The tide was high, but the kids held on—with a little help from the men’s volleyball team.
This past Saturday (September 18), Endicott students and local surfers flocked to Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, only they weren’t in search of the perfect wave—for themselves, anyway. They were volunteering on behalf of Waves of Impact, a California-based nonprofit that offers free surf camps for young people with special challenges. The event marked the second surf camp in Gloucester since 2018.
“I’ve worked at Endicott for almost 20 years now and know the athletic teams and coaches are always very civic-minded and looking for ways to give to the community,” said event volunteer Michelle Mustone, director of advising and licensure at the School of Education. “I reached out to Coach Chapell and it turns out he had actual surfers on the men’s volleyball team!”
Community service is an essential part of the Endicott experience. Last year alone, Endicott students logged more than 16,000 hours of community service, with 47% of all students participating in some form of community outreach.
Despite the cooler temperatures and dense morning fog, approximately 40 kids across the commonwealth showed up to ride some waves.
Endicott juniors and twin brothers Mason and Vance Mallory were among the first in the water to help chase rogue boards and cheer on the kids. Thanks to a surf-loving father, the duo, who hail from Playa del Rey, Calif., started surfing at age 5. That passion turned into jobs as surf instructors when the brothers turned 16.
“Surfing is all mental, it’s putting yourself out there and getting over any fear,” said Vance, a marketing major. “I love seeing people get their first waves—it brings me right back to that moment when I got my first wave.”
“And once you get that first wave, you want 10 more,” echoed Mason, also a marketing major.
That was certainly true for Katie Mahoney, 16, of Lynnfield, Mass. She ran into the water right at 10 a.m., and as the hours passed, showed no signs of coming out.
“She’s having a good time and she doesn’t want it to end,” said her mother, Maureen. “We heard about this four years ago and it was such an amazing experience that we stalked the website to do it again this year.”
For Will Perry, a junior majoring in sports management, the event reminded him of home.
“Growing up, my neighbor got me into surfing at 11 or 12,” recalled the San Mateo, Calif., native. “I wouldn’t say I have a passion for surfing—for me, it’s about being relaxed on the water, not even catching waves, but just enjoying the water.”
“I’m a local surfer and I know most, if not all, of the surf community, and to see the community come together as a unified group to give back—really, to the ocean for everything it gives to us—is incredible,” said local organizer and competitive paddleboarder John O’Hara.
Waves of Impact co-founder Tom Swanecamp also flew from California to attend the event, which was co-sponsored by Cape Ann SUP, which provided boards and wetsuits for the day.
“The sense of community in Gloucester, it’s like no other place,” Swanecamp said. “The number of volunteers and the quality of surfers … there’s a lot of places where surfing is competitive and territorial, but here it’s all about the excitement of the kids and the parents.”
“To see your kid doing something that you thought might not happen is remarkable,” said Janet Williams, who brought her son Ethan, 10, to camp.
“I can’t give him this, his father can’t give him this—it’s something we just don’t know how to do, so to see this just makes my heart explode. This rivals Christmas and Halloween for Ethan.”
Looking to get involved? Learn more about the Community Service opportunities available on and off campus.