just hang out at the beach. When asked what her favorite part of the day was, Cadet Captain Zoie Stevers said “Probably meeting this guy named Stanley, I was helping him swim, he was so cool, he was so funny, he told a lot of stories and we got to talk about football.”
Although the conditions were good and everything went pretty well, there was still a bit of feedback from the cadets on how we could improve next time. Some of the feedback was about how we could learn how to better support the participants in the water and try to be more productive, meaning if it seems like there’s nothing to do, ask around and find something to do. Overall however all the cadets had a great time. In fact, when asked whether she would like to participate in this project again Cadet Makayla Miller said, “I would definitely like to do this project again”. When asked why she stated, “Because overall it was really nice, I really liked going to the beach in general, I liked hanging out with my friends and my fellow cadets, and it was also really, really nice to hang out with the people that were participants at Access Surf”.