Meet Surfer Girls Arielle, Lauren and Abigail! - Maui Surfer Girls
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Meet Surfer Girls Arielle, Lauren and Abigail!

In honor of Maui Surfer Girls’ Teen Camps turning 18, we’re bringing back our ‘Where Are They Now’ Alumnae Blog Post Series!  From campers our very first year to last summer, we’re profiling alumnae, catching up with them all over the country and the world!

Meet Surfer Girl Arielle

Arielle Burnett (formerly Donnot) attended our very first year (2001) as a camper, then joined us for the next two years as a CIT! Arielle is from Honolulu and currently lives there still.

Camp Olowalu’s mess hall still looks exactly the same!

What are you up to now? 

I’m happily married and have 2 awesome girls! One is in the 6th grade at La Pietra and we are hoping to send her to MSG next year when she turns 12!! Our youngest just turned one last November and already loves being in the water! I got my Bachelor’s in Microbiology in 2012 from UH Manoa and have been working part time for a property management company since then. It took me a while to finish school with the kids but I’m so stoked I stuck it out. I’m working towards going to Pharmacy school when we transfer and have to leave Hawaii in 2020. Boooo! So so so sad but thankful to have had the opportunity to support my husband, who’s active duty with the Navy. It’s been a blessing that we’ve had the opportunity to stay in Hawaii for as long as we have but may have to continue our adventures stateside for his next tour. The kids and our crazy, wonderful dog Bella keep me on my toes but life is full of love and laughter always!

A reunion with Arielle, Kalindy, Pepper, Lila Roo, Melissa and Lucy!

Why did you want to go to MSG camp? 

I’ve always loved surfing and being in the water but it was usually a solitary activity for me. At home, I surfed by myself as none of my other friends who were girls surfed. So hearing about a camp that was just for girls and who’s mission was to inspire other girls to surf was really appealing to me. I knew it would be an empowering experience and I am so thankful I was able to attend that very first year. The confidence and experience you get by not being afraid to be yourself and just be silly and goofy with girls from all over the country was an exciting part of my experience at camp.

 

What’s your favorite camp memory? 

There are a few that stick out to me but one in particular was at the end of my first session as a camper and Dustin presented us with these amazing, handmade awards. It was a little piece of driftwood with our names on it decorated with glitter and pom poms and shells. Every camper got one and you could tell she really took the time to find something special about each person; something that would boost them up and make them feel great!  I kept my little decorated wood award on my nightstand throughout college. Each time I looked at it, it reminded me of all the fun I had and the amazing people who supported me throughout camp.

Another one that sticks out was one summer as a counselor in training along with Lila Roo and Katy we had a goofy dress up night with our campers and all the girls had a hoot getting as funky as could be! Being there with those girls was the best summer I’ve ever had. Being able to surf with them and inspire a new generation of girls to love the water as much as I do are memories that will stay with me forever!

What about MSG helped you grow as a person? 

I think the confidence that you leave with more than anything has helped me grow the most as a person. There’s something about paddling out with 10 or so other girls and knowing you are all there to have fun and support each other. That feeling stays with you and makes you feel like you can take on anything. I’m so thankful for that and for MSG for giving me those experiences.

 

Do you ever meet up with other MSG ladies? If so, tell us about it!!!  

I’m so terrible at keeping in touch and life has a way of passing by too quickly. But now that Kaleihua has moved home I’m hoping we can make time to hang out!! She was my original camp buddy!

 

 

 

Meet Surfer Girl Abigail

Abigail Wilson was a camper in 2016 and a CIT in 2017. She’s from Milton, Georgia and currently attends Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

What are you up to now? 

I am currently attending Auburn university studying Kinesiology. I am still trying to figure out what to do as my profession but I really want to help people whether it be their physical health, mental health, or both. Camp inspired me to always help and feel for others. I have also thought about minoring in wilderness therapy (Dustin inspired me).

Why did you want to go to MSG camp? 

Surfing was always something on my bucket list and to be able to learn how to do it on the dreamy land of Hawaii was a BIG bonus. Not to mention how awesome the camp grounds were. Everything about the camp from the stories, to videos I saw on YouTube, and hearing personal experiences from one of my friend that had already attended it just seemed too good to be true. So I worked my booty off that whole summer as a lifeguard and paid for camp (aka the experience of a lifetime…highly recommend)

Bebe and Abigail at Camp

What’s your favorite camp memory? 

There are honestly way too many to name but if I could pick one it would be a memory from the first year I attended. One morning I was sitting out on my board in the ocean waiting for some waves when my friend Bebe paddled up next to me in a very bad mood. I asked her what was up since she didn’t seem too happy. She then enlightened me with the story of how she got pooped on by a chicken during the night. She last minute decided to sleep outside under the stars (and the tree that the chickens sleep in) only to be woken up by a chicken pooping on her from the tree above. She also told me how she had to wash her sheets and shower at 4 am to get the poop out. I couldn’t stop laughing.

 

What about MSG helped you grow as a person? 

Through Maui Surfer Girls, I learned so much about myself in a month than I have in the course of a year. Camp has helped me understand people and life better, it has also opened my eyes to how anything is possible  in this world if I believe it and work for it. Each year coming back from MSG, I feel a little wiser from the experiences of being across the world from my family. Camp had also helped me understand how much I LOVE nature and the natural things in life (and surfing  of course). It’s given me strength and understanding that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

Abigail as a CIT with her campers last summer

Do you ever meet up with other Maui Surfer Girls? 

I meet up with my friend Bebe! We met the first year at camp and hit it off since then. She goes to the University of Georgia, and me being from Georgia we now have a lot of the same friends. She also has come to my hometown before and has also visited me atAuburn since UGA and Auburn is only a couple hours away from each other. Bebe has recently stayed with me this past fall for the Auburn vs. Georgia game. We had so much fun together and still try to plan trips to see each other. It will be harder when she’s back in Missouri but we want to plan something soon!

Abigail and Bebe meet up while attending college near each other!

 

Meet Surfer Girl Lauren

Lauren Pedinoff was a camper from 2008 to 2010, and returned in 2015 for our women’s camp! She’s originally from Laguna Hills, CA and she now is living in  Jekyll Island, Georgia, after attending UH Manoa on Oahu.

 

Where are you now? 

After graduating from college,  I got an internship with the Walt Disney Company at the Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida doing Conservation Education and have been doing that for the past year. It’s been really great meeting people from all over the world there. And just this month I moved to Jekyll Island, Georgia. I’m doing an Americorps term of service at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. I will be a research member. So I will be out in the field during turtle nesting season taking data, tagging the turtles, checking on nests and educating the public during the night walks. This has been something I’ve have always wanted to do so I’m really excited to be able to get hands on experience in it!

Lauren with the gators!

 

Why did you want to go to MSG camp? 

The summers growing up for me were really hard so I wanted to go somewhere fun where I could be active and just have a different experience than I was at home. SoI wanted to learn how to surf, I looked up local surf camps and came across MSG and realized it cost the same as the local camps but was in Hawaii. So I thought heck yeah I want to go to Maui I just had to come up with the airfare. I really loved the mission of MSG that it was about empowering girls and I remember thinking how cool all the instructors seemed. So when I was 15 and could get my first job I saved up all my money and would go around the house and collect leftover change and anyway I could gather money. And after about a year and a half I saved up enough money to send myself. And it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.

What’s your favorite camp memory? 

There are too many to choose from, but probably when the whole camp went on mystery adventures together. There was one where we went off roading on ATV’s to get to the zip lining site we got so muddy. And then we went to this epic man-made slip and slide that went into a lake. It was such a fun way to wrap up camp. And have all the pods got to do something adventurous and exciting all together.

 

What about MSG helped you grow as a person? 

Oh boy what didn’t help me grow. I think mostly all the staff and campers. It was such an inspiration for me to meet such bad ass empowered women who were so kind and encouraging out in the water. They taught me that it’s okay to be comfortable with who you are. And that your body can do amazing things and you’re stronger than you think both mentally and physically. And the camp encourages you to grow it’s not like any other camp. We had nights where we would all sit around and have a safe place to talk about our fears and things we wanted to accomplish. MSG really changed the direction of my life I wouldn’t have been inspired to live a happier, healthier life. I wouldn’t have pursued my career without finding my love for the ocean or going to school on Oahu because I feel in love with Hawaii and the lifestyle there. MSG will always have a huge place in my heart.

Lauren working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Do you ever meet up with other Surfer Girls? 

Yeah, it’s always nice to see a fellow Maui surfer girl. There were several people saw in the years following camp. When I was in school on Oahu I lived with Gaby for a little bit as well as hung out with Nicole Nakamura. I also met up with Slinkee in Oakland, Ca a couple years after camp. And I recently saw Chloe George for a hot sec at animal kingdom in Florida when she came for vacation.

Lauren and Slinkee!

 

 

 

Are you a Surfer Girl?

Send us your story for a chance to win a prize pack of our logo gear, plus some fun Maui goodies!! When we get 10 alumnae stories, we’ll randomly select one entry to win!  Send them to [email protected] to be included!

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