Milk and Honey

Not a lot compares to being 10-years old and getting your first skateboard. I still remember this day so vividly. I’d been playing team sports for some years and liking it, but after getting a board somehow knew that skating would be “my thing.” I was right. Seventeen years later I still love it. This “thing” has taught many lessons, introduced me to lifelong friends, and provided for lots of fun.

Today, I got to relive this day times twelve. The past few Saturdays we’ve been teaching the kids from Milk and Honey how to skate. Milk and Honey is a community-based organization that provides early intervention programs for at-risk children and youth in Pensacola’s inner city. I didn’t expect these kids to take to skating like they did. I imagined that a few of the kids would want to pursue it, but it ended up being more like all of them. I’ve done a lot of skate lessons and have never seen a group of kids progress so quickly.

All the kids left today with brand new skateboards, helmets, and a membership to the Waterboyz skatepark. We asked in return that they “pay it forward” and try to help out when they can, and reminded them that a small act of kindness can make a big impact in someone’s life. They also agreed to be advocates for the skatepark project we’ve been working on that will be in memory of Blake Doyle.

The proposed skatepark site is under I-110 Overpass at Hayne and Jackson St. We’ve been working hard on this and almost have all of the approvals needed to make it happen. The Department of Transportation gave us the green light and we received a letter of commitment from Mayor Hayward. On October 13th we will present the project to the Pensacola City Council. The kids agreed to come to the meeting and show their support. In fact, we could use all the support we can get!

The past few weeks would not have been possible without a grant from the Kugelman Foundation. I’d also like to especially that Waterboyz and First Ride for making this happen. It was the best feeling to share something I love with a group of kids that otherwise may never have had the opportunity. Many thanks to everyone involved.

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Milk and Honey was originally published on Upward Intuition

Upward Intuition Skate Camp: Fall Session in Gulf Breeze

Hello to all of our friends, we are back with more good news! You may have read our most recent blog post about how Jon taught skate camp over the summer at both Waterboyz and Innerlight skate shops in Pensacola.  Instructing young skaters from all over town proved to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with the kids who are the reason Upward Intuition exists!  Due to the success of this summer’s skate camp sessions, Jon has decided to host a local camp for kids ages 6-12 this Fall in partnership with the City of Gulf Breeze.  We are excited to have the opportunity to give back to the city of Gulf Breeze, and for attendees to meet and skate with the members of the newly formed Upward Intuition Skate Team.  This small group of eager and talented kids is our first official team of Youth Ambassadors, working to help represent the organization in the community.

Upward Intuition has a clear and direct mission based on inspiring and empowering the next generations to create change in their own communities.  Jon believes that relating certain core values to skating is an effective way to harness the passion that young people have for the sport while also teaching how these values can support this mission.  So while the kids will receive skateboarding instruction tailored to their particular skill level, they will also get character development, focusing on a new core value every session.

We worked hard to develop a unique way to integrate skateboarding skills with core values, and are excited about a unique opportunity tailored specifically for this camp. Over the course of the season, we will mentor the attendees on how to organize their own skate contest, which they will host the final day of camp on December 12.  The young skaters will be responsible for publicity and marketing, refreshments, as well as participation in the contest. By having the kids coordinate and execute their own event, they will be given the opportunity to apply the core values of service, integrity, cooperation, and perseverance in their own community.  We encourage family and friends to come out and support their contestants in this local effort!

Registration is now open on Eventbrite. Spots are limited to 25 skaters per week.  For questions or inquiries please contact us via email:

Upward Intuition Skate Camp Details

Dates: September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12

Time: 9 am – 12 pm

Location: Skatepark @ Gulf Breeze Community Center

Address: 800 Shoreline Drive, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561

Cost: $25 per session;

register for all 4 sessions and save, discounted rate of $20 per session, total $80 / 4 sessions

*registration fee includes water and snack

Upward Intuition Skate Team

We are excited to share an update as we wind down from a busy summer.  These last few months have been busy and exciting for the Upward Intuition organization.  Jon spent thirteen weeks this summer working at Waterboyz instructing their skate camp series.  He also spent four weeks at Innerlight hosting their weekly series of skate camps on Fridays. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with a whole new generation of skaters  – the ones who will grow up enjoying the Blake Doyle Skate Plaza.  Watching them reach their goals and fulfill their potential was inspiring and refreshing.  The work of a new non-profit can be a little tiring, maybe even sometimes a little overwhelming, so working with these students who enjoyed skating in their free time on summer vacation was a much needed breath of fresh air!

In addition to getting to know the kids and meeting their parents who were enthused to learn about our mission, something else very exciting happened.  Jon decided it was time to create a team of young skaters to represent Upward Intuition in the sport.  Integral to the work of UI is replacing the negative stereotype of skaters that has prevailed for decades. With the creation of the Upward Intuition Skate Team, the community will see a class of athletes who encourage and support each other, and appreciate the city they call home.  We are wasting no time getting started as the team will soon begin volunteering at the Innisfree Community Garden as their first project to reinforce our first core value lesson: service.

We are thrilled to have a group of kids who want to serve their community, spread the work we are doing, and raise money to make our the Blake Doyle Community Plaza a reality.  Make sure to Stay tuned to our social media channels for all the latest… we have already heard rumblings among the team for plans of their own with regard to fundraising.  So if you see some of our proud skaters selling lemonade in their #LiveLikeBlake t-shirts, please take the time to support them!   We are confident that in a couple of years we will all be watching them usher in a new group of eager young skaters… in Pensacola’s very own skate park!

Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to learn more about the following fundraising events planned for this fall season:

October 24, 2015 – Inaugural Blake Doyle Classic skate contest, Milton Skate Park, 3-8 p.m.  An all ages contest with prizes, live music, local food, vendors and more!

November 7 – Skate-A-Thon Fundraiser at Waterboyz, 9 am – 7:30 pm.  Raise money to skate: the more you raise, the more you skate, and the more prizes you’ll be eligible to win. Additionally prizes will be awarded for the top three skaters who raise the most donations.

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Pensacola’s Forgotten Youth (Part 2)

When I posted a few days ago about the community plaza I thought there was a chance that it could work. Sitting here now, I fully believe that this will be our reality and I won’t stop until we get there. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for all the support and kind words from everyone. I’m not saying it will be easy and I can guarantee we will face opposition but we can’t let that discourage us. Now’s the time to pace ourselves and start putting one foot in front of the other because it’s going to be a long uphill hike. I’m thinking it’ll be pretty amazing though. Continue reading


A little over a year ago, the passion, progression and creativity level was at an all time high at “the farm” located in Groveland, FL. The farm was the type of place where you go to spend an afternoon and end up staying for a week. There was a certain energy about the place that felt magical. If we had a cool idea, we just did it. Everyone was excited to get dirty and put in crazy amounts of work for the cause. That cause being a little thing we enjoy doing called wakeskating. Continue reading

Pensacola’s Forgotten Youth (Part 1)

The City of Pensacola has come a LONG way in the last five years. We’ve moved the wastewater plant away from downtown, have a beautiful Maritime Park with a professional baseball team, and there’s always something interesting to get into on South Palafox. Did I mention the beach? I seriously love living here.

I’m so appreciative of the people who have recognized Pensacola’s potential and continue to invest in our community. Not only visionaries like Quint Studer, Collier Merrill, Ashton Hayward and Robert Rinke but also the small business owners and young professionals who are the heartbeat of the upward movement. I see you and thank you! Continue reading