National Ocean Challenge Program

The ocean has been such a wonderful teacher for me in my life that I created the Ocean Challenge program to give young people the leadership training the ocean provides.
— sun myung moon


We empower future leaders to become authentic stewards of all creation by providing a unique and challenging introductory experience through fishing and boating in remote Alaska.


  • Develop character and confidence through seamanship

  • Experience the heart of stewardship

  • Cultivate faith through experiencing God’s love through nature



NOCP offers 3 different programs to select from


July 7-28, 2019
21-day Program 

NOCP offers a unique hands-on ocean fishing experience for youth ages 16-30 in remote Kodiak, Alaska.  Come develop character and confidence through seamanship, experience the heart of stewardship, and cultivate faith through experiencing God’s love through nature.

The entire program is designed to help participants connect to Father and Mother Moon’s heart and love for the ocean and ocean providence.  Through internal guidance and connecting to their' words and experience, participants have the opportunity to walk in Father and Mother Moon's shoes and experience all the lessons that the ocean has to teach.

Participants will spend 14 days on the ocean learning the basics of boating and fishing, and how to jig and troll for Pacific salmon, halibut, rockfish, and ling cod.  Throughout the program, participants will rotate to each of our four boats, learning unique fishing styles from each of the senior captains and captains-in-training (CIT).  Participants will hear stories and lessons from the staff’s times with Father and Mother Moon, both on and off the ocean.

Participants will also receive certification on "About Boating Safely" offered by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and be certified in CPR/First Aid.  

Other highlights of the program include a camping trip, river fishing, beach bonfires, a service project, wildlife viewing, a Kodiak City tour, and an end-of program fishing tournament - with prizes!

There are only 20 participant spots available for 2019 so apply soon!

Team Leader

July 3-31, 2019
29-day Program 

This year we are seeking four team leaders who will work directly with the education coordinator (Tasnah Bercy) to serve as an extension of our staff in an elder brother/sister role for a team of five participants.

Prior to NOCP they will join 3-4 1-hour calls to review the schedule, desired educational outcomes, and their responsibilities during the 3-week program. On-site, team leaders will facilitate team bonding activities and lead team sharings each evening, checking in with the core staff after. The goal is to help provide personal care and support to the participants during the program.

We ask that team leaders come a few days before the program starts to orient and help prepare (and do some fishing!) and stay after a few days to debrief and connect in gratitude as staff.

Team leaders are primarily participants in that they will participate in all the activities and fishing and do not need to have prior Ocean Challenge/fishing experience. However, prior team leading experience is preferred.

Captain-in-Training (CIT)

June 29 - August 7, 2019
40-day Program 

Each year, four CITs have the opportunity to attend an extended 40-day Captain-in-Training Ocean Challenge program, coming a week early and staying ten days after the program.

CITs will be instructed in the basics of boat preparation, safety, maintenance, maneuvering, as well as charts, navigation, and fishing techniques. CITs will also enjoy an overnight fishing trip with the senior captains and staff in preparation for the program.

During the program, CITs will be paired with a senior captain whom they’ll assist with boat preparation, maintenance, safety, and navigation. They’ll play a key role in teaching participants how set up their tackle and land their fish. On land, they’ll serve as an extension of our staff team, supporting the team leaders, activities, and education.

After the NOCP program, CITs will assist in hosting a local Kodiak Community Fishing Day, compete in a staff tournament, learn how to winterize a boat, and conclude with an overnight fishing trip.

It is preferred that CITs:

• Have attended NOCP previously or have boating/captaining experience
• Have already taken the USCG Boating Safely course or equivalent
• Have their CPR/First Aid certification



Lukas Bercy



Tasnah Bercy



Alina Button

General Affairs


Frank Button

Senior Captain


Minoru Kageyama

Senior Captain


Greg Odlin

Senior Captain


Jorge Mendez

Senior Captain


The first Ocean Challenge program was initiated by Rev. Sun Myung Moon on July 1, 1981.  The program was designed to cultivate faith and leadership by challenging participants to spend a summer fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna.  Rev. Moon designed the Good-Go boats, still used today.

Ocean Challenge instructed its participants in both the theoretical and practical aspects of boating and fishing.  Ocean Challenge was also unique in its strongly spiritual focus, encouraging participants to challenge their limitations and concepts of themselves, others, and God.  There was also a strong emphasis on self-discipline, self-motivation, leadership, and meeting God on the swells of the ocean. The Ocean Challenge spirit motto was, “If God calls, I will go, no matter the circumstances.”

When Rev. Moon started “Ocean Challenge Alaska” in 1986 in Kodiak, Alaska, he expressed that the Alaskan Spirit was as same as Ocean Challenge Spirit.  

I like to use the phrase “Alaska Spirit.” By this I mean the habit of getting up at five o’clock in the morning, going out to sea, and not returning until well after midnight, when in the summer it is still light. The person with “Alaska Spirit” stays out on the ocean until he catches the daily allowance. One cannot become a true fisherman unless he learns how to endure this way. Catching fish is not a pleasure cruise. No matter how many fish may be in the ocean, they are not going to just jump into the boat. It takes specialized knowledge and much experience. Once a person receives intense training to become a fisherman, he can go anywhere in the world and become a leader of people. Learning to be a fisherman is good leadership training.

NOCP has been hosted each summer in Kodiak since 2007.  Chris Fiala, Frank Button, and Minoru Kageyama, three veterans of Ocean Challenge, launched a three-week summer program for youth ages 16-35 to give the next generation a taste of the Father Moon’s love for the ocean, fishing, and all that is has to teach.