If you haven’t heard already, Pip has written his first ever children’s guidebook! We use the word “children’s” loosely, because personally we think that this book could be enjoyed by people of all ages! As local natives of Ocean City, Maryland, we often end a summer season not realizing we should have said goodbye to something.
The ever-changing Ocean City
I always think back to the summer that my mom finally took me to the mini golf course downtown that was made to look like you were in Antartica! There were polar bears and penguins and the entire course was made to look like you were in a snowy wonderland. I don’t know when it was demolished, but as most things in Ocean City, it happened in between seasons, without a lot of people noticing.
Every year in Ocean City, what you did the year before, is never guaranteed. With an always changing landscape and economy, and the threat of devastation from coastal storms (of which we have been very lucky over the years), things change, and sometimes they change without you even noticing. Remember when the inlet used to be a part of Winterfest of Lights? And you would go mail your letter to Santa there? The whole parking lot was transformed into a miniature version of Winterfest, in which, you would drive through in your car!
So, a huge part of Pip’s guidebook is taking those activities, those things that we hold near and dear to our hearts, and immortalizing them in illustrations. When I was in high school, ten years ago, paddle-boarding was something only a few people did. Now, it’s enjoyed by so many! That is the point of this guidebook series, to take what we love here in Ocean City, whether it be an activity, a landmark, or a cultural practice and preserve it on paper.
Pip’s Volunteer Efforts
So that is the why of the book, but what about who we have chosen to help with the sales of the book. If you aren’t familiar with Pip’s mission, and all the volunteer work he does on his own, I invite you to the page he dedicates solely to his community outreach work, or the page that keeps all of his volunteer articles nicely organized. It goes without saying that anything you purchase from Pip’s store, helps Pip to continue on these missions, but Pip’s Guide to Ocean City Vol. I is also donating a huge portion of the profits to three local charities. We chose these charities for several reasons. One, they are all very different, which means we will be helping a wide range of people and animals with these donations. Two, they are all locally run, which hopefully means our donation will make an impact, and it will be helping people and animals from our community that we know and love.
The Organizations we are Donating to
So what charities have we chosen to donate to? Read more about their individual missions below!
The Cricket Center is Worcester County’s ONLY child advocacy center. As someone who has worked in the local school system on and off for years, this is one of the most important agencies in our community. The work they do, which you often don’t even hear about, is tremendous. In their own words:
“The Cricket Center’s main objective is to reduce trauma to child victims by bringing all necessary local agencies together. The multidisciplinary team is made up of law enforcement officers, child protective service personnel, prosecutors, lawyers, advocates, mental health therapists and medical personnel. The multidisciplinary team meets regularly to communicate and collaborate on child abuse cases. Cases are reviewed beginning with the victim’s initial outcry through investigation, treatment and prosecution.”
If you think that child sexual abuse isn’t a problem in your area, think again. It. Is. Everywhere. And it happens in plain sight, leaving children traumatized for years to come. The Cricket Center is there to help those children.
Just recently, The Cricket Center added Josiah to their team, a two-year old labrador retriever, specifically trained for therapy, who provides a calming presence for the survivors of abuse, but also to the staff that has to constantly hear about these horrific traumas. You can learn more about Josiah here.
Imagine growing up with the ocean as your backyard, but never learning how to surf. It’s the reality for the majority of the kids here in Ocean City. Surfing isn’t necessarily easy, but I wouldn’t even say it’s the difficulty level that holds us back. If your family isn’t already a part of the small surf community in Ocean City, it’s intimidating to suddenly try to join it.
And when Ocean City as a town really limits the time and place you can surf, it becomes even harder to join in, because you don’t want to try to learn in front of the best surfers in town, or on a crowded surf beach. And the reality often is that if you are going to go out, your best options, or really only options, are going to a beach that isn’t monitored by lifeguards.
So when we heard about what the Ocean City Surf Club was doing with their Surf Into Integrity program, we knew we wanted to be involved.
Personally, I surf, not well, but I have a board, and I sometimes stand up on it, and if I look back on the last five summers, my best moments were in the water, enjoying the sport. When I was 16 I was fortunate enough to date someone that could surf, and worked at Chauncey’s Surf Shop. Both those things got me some lessons on how to surf, and the board I still use today. When my sister was old enough, we got her a lesson, then we got her a board too, and she became my surfing partner. Every time we went out in the beginning, I was so scared and nervous, but I knew for her sake, I had to act like I knew what I was doing, or she would never succeed. We’ve had some fun times out in the water together, in fact it’s really the only time we do anything just the two of us. If this program had been around when either her or I were at Stephen Decatur Middle School, it would have changed our lives, and so I can say with confidence that I know the kids enrolled it in now are experiencing something that is truly going to change their life.
“[The program] combines classroom sessions that teach formative life lessons such as respect, perseverance, empathy for others and self-esteem among others with surfing sessions on the beach that carry the same lessons over to respect for the ocean, [creating] a comprehensive program to teach life’s essential lessons to students. The 14 Ocean City Surf Club instructors, all volunteers, teach lessons founded in the simple “give respect, get respect” mantra and drawn largely from world surfing champion Shaun Thomson’s book “Surfer’s Code: 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life.” The book is essentially a personal commitment based on those 12 lessons that offer practical advice on how to act in the surf zone, and who those same 12 lessons have meaning for other areas of life.”
“Any surfer who teaches children and even adults will tell you there is no finer feeling than seeing the smile and the enthusiasm on the face of someone who just rode a wave for the very first time,” Tommy Vach, President of the Ocean City Surf Club said, “That smile will make your day.” To read this full article go here. We could not agree with Tommy more!
Since Pip was a stray, and all the cats we’ve ever owned have been from the Humane Society, it was obviously important that a portion of our profits go to help other homeless animals. Adopt Don’t Shop, is a saying we have always lived by, and we hope by sharing Pip’s story, people will join us in practicing this ideal. There are a lot of famous animals out there, but a lot of them are purebreds, bought from breeders, so we want to make sure that people know, Pip is just a little rescued stray, and we hope he can be the face for rescue animals all over the world, because they need loving homes, and are just as special as any purebred animal you can get.
The Worcester County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, located in West Ocean City, Maryland. In their words:
“Our mission is to provide food, vet care, and unconditional love until we find suitable, loving and forever homes for our animals. Relying mainly on donations from the public. All of our pets are current on vaccines, micro-chipped and spayed/neutered when old enough. We provide much needed vet care, which is our biggest expense- serving all of Worcester County, MD and surrounding areas.”
We’ll see you next weekend for their annual Boardwalkin’ for Pets event!
And as always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Contact Us page.