NW Women’s Surf Camps – Our Crew
Lexie Hallahan, Director and Visionary
In the spring of 2005, Hallahan launched NW Women’s Surf Camps with an inspired and talented team of surf instructors. Her vision is to create Northwest surfing opportunities for individuals to expand their lives, deepen their connection with the ocean and its environment, and broaden their horizons with the transformation that surfing offers. Along with her vision is the mission to form a thriving NW women’s surfing community in the Pacific NW. Since that initial summer with just three Day Camps for women offered, NWWSC has grown sustainably and organically with the surfing event program they offer. Expanding to include Surf Weekenders, Couples Surf Weekenders, Week Retreats in Kauai and the Oregon Coast, Custom Events, and Lessons in surfing and stand up paddling. Their current program has something for everyone; women, men, couples, teens and kids. 2013 is there ninth season with their focus, accomplishments, mission and vision having been a resounding success!
Favorite Rumi quote - “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
Dennis J Braun, Surf Coach and avid Athelete
Meet the Talent of NW Women’s Surf Camps & Retreats- Dennis Braun has brought his passion, enthusiasm and love of surfing to his coaching in every one of NWWSC events since their inception in 2005. He is an exceptional surfing teacher who always shares his stoke and optimism with students during their sessions. With 22 summers of lifeguarding along the North Oregon Coast combined with 30+ years of surfing there, his understanding, respect and wisdom of the ocean is invaluable to their event program. Braun grew up with six sisters and it shows when he’s hanging out with a group of women during NWWSC’s events. He’s the only male instructor who teaches for them. Now you know why!
Personal quote- “Never stop giving thanks for the gift of Life…by living each day to the fullest.”
Rachel Allen, Surf Coach, Therapeutic Masseuse and Speech Pathology Graduate Student
Meet the Talent of NW Women’s Surf Camps & Retreats- Rachel Allen’s spirit is radiant, spiritually connected and much wiser than her age. Her love of surfing began in Nor Cal where she spent several years practicing in the white water before paddling to the outside to catch some “real waves”. From there, she moved to Kauai, fell in love with the island and its exotic lifestyle. While there for 6 years, she surfed daily, practiced yoga, graduated in massage therapy and taught surf lessons at Hanalei Bay to island visitors. After moving back to the mainland, her love of the surf and teaching it connected her with the Director of NWWSC. It was instant magic between them! Allen is one of the exceptional surf coaches for NWWSC unique program. She loves empowering students with what it takes to become a “surfer girl”!
Personal quote- “Surfing for me is about being in the present; taking risks, being humbled and most of all having fun! Surfing is a great excuse to play in the ocean. The ocean is one of my best teachers and inspirations. It has taught me to stay young, strong, and flexible, to smile often, be conscious and always listen to my intuition. I love the comradery among surfers, without words you know that you both experienced the magic!”
Beth Gergick, Surf Coach, Asst Speech Pathologist, and new Mother of Jonah Pacific
Meet the Talent of NW Women’s Surf Camps and Retreats- Beth Gergick’s joy for life and the ocean is contagious! She brings her sweet passion and enthusiasm to each event and lesson she teaches for NWWSC. Her years of surfing and surf traveling offers students a personal perspective for them to learn from. Gifted in teaching others, both in Spanish and English, what she shares is invaluable to the NWWSC program.
Personal quote- “Surfing for me is so much more than just riding a wave. It’s respecting and loving the ocean for its playfulness and humbling power, it’s my connection to the Creator, the cultures and adventures I’ve thrown myself into searching for waves, the belly laughs and amazing people I’ve met along the way. When it all flows together in perfect synchronicity on a wave, it produces a kind of joy inside of me that’s really hard to explain. So all I can do is give thanks and hope that I can share that feeling with others.”
Jeannine Poucel-Mackie, Surf Coach, Physical Therapist, and Mother of two
Meet the Talent of NW Women’s Surf Camps and Retreats- Jeannine Poucel-Mackie’s love of teaching others what she has learned through her personal surfing experiences, empowers those she coaches. She brings a stoked focus on skill building and shares the discipline needed to excel in ones surfing pursuits. Her years of training as a qualifying Olympic telemark skiing athlete and her career in physical therapy, provides a wealth of knowledge for students to tap into for their cross training needs. Poucel-Mackie’s playfulness in NWWSC’s events sets the tone for fun!
Personal quote- “Surfing is simply a matter of accepting Nature’s whim. Because maybe today, at this very second, the perfect wave will allow me to harness its power and glide effortlessly across its majestic crown. Or it will pick me up with angry upheaval and slam my cocky butt into its depths. It is then that I take comfort in the fact that Nature, in the end will prevail. To teach another woman how to read and play in this kind of environment fosters empowerment from within and a humble appreciation of the things we can’t control. We can only hope to have the flexibility and grace to accept the ocean’s offering and in return encourage more people to protect it.”
More About the Talent of NWWSC
All of NWWSC’s surf instructor/coaches are experienced water people with over 100 years of surfing time between them. They’ve traveled for surfing adventures to Indonesia, Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaiian Islands, Canada, California, Florida, and the Pacific Northwest. They have all taken and completed a Lifeguard Certification Course. All are currently certified in American Red Cross CPR and First Aid. Surf Coach Dennis Braun has spent 22 years beach lifeguarding on both Seaside and Cannon Beach. All instructors teach with Gath surf helmets for their student’s safety. Soft top surfboards are provided in their camps. A rescue surfboard and First Aid Kit are provided at every lesson and event, in case of an emergency. They’ve “raised the bar” in both qualified surf instruction and the safe way they conduct it.
“We don’t simply push our students into waves so they can claim they caught one, we empower them with the necessary skills to pursue their passion to learn surfing!”