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Leadership/Wave Writers

ON MARCH 1, 2021

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As the 2020 WAVE Program Ebbs the WAVE WRITERS Program Flows

“Embrace the unexpected. Life is full of wonderful things just waiting to surprise you.” 

By Michelle Netzloff
Cedar Street Times - July 3, 2020

No truer words could be spoken about The WAVE Program in 2020. Brimming with plans for another blowout summer of fun, friendship and athletics, the now famous free activities camp for Pacific Grove youth suddenly found itself, along with the rest of the world, shuttered by the wildly unexpected reality of Covid-19.

Although the WAVE's Board of Directors held out hope that athletics would be re-opened by summer, June 4 saw the cancellation of the much anticipated 2020 WAVE Program of Pacific Grove. All camp activities were ebbed out into the sea of next year.

Except one.

In this new, socially distanced world, one of the WAVE's fledgling programs unexpectedly found itself standing alone as the WAVE's solitary summer offering. And what a wonderful offering it is.

The online program, WAVE Writers, is new this year, and is one of those things that is just waiting to surprise you. Conceived and spearheaded by Pacific Grove High School rising senior Caroline Coen, WAVE Writers is a creative writing program that will give PG 4th graders an opportunity to write short stories, craft poetry and learn to express themselves in writing. The kids will be able to write individually and collaboratively, with a focus on sharing creative works with their trusted group. Caroline hopes this experience will “build confidence and get them interested in writing.”

Already a veteran writer at the tender age of 17, Caroline first fell in love with writing when she was 4 years old, and her earliest stories were about the adventures of her younger brothers. Mrs. Spade, her 2nd grade teacher at Robert Down, made a big impression on Caroline by setting aside time in her curriculum for “Writer's Workshop”, which young Caroline relished. Middle School literature captured Caroline's imagination and nurtured her interest in fiction, especially “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and the works of Rick Riordan. Historical fiction and fantasy came into focus as her favorites in high school. When she is not engaged in expository writing for her high school classes, she is a journalist for the school paper. Pacific Grove High School The NewsBreaker has seen her news stories and articles since her freshman year, and in the fall of 2020, for her senior year she will serve as editor.

Caroline's current award winning successes include taking first place this year in the Central Coast Writer's Short Story Contest for Monterey County High Schoolers for her story “The Fairy House”, a tale of a girl growing up with her dad, and the Fairy House in which the story unfolds. Her poem “Peanut Butter” was selected this year as well to appear in the Carmel Carl Cherry Center for the Arts 2020 Monterey County High School Poetry Awards Anthology.

Although the writing program is new to the WAVE, it's an idea that has brewed in Caroline's head for a while. “I volunteer for the PG Library where they offer a reading program, and I had wondered, why is there a reading program but no writing program?” Caroline reflects. “I had been thinking about starting a writing program for elementary school students, but I wasn't sure which platform I could use for that. My brothers had participated in the WAVE program for the last three years, and I remembered not only were the values of the WAVE aligned with my own, but it is also free. I emailed the WAVE's Executive Director, Darryl Smith with my idea, and he was very enthusiastic.

“Originally the plan for the WAVE Writers program was for there to be one session which would run from 8:30am to noon at the PGHS library. Kids would work collaboratively at tables together. But then Coronavirus happened,” Caroline laments. “So now the program will run from Monday July 20- Friday July 24 online over Zoom. To keep screen time for the kids to a minimum, each session will only be for one and a half hours a day, with Session 1 running from 8:45am – 10:15am and Session 2 running from 10:30am-12 noon.

“The kid's writings will focus on themselves and their connection to the broader PG community. I will use a memoir format for their individual introspection and how they relate to their natural surroundings and their social surroundings. We will use fiction for the collaborative story writing. I am hoping kids will be willing to share their experiences of the uniquely PG traditions and celebrations like Butterfly Parade, Good Old Days, and Feast of Lanterns. ”

Caroline will be joined by three fellow high school students as co-teachers of the WAVE Writer's Program: Oscar Scholin, Claire Roggeman and William Coen. Oscar Scholin graduated PGHS this Spring as Salutatorian of his class. He was a journalist for the PGHS newspaper, The NewsBreaker, for three years before becoming co-editor his senior year. He is also this year's 2nd place winner in the Central Coast Writer's Short Story Contest for Monterey County High Schoolers, for his short story “The Sparrows Cage”. Claire Roggeman, a rising senior at PGHS, was published this year in the Robert Campbell Poetry Awards Anthology 2020 for her poem “Three Part Harmony” and placed 2nd in Pacific Grove's Poetry Out Loud Competition.

William Coen, a rising sophomore at PGHS who is also a columnist and sports reporter for The NewsBreaker, will assist his sister with the creative writing activities. The WAVE Writers students will meet as a group to start, then be split into subsections for the creative writing activities, each headed by Caroline, Oscar, Claire and William. “Because I enjoyed creative writing as a child, I want to give PG 4th graders that experience too and I hope that this workshop will get them interested in writing while exposing them to different forms. I would hope in the end that the kids would feel more comfortable expressing themselves creatively, and sharing their ideas with a group. I want the focus to be on sharing, reading their stories aloud to the group (or having someone else read for them) to build their confidence. The goal of the Wave Writers Program is to foster both a love of creative writing and Pacific Grove pride. I am very appreciative of CEO Darryl Smith's willingness to help me out. I'm looking forward to interacting with the kids and writing great stories and poetry!”

This years 2020 WAVE Writers Program is sure to be one of those wonderful things waiting to surprise you.

 “Embrace the unexpected. The things we never saw coming often take us to the places we never imagined we could go.”

 Registration now open for the WAVE Writer's program, please visit to sign up.

To read Caroline Coen and Oscar Scholin's award winning short stories, please visit

To read Caroline Coen and Claire Roggeman's selected poetry, please visit - Robert Campbell Monterey County High School Poetry Awards 2020

The WAVE Program will be back for summer 2021. Visit the website in January 2021 to register!



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